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Recent technology has hurt students, must be restricted in classrooms, educator says

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Adding more technology to classrooms has hurt students greater than helped them, a former teacher said amid speculation concerning the effects artificial intelligence can have on education. 

“We introduce loads of technology in the lecture rooms to correct problems that we see, and inevitably we find yourself causing more problems with the answer,” Peter Laffin, the founding father of Crush the College Essay and a writing coach, told Fox News. “Often the cure is worse than the disease.”

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Last week, tech company OpenAI unveiled an AI chatbot, ChatGPT, which has stunned users with its advanced functions like generating school essays for any grade level, answering open-ended analytical questions and writing jokes, poems and even computer code. The web is swirling with predictions concerning the implications of this sophisticated technology, but on the forefront of Laffin’s concern is the impact it’s going to have on education.

“I personally think that we should always be restricting all kinds of technological tools, and this one I feel for a really particular reason,” said Laffin, who was an English teacher of over 10 years. “We would like to ensure that we’re teaching kids, not only the topic but in addition values.”

A mock essay prompt inputted into OpenAI’s ChatGPT shows student’s as young as middle school age can make the most of this latest technology.
(OpenAI)

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Laffin fears the flexibility of scholars to make use of AI to finish assignments will further impact an already struggling U.S. education system.

Pandemic-related distant education took a toll students across the U.S., with 2022 national test scores showing the most important decrease ever in math scores, while reading scores dropped to the bottom levels since 1992 for fourth and eighth graders, in response to the Nation’s Report Card. 

Former English teacher Peter Laffin said more technology in classrooms ends up causing more problems than it helps. 

Former English teacher Peter Laffin said more technology in classrooms finally ends up causing more problems than it helps. 
(Photo illustration)

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“We introduced loads of technology to education to make our lives easier. We have been doing that steadily for 20 years,” Laffin said. “I feel educators would do well to ask themselves, ‘how did any of this profit us? Are our children more educated now that there may be an iPad for each student in every classroom?’”

“If we won’t say that is been a net positive, why on earth would we encourage the usage of these technologies going forward?” he added. 

To look at Laffin’s full interview, click here. 

Ramiro Vargas contributed to this report.

Teny Sahakian is an Associate Producer/Author for Fox News. Follow Teny on Twitter at @tenysahakian. 

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