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ChatGPT Should Not Be Banned in Schools

Do what they do at the University of Helsinki

Some schools and universities have banned the use of ChatGPT. The University of Helsinki, however, is not one of those. There, teachers and students are even encouraged to use ChatGPT and other AI tools.

Their guidelines say this:

“The existence of large language models should be seen as an opportunity. The University encourages degree programmes and teachers to use AI in their teaching. This way, we can prepare you for a society of the future where AI methods will be widely used.”

At the University of Helsinki, ChatGPT is seen for what it is: a learning tool — just like an encyclopedia, a dictionary, a textbook, a calculator, a computer, a translator.

Yes, using a learning tool to avoid thinking is a big mistake. But banning a learning tool in a learning environment is a big mistake, too.

Educators outside the University of Helsinki have a choice to make: they can train students to use ChatGPT and help them learn with it, or they can leave learners to figure things out for themselves.

If they choose the latter, they shouldn’t be surprised when a student submits an AI-generated essay.

Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.