Institut auf dem Rosenberg: Chatbot GPT in the classroom? No problem with cheating and a help for every school, says a 130,000-euro boarding school


Institut auf dem Rosenberg: Chatbot GPT in the classroom? No problem with cheating and a help for every school, says a 130,000-euro boarding school

Ms. Gademann, chatbot GPT is live and many educational institutions are running amok. In the education sector, the AI ​​tool is mainly presented as a big cheat and plagiarism machine. And chatbot GPT has also arrived at your venerable boarding school, the Institut auf dem Rosenberg. Have you already issued a ban?

No. Since Open AI has been available to the public, there has been a wave of hysteria. Plagiarism, incorrect information are conjured up or it is criticized that the tool is not able to answer all questions. I think the massive criticism leveled at this tool, or AI in general, stems from a complete lack of knowledge about AI.

AI only acts as an accelerator for a development that has already been triggered by the widespread use of the Internet. The state and institutional monopoly on knowledge and education has long been in question and the further development of technology is now triggering reactions of fear.

So you don't give artificial intelligence a wide berth?

As you can imagine, we see things very differently in our boarding school. We see AI as a great opportunity. It is our role, our duty, to teach our students how to navigate the world of tomorrow. And the world of the future will be powered by artificial intelligence. Demonizing this system is not an answer. With the same spirit one could have banned the printing press or the pocket calculator. We must learn to live with artificial intelligence.

What does "living with it" mean? What is changing, is a chatbot now taking over your lessons?

Artificial intelligence cannot replace good teaching, but it can help teachers and students prepare for learning and thereby achieve better learning outcomes together. We are a special school. Chatbot GPT does not change anything about our mission and our methods. But we have prepared for it. Chatbot GPT came as no surprise.

In some discussions one has the impression that many were surprised by the publication.

At least not us on the Rosenberg, we have been making adjustments for about five years. We are ready for artificial intelligence and teach with it as a tool.

Chatbot GPT sometimes provides very questionable insights.

We have to be honest about that. It's easy to say "Oh, the AI ​​is racist". No, the AI ​​is just an algorithm that combs through the stocks of knowledge and was programmed by people for people. In such a case, the people would be the "racists". We just look in this mirror and it tells us: "That's how you are!"

And then we don't like this picture. The internet has given freedom of speech a tremendous boost. And that was good for the original development, but now we have to take the next step and ensure that the Internet also corresponds to our democratic and ethical ideals. But as long as we don't involve the students in this discussion, it will only be an "elderly debate" for them.

Artificial intelligence and school, how can I imagine that?

I'll answer in general first before I get to our institute. Looking at the whole world, a tool like Chatbot GPT is a great opportunity to democratize information. Artificial intelligence will help those students who don't have the luxury of having a teacher in the classroom at all. There is always debate about how privileged students are in an institution like ours. Yes, but we are only a very small part. However, it is easy to forget how privileged students in the developed world, such as in Germany and Western Europe, are in comparison to developing countries.

That's a point. An AI teacher is always better than no teacher at all. Your situation is different. A year in her institute costs about 130,000 euros. They have many teachers, who they even call artisans. Don't you need them anymore?

The role of the teacher is just as important as before. Artificial intelligence gives us a basis. The teacher is there to help the students, to show them a way. Such a tool helps everyone to get information. You don't need hours to look for information. So the energy can go into discussion, into analysis, into ethics. In a step forward, in a creative thinking.

This shifts the priorities in the classroom. What did you do specifically?

Critical and analytical thinking as well as creativity have long been the most important components of our educational approach at Rosenberg. We have adjusted our rating system. In every subject, 25 to 30 percent of his grades now come from the area "presentation and debate" - even in mathematics. This is how we've been working at Rosenberg for a while and it works well for us.

For this part, the students use chatbot GPT as a tool for debates, for example. They ask for arguments and counter-arguments. The system helps them prepare for what others may throw at them. AI will not only help the students here. Especially the weaker and mediocre students will use these tools to become good students.

How important will AI become?

As humanity we stand on the shoulders of AI - the phrase is not mine, but I like to use it because it sums it up well. AI is here to give us information that we would otherwise have to search for tediously and we can start thinking faster.

That's a nice wording. A new version of the classic "anos gigantum humeris insidentes" - we are "dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants".

Yes, thanks to AI, we are going back to the ancient idea of ​​the university in education. A space where intelligent people can discuss - AI brings us back to our basics.

From the ancient colonnades back to ugly reality. Let's cheat.

I work with my students every day. I totally trust them to handle this tool. Absolute means we don't use any tool to track down plagiarism, instead we rely on our artisans to realistically assess the students, their abilities and learning progress. However, this is not easy for traditional schools. Because if the lesson is designed in such a way that there can only be one correct answer or one correct solution, it is also impossible for teachers to recognize a student's personal style in the answers.

Anyone who asks stereotyped questions has to live with being answered with stereotypes. You say trust, the word is seldom heard. The debate is often characterized by distrust. Distrust of the tool, but also of the students. What do you say?

Yes, this terrible mistrust of youth. When I compare my students to myself at that age, what do you get? Students today are smarter than us, they know more. Acting ethically is more important to them. They are more aware of the different cultures. In short: they are better people than we were.

We have to trust them when it comes to important decisions. We cannot treat them like little ignorant children who have nothing to say. Nothing good will come from such an attitude. And these desires for censorship, they certainly won't produce anything good either.

The future is an important aspect. The students go into it and the teachers stay behind on the threshold.

Students are much more open to these new possibilities. We are older, have been trained differently. We are much more limited in how we perceive the world. We, the Elders, cannot take the attitude, "We don't trust your intelligence." "You're not smart enough to use something like that." This is a very personal point for me. Our students must be prepared. Otherwise, we'll send them into the future as if they were meant to hold swords against guns.

And yet one has the impression that more energy is put into defending against AI than into design.

You mean the test GPT Zero? 600 high-ranking professors and experts are currently working on developing the system in such a way that it can better unmask plagiarism. Wouldn't it be better if all these smart people worked together to look at their curriculum and say, 'These questions can also be answered by a machine. What do we need them for if it's just a matter of querying what we've learned by heart?' Let's ask things a machine can't answer.

And what can that look like in the classroom?

We give exam questions to Chatbot GPT and students then grade the results like a teacher. The kids are very strict, they never give a good grade for chatbot GPT. They know better than me what the program can and cannot do. The kids will find the right solutions, they will be the ones who will use these machines later. Everyone talks about plagiarism. I have to ask the teachers: Don't you know your students? Don't you know their vocabulary, or their style?

I come from Poland in the communist era. We were 33 students with a Soviet flag on the wall. We sat there like little robots in the classroom, all side by side. My teacher immediately looked at my hair when my mother wasn't at home. She came to me and said, "Anita, come a little early tomorrow and bring your brush. I'll do your hair." That's worrying with 33 students.

But the fact remains: your boarding school is a very special institution. They have resources, teachers and also selected students.

You're right, we have special resources. But everything we do, the whole approach, can be done in any public school. In a developed country I have to restrict. There is no secret recipe, it is an attitude: always do what is best for the students. Artificial intelligence helps the more visual types, the kids with dyslexia, it's a classroom tool. Perhaps it can help to deal better with language diversity in classes. All this negativity does not come from the teachers who work with this tool. Teachers should embrace OpenAI, also in Germany. This gives the teachers more time to spend with the students.