A few thoughts on ChatGPT
Have you heard about ChatGPT? (I’m no expert on AI. I’m actually scared of robots due to Battlestar Galactica…amazing sci-fi, watch if you haven’t.) It’s an AI that can pretty much respond to any writing prompt. Tell it to write a three-paragraph review of Battlestar Galactica. Ask for three tips to improve your time management. Enter in any discussion or paper prompt and it’s got you covered. It even writes pretty decent lesson plans.
What does this mean for the present and future of higher education? A lot, I think. As I process it, there’s overwhelm, excitement, fun (the thing is fun as heck), fear, concern, and confusion. It’s a lot. On top of a lot. On top of A LOT that we’ve all been navigating.
As you know, the work of adrienne maree brown is one of my touchstones. I come back to her now:
“Change is constant. You can’t stop change, control change, or perfectly plan change. You can ride the waves of change, partner with change, and shape change.”
Everything is always changing. Always. The idea that we could ever push pause on how we teach and learn is very human of us, and it’s completely unrealistic. Not real. Not possible. We are changing. Our world is changing. The ways we teach and learn are changing. Do we want to invest our energies in a fantasy that we can push pause? Or, do we want to shape change?
Here’s my message to you all: your colleagues, students, and campus leaders need to hear from you on this topic. Because I know for a fact that educators who want to take the “try to pause change” path are already vocalizing their concerns. They are already asking for stronger surveillance and punishment. If we don’t speak up, their voices will be the only ones that are heard.
I recently reached out to a leader at one of the places where I teach to share my views on ChatGPT: It’s here. It’s not going anywhere. Punitive approaches will harm students and faculty. Here’s a wild idea: let’s teach our students how to use it mindfully. Let’s learn with them. What would that look like? I heard back with positive feedback. I can’t control the outcome, but I’m really glad I spoke up.
Here are two great reads that I included in that email. I encourage you to read both (to the end, because there’s a fun surprise in one!) and share them widely. Let’s talk about this. Let’s teach. Let’s learn. Let’s shape change, together.
I raised my hand. I sent the email. I hope you will too. On this and other important topics. We often assume that those small choices don’t matter, but I still believe they do. In the words of amb, again, small is all.