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The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast | ELA

Dec 14, 2022

Worried about the new AI and its repercussions in the world of ELA? In this quick episode, let me share why I think it might actually be a good thing for our profession. 

For many years now, students who are so inclined have been able to grab a paper off the internet.

I remember the paranoia I felt after learning that the students at a new school where I was teaching a decade ago had actually created their own website for sharing work. To hear other teachers tell it, the answers to EVERYTHING any teacher had taught in the past were just waiting to be picked from the digital tree branches over there. Students could grab quiz answers, homework, exam responses, essays, you name it.

I actually looked out the windows during an exam once to see if anyone was dangling answers down on strings from the roof. That’s how much people prepped me to expect cheating.

But that year my students held poetry slams, created a live radio show, performed original one-act plays, and put on an independent reading festival.

It wasn’t easy to cheat on any of it.

And little by little, I stopped worrying so much that they would.

While the internet today, and the new AI tools, make it easier than ever for students to cheat on extended writing questions sent home for completion, it’s really just a slight level up on what was already available. We’ve known kids could cheat on extended take-home writing for a very long time, and whether they’re doing it by copying and pasting or engaging AI, we know they have the option to engage help they shouldn’t.

But there are so many ways to design assignments that call for creative work in modern mediums that AI can’t do for them.

So today I want to share why I’m not worried about the new AI, and why I don’t think you need to be either.

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