ChatGPT harming education and young minds

Hellen Chung, Opinion Editor

As modern society experiments with the powers of technology, the abilities of their creations are becoming increasingly alarming. The field of education is experiencing these hardships firsthand with the release of a chatbot, ChatGPT. 

ChatGPT is software designed with artificial intelligence in order to generate responses to a specific prompt given through the user’s chat box. Some students have begun utilizing the software for completing homework, such as English writing assignments and Computer Science code. ChatGPT has caught the eyes of teachers, especially those in the English department, and raises concerns for the development of young minds.

“The students who are using ChatGPT are skipping the actual thought process that we’re trying to develop and build,” English teacher Henry Level said. “Critical thinking is something you will need to have in the real world, especially if you ever want to take the machines down when they come for you.” 

With technological advances on the rise, the world is progressively resembling the dystopia of many books in the English curriculum. The importance of individual and abstract thought is also stressed in the world, where many people are susceptible to manipulation.

“Looking at the way people have responded to the news and paid attention to current events, we really need critical thinkers for the future of our country,” English teacher Jennifer Dragavon said.  

The use of ChatGPT is predominantly justified by its ability to do assignments for students; however, according to the teachers, the principle of the work is more imperative than the completion of them. 

“Even though you’re not going to run around the world writing thesis statements and literary analyses, the critical thinking that you’re doing builds the muscle that I hope we’re not shortchanging our students on,” Level said. 

While students are more determined and concerned about their performance in school, Level thinks the rise of ChatGPT use deprives students of the chance to perform thorough analysis and thinking. Both Level and Dragavon believe that it leaves maturing young adults without the ability to objectively reason about the matters of the adult world. 

“I think that harms a person far more long-term than whatever their grade may end up being,” Dragavon said.  

Students have claimed that using ChatGPT for their school work saves them time while also producing satisfactory content. Unfortunately, teachers say otherwise. 

“I’ve put essay prompts into ChatGPT and what it spits out isn’t great; it would receive partial credit,” Level said.

Regardless of ChatGPT’s mediocre responses, teachers also know their students as people and writers. Students have writing habits, weaknesses, and strengths which can reveal whether or not the student wrote their own paper. 

“I think you can tell in one way because it’s a significant change from the students’ previous writing styles. All of a sudden, a student sounds completely different and has no conventional errors,” Dragavon said.

Many English classes prioritize analyzing text as a collective. Students have the opportunity to hear the thoughts of their peers and teacher, who likely have a better understanding of the literature than a chatbot. 

“ChatGPT also doesn’t know what we’ve been talking about in class. It can be pretty off track and not fit in with the actual work, discussion, and conversation from class,” Dragavon said. 

Moreover, as an artificial intelligence-based software, ChatGPT writes with impartial language, meaning it does not express a particular opinion in its writing. This may be considered a shortcoming and or indicator of ChatGPT use. 

As automation becomes more conventional, Gen Z or iGen is more susceptible to having others or other things do their work for them. 

“I feel bad for you guys because you’re the generation that has all the easy buttons right in front of you all the time,” Level said. “I think you guys end up far more tested, which also means you’re far more likely to drift away from things you ought to be doing and things that you shouldn’t be doing.”

However, it is also not the fault of creators who are simply experimenting with the limitations of the world.

“If you make a medical discovery and somebody uses it in a negative way that you didn’t anticipate, I wouldn’t fault them for that. They were just seeing what science can produce,” Dragavon said. 

Because of the surreal advances in science, the world is becoming strikingly similar to the concepts of dystopias and anti-utopias that we typically only see in books and movies. ChatGPT is just one sign of it. 

Teacher Annotations

Prompt: Explore the impact of technology on our daily lives and relationships

–Student (Sophie)–

The vast presence of technology looms closer and closer to the heart of society with every passing day. It has consumed and wormed its way into our very lives, from conditioning the minds of children into assigning their value to an arbitrary online number, to overtaking the workforces of entire economic sectors. We are the most dependent country in the world on smartphones, the Internet, machine learning, power grids, and so much more. 85% of adults in America own a cell phone, and 65% of workplaces depend on a connection to the Internet. Should technology suddenly disappear, society will inevitably collapse.  


The proliferation of smartphones, social media, and other digital devices has made it easier than ever to stay connected with people around the world, but has also made us more reliant on technology for social interaction. As a result, we may spend more time engaging with screens than with real people, leading to a sense of isolation and disconnection. At the same time, technology has also enabled new forms of collaboration and productivity, allowing us to work remotely and access information from anywhere. However, it’s important to recognize that technology is a tool that can enhance or detract from our lives, depending on how we use it.