How Chat GPT affects Academics: an Interview with Mr. Crow


In the past few months, the artificial intelligence program Chat GPT has gained popularity both in and out of the classroom. Chat GPT is an AI technology that can answer almost any question you have unless it is opinionated. You can ask it a simple question and not only will it answer you, but it will give a thorough (though not always accurate) explanation that is multiple pages long. Students and teachers are having conversations relating to their concerns about the website, as well as how it can be of use to students in their academics but not cause them to cheat. Since Chat GPT has been a topic of conversation in our English classes recently, we decided to interview Mr. Crow on his opinions of how the AI will affect school and our daily lives.

The first thing we wanted to know was how academically honest the technology would be inside the classroom. Mr. Crow told us, “It basically changes the rules of the game and I don’t think anyone knows what the rules are yet. I think there are ways that it can be a good tool, like a graphing calculator in math, and I think there are ways that it can short-circuit people’s learning by providing a shortcut where you aren’t getting what you need from an assignment.” Because of how new Chat GPT is, it’s difficult to determine whether it is a useful tool or a distraction from learning basic writing skills. Mr. Crow explained that graphing calculators made it so newer generations could start at a higher math level than previous generations who had to focus more on basic math. 

There are pros and cons to this, just like Chat GTP–if it’s used regularly, students will lack basic writing and brainstorming skills, but essays could be at a much higher academic level. Mr. Crow explained that Chat GPT will change the way teachers create assignments. When English teachers assign essays, part of the assessment is whether or not the student read and understood the book. If essays are written with the help of Chat GPT then there won’t really be a way to tell. Because of this, Mr. Crow explained that the use of oral exams to gauge if a student understood the book may become more frequent.

 After asking questions about the effects Chat GPT can have on how teachers approach grading and writing, we wondered if the website would ever be blocked by the school. “I think it’s a new tool. It’s new equipment, and we have to figure out where and how– what is acceptable to use and what isn’t, but I don’t think blocking it would be the right move,” Mr. Crow said. We further discussed how it wouldn’t be equitable: if one family has a computer that is not connected to the school and therefore makes it possible for the student to use the technology, that’s not fair for the student that doesn’t. 

Both in and out of school, it’s difficult to guarantee if a student will or will not use the website, and Mr. Crow told us he doesn’t want to be worrying (like most teachers) about how to find out if a student did or did not use it. He also told us that the English Department at Breck has been discussing how academic writing will work with Chat GPT. Mr. Crow told us, “It is so sudden– kind of came out of nowhere I felt like, and it changes things so radically.” 

Mr. Crow also said that he could imagine an assignment where students used Chat GPT as a rough draft and the assignment is to revise it, emphasizing the importance of using your brain to learn instead of relying on this artificial one. We wanted to know why this traditional learning is important. “You’ve still gotta be able to do that and to bring in your voice,” Mr. Crow said, “I still have to know how to take it to the finished product.”

One of the most important parts of writing is how you can show your thoughts, your opinions, and your skills. Though Chat GPT may know factual information and can write an essay, it doesn’t have a thinking, living brain, like humans do. It’s a gift and in order to excel at writing throughout your life, you must train your brain and create new, organic writing with your own mind.