How AI Has Affected Your English Class

Photograph taken by Matthew Mills
Photograph taken by Matthew Mills
Matthew Mills

English class has always required a little bit more work and time than most other classes. With AI on the rise, students have been finding ways to use it to cut corners, but what is the overall consensus on the effect of AI in classrooms?


 According to English teachers at Central, the feelings are mixed. 

Programs like ChatGPT, a generative AI, have already taken a foothold in these classes and many students don’t seem to find a problem with using it to do all their work for them. 

“Last year, at the end of the year, was my first experience suspecting that a student had used it (AI),” junior English teacher Betsy Hobbs said. “We were doing a writing assignment and his writing was a lot different than his first one. It was perfect with no mistakes and I was pretty sure he had used AI.”

The answer to my question seems obvious now. Students have already shown that they are using AI to plagiarize entire essays. While Hobbs mentioned only one student was caught using AI, there have been people who have also fallen victim to the promise of an essay written in 10 seconds. It is inherently clear that the introduction of AI has and will continue to harm the academic integrity of students.

However, it’s not that simple, If you look at ChatGPT as a research tool instead of a key to plagiarism, the whole dynamic shifts to shine a more positive light on AI.

“There are specific AIs that help students with their grammar and their writing clarity,” English teacher Kayla Ernst said. “You can put your notes in an AI and ask it to quiz you or ask it to check your work.”

Ernst has a much more positive view of AI, which is a rarity to find, especially in English classes where AI has the most prominent harmful usage. However, this optimistic approach is something that most English teachers should adopt. After further analysis, I found that most teachers believe that AI integration into schools is inevitable.

“We’re doing a project right now where the kids are making a menu or an album to talk about their lives,” English teacher Carissa Argueta said. “I am allowing the art AI. If they need, for example, a picture of a panda bear eating ice cream and they type the prompt into an AI, it’s still their idea.”

AI has already been integrated into some classrooms as a tool for students to use, and why shouldn’t it? Teaching students ways to use AI and still learn through it should be a part of every classroom, as students will access programs like ChatGPT anyway. Teaching students to understand that using AI doesn’t always equal cheating, will help us send a generation of students well-equipped for the real world to become our future leaders. 

In the following article, I plan on touching on AI’s effect on math and collecting teachers’ thoughts on the math version of ChatGPT, PhotoMath.

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