Generative AI helps in our quest for authentic learning
By: Ts. Dr. Moamin A. Mahmoud
The world today has become a digitally driven technology. Generative AI is the guidepost that shows education is at a crossroads. With the power of these technologies, it can transform the learning behavior of the students. However, their awareness and satisfaction depend on the direction they choose.
Navigating into this transformation, there is one important question that needs an answer: Are students using Generative AI to enhance their education or as a shortcut to instant answers? The attraction of immediate access to knowledge cannot be denied. In a rapidly moving world, using platforms of Generative AI, you can get answers instantly with a simple click, and this comes off as a blessing.
This is where the challenge lies – are students gradually ignoring the process of discovery, the excitement of the solution to critical problems, and the satisfaction of gaining vast knowledge? Nowadays, we are observing an increasing trend in which students depend heavily on AI for answers. Even though these tools undoubtedly provide efficiency and convenience, there is a hidden danger lying beneath the surface.
The threat is that students might prefer doing it very quickly rather than focusing on quality. They may choose shallow understanding over deep understanding, losing out on the vast experiences that education can offer. Education extends beyond grasping facts; it involves developing other skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking abilities, and creativity.
Ethical use of Generative AI can serve as a valuable tool in the quest for the learning process. It can provide feedback instantly, tailor learning pathways, and offer more resources. However, being overly dependent on it for quick and easy solutions defeats the purpose of education. The heart of this matter revolves around a crucial question – who is responsible?
Both students, educators, and parents must unite in equilibrium to understand the substantial contribution and capabilities of Generative AI and ensure that it does not negatively affect the core purpose of education. Educators can play a significant role by guiding students on how to use Generative AI for learning purposes, rather than as a shortcut to obtain grades.
Inspire them to explore, grapple with critical and challenging questions, and perceive AI as an augmentation to their intellect, not a replacement. As a student, remember that education is not a competition but a journey of self-discovery. Embrace the difficulties as they come, savor the moments of uncertainty, and cherish the learning process. Generative AI can assist you as a friend on your knowledge path, but do not use it as a replacement for your intellect.
Parents equally have a critical role to play by motivating and guiding their children to use technology ethically. Stress the significance of hard work, determination, and learning from mistakes. Teach them the value of genuine accomplishments over shallow achievements.
In conclusion, Generative AI plays a significant role in education and is not a predetermined destiny. It’s a direction that we, as a society, must collectively follow. Will we utilize these tools to improve education, encourage creativity, and promote critical thinking? Or will we permit them to turn into obstacles that hinder genuine education? The solution lies in finding equilibrium. Allow Generative AI to serve as a source of guidance, not a shortcut. Permit it to augment, rather than replace, the process of exploration. The process of authentic learning is a responsibility we all share, and with wisdom and guidance, we can ensure that Generative AI enhances, rather than detracts from, the educational journey.
The author is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computing, College of Computing and Informatics, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). He may be reached at [email protected]