Teaching Python

We're two middle school teachers learning and teaching Python

Are we becoming less relevant?

As I reflect on my last 8th grade unit, "ChatGPT for Social Good' I couldnt help but write this blog with some thoughts.

ChatGPT and generative AI is changing the future - of everything. However, whether schools are becoming less relevant and less efficient than other ways of learning is still a very complex and debated topic. But there are some serious thoughts to consider.

Here are some thoughts based on my research from various articles and online discussions.

  • Traditional schools provide a structured environment and an education covering various subjects and learning opportunities. What traditional schools offer other than content is a way for kids to interact socially and get a 'well–rounded' education. Whether the instruction and content are ''good enough'' is a different topic.

  • There is no doubt that the world is changing rapidly. The skills from decades past have changed, and there is a growing emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration. Many articles talk about the need for schools to ''adapt'' and evolve learning techniques quicker to keep up with the rapidly changing technology and the skills necessary to be 'better' than technology.

  • There is a rise in alternative education and online courses. There are so many ''new'' educational opportunities like micro-schools, e-learning platforms, and other educational resources available online that the traditional school option is less of a primary focus for some families. And these options offer flexibility, personalized learning experiences, and access to a vast array of resources, sometimes lacking in the traditional school system.

  • Some learners do well in personalized, self-paced learning environments that allow them to focus on their interests and learning needs. Generative AI and new-wave educational sites can offer this to these learners. Traditional schools often struggle with differentiating for the masses.

  • Generative Technology has the potential to enhance learning experiences and provide access to vast amounts of information faster and more efficiently than a single educator in a classroom. Although online tools, educational apps, and virtual reality can supplement traditional classroom learning, most schools can't afford these resources, nor are these tools used regularly by those schools that can afford the technology.

  • The social aspect of schools will always be the winning criterion. Any new generative AI education product team must focus on developing a product that will meet the learner's needs in a non-sociable system. Traditional schools provide opportunities for children to develop interpersonal skills, collaboration, and cultural understanding skills. How can generative AI be transformed to include these important learning moments?

  • Schools are designed for everyone; whether they are the best or not is a different story. A primary focus for new ed-tech platforms will be providing equitable access for all students, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. We should remember the need for social equity as educational technology progresses.

As technology rapidly changes, the question of whether schools are becoming less relevant and less efficient compared to other learning methods is very complex and debated and a question that needs to be discussed NOW. AI experts are talking about the growth of AI in terms of months, NOT decades. Generative AI has the potential to enhance learning experiences, provide efficient access to information and transform education for all. Still, we must stay focused on the importance of social interaction and equitable access for our learners. Finding a balance between traditional and innovative education will be the tipping point for our future learners.