February 9, 2023

Amid speculation about the impact artificial intelligence will have on education, a former teacher says adding more technology to the classroom is hurting students more than helping them.

Peter Laffin, founder and writing coach of Crush the College Essay, told Fox News: “We introduce a lot of technology into our classrooms to correct the problems we see, but in the end we inevitably lead to more problem.” “Often the treatment is worse than the disease itself.”

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Last week, tech company OpenAI lifted the veil AI Chatbot, ChatGPT, which astonished users with its advanced features such as generating school papers for any grade, answering open-ended analysis questions, and writing jokes, poems, and even computer code. The internet is full of predictions about the impact of this cutting-edge technology, but Ruffin is most concerned about the impact it will have on education.

“I personally think we should limit all kinds of technology tools, and I think there’s a very specific reason for this tool,” said Ruffin, an English teacher for more than 10 years. “We want to make sure we’re teaching kids, not just subjects, but values.”

Mock essay prompts fed into OpenAI’s ChatGPT showed that students as young as middle school could take advantage of the new technology.
(Open AI)

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Ruffin worries that students’ ability to use AI to complete assignments will further impact an already struggling American education system.

Pandemic-related distance learning has taken a toll on students across the U.S., with national test scores for 2022 showing the biggest drop in math scores ever, while reading scores for fourth- and eighth-graders fell since 1992, according to national report cards the lowest level.

More technology in the classroom ends up causing more problems than helping, said former English teacher Peter Ruffin.
(photo illustration)

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“We’ve introduced a lot of technology in education to make our lives easier. We’ve been doing it steadily for 20 years,” Ruffin said. “I think educators would do well to ask themselves, ‘What good is this for us? Now that every student in every classroom has an iPad, are our children better educated?'”

“If we can’t say it’s a net positive, then why on earth are we encouraging the use of these technologies?” he added.

To watch Laffin’s full interview, click here.

Ramiro Vargas contributed to this report.

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