By Sam Mallon — January 25, 2023
For teachers, writing out lesson plans can be one of the many tasks that keep them at their desks long after students have gone home for the day. Arkansan Tyler Tarver has worked as both a teacher and a principal and now provides resources for teachers through the Tarver Academy. Here, he offers insight on how teachers can use ChatGPT to save some time in creating those lesson plans, particularly when creating them at the last minute for a substitute who’s covering their class. The platform is far from perfect, but, Tarver says, offers a great starting point and is sophisticated in its abilities.
The tool could help teachers spot plagiarism or social media platforms fight disinformation bots.
By Melissa Heikkilä
January 27, 2023
Hidden patterns buried in AI-generated texts could help identify them as such, allowing us to tell whether the words we’re reading are written by a human or not.These “watermarks” are invisible to the human eye but let computers detect that the text probably comes from an AI system. If embedded in large language models, they could help prevent some of the problems that these models have already caused.
For example, since OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT was launched in November students have already started using it to cheat by writing essays for them. News website CNET has used ChatGPT to write articles, only to have to issue corrections amid accusations of plagiarism. But there is a promising way to spot AI text: by embedding hidden patterns that let us identify AI-generated text into these systems before they’re released.In studies, these watermarks have already shown that they can identify AI-generated text with near certainty. One, developed by a team at the University of Maryland, was able to spot text created by Meta’s open source language model, OPT-6.7B, using a detection algorithm they built. The work is described in a paper that’s yet to be peer reviewed, and the code will be available for free around February 15.
Today, journalist Clive Thompson spoke to Hackley Upper and Middle School faculty about conclusions he drew from his research done while preparing his book, Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Lives. Specifically, Mr. Thompson’s talk covered the contemporary use of technology in education. His presentation broke down into four main themes: flipping the classroom, public thinking, new literacies, and critical thinking/critical “using”.
Flipping the classroom covered his observation and anecdotes from speaking with teachers around the world who employ the technique of assigning students to watch recorded lectures of content at home and engage in active learning in the classroom at school. Covering the topic of public thinking, Mr. Thompson commented on the explosion of personal writing due to use of digital text on the Internet. Additionally, he shared research on the improvement of student writing when writing for a public audience. In the new literacies section, he spoke of the trend in the teaching of computer programming and its importance to help students understand how digital technology works. Finally, Mr. Thompson took on the fallacy of students as ‘digital natives’. While students are very familiar with digital technology, they are not very critical or analytic in the use of it he explained. As a primary example, he featured student’s misuse of Google search results as authoritative sources and the need to teach students critical use of such a tool.
Throughout his talk Clive Thompson recognized that these concepts were not new ideas but were ones he found to be trending and worthy of note. Furthermore, he acknowledged the hard work being done by teachers everywhere who were experimenting in these areas.
Resources mentioned by Clive Thompson: