What does ChatGPT mean for the future of Christian education?

By May 12, 2023

International (MNN) – Artificial intelligence is changing education as we know it. Teachers can use ChatGPT to quickly make a class curriculum, but students can also use the AI to generate an essay, art, music, and more.

When ChatGPT released November 2022, it was first met with dismay and criticism. Now it’s being embraced in many schools. One US survey reports that over half of teachers and one-third of students have used ChatGPT. The overwhelming majority of respondents said the tool made a positive impact.

TeachBeyond’s international Christian schools are already having to adapt to this new technology.

President David Durance says,

“Teachers are having to completely rethink how they give assignments.”

OpenAI, the company that produced ChatGPT, compiled considerations for educators to discuss the potential opportunities and also risks of the technology. Common questions are whether ChatGPT will increase plagiarism or inhibit students from learning to think critically and creatively.

Students need to be able to complete their work without ChatGPT. However, TeachBeyond sees a future where using AI could be a valuable, even necessary, skill for students. They are not alone. Other voices in education call for ChatGPT to be included in the classroom.

“We will have failed them in education, if they come out of their degree, and don’t know how to use this,” says Durance.

As technology changes, career opportunities and their required skills also change. How can Christian schools prepare their students?

“I think the future actually is trying to understand this,” says Durance, “teaching, like all technology, our students how this can be something that could be used for good and for bad.”

TeachBeyond’s staff is beginning to discuss how to use AI to glorify God and share the Gospel.

“Rather than running from it, we want to have a voice in this,” says Durance. “How do we as believers feel like this should be used responsibly, and to be used creatively, and be used appropriately, and teach our kids to think independently and creative thinking that we so value, that we know leads us very often to understand your heavenly Father more?”


Photo by Sanket Mishra from Pexels.

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