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The Great AI Bake Off

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Chris Goodall

Head of Digital Education, Bourne Education Trust.

AI in the classroom - will AI make us more lazy?

I was recently asked this by a student - "Do you think AI will make people lazier?"

I view the use of AI in education as akin to baking a cake. Most expert bakers know how to make a sponge, but the skill that sets them apart is their ability to create a “Showstopper” using flavour, fillings, icing, and decoration.

Similarly, as an experienced teacher, creating the basic building blocks of good teaching comes fairly naturally to me, such as lesson planning, assessment, feedback, and so on. However, the aspect of teaching that excites me and drew me into the profession is what makes a lesson go from good to outstanding. It's the value of my creativity, relationships, personalisation, energy, warmth - all the human touches that AI cannot provide.

In my school, after training staff on ChatGPT, departments saved an average of three hours a week in the first week. When presenting this to school leaders, one of them reflected on this, "I'm curious about how staff will use the extra time they get from using an AI assistant."

For me, AI has freed up time from a relentless workload so that I can add the human flourishes that benefit both my students and me. As a result, I feel more motivated.

However, the real answer to this question is a human one. AI is merely a tool, like a hammer - it can be used to build or to smash. It's the person who wields the tool who decides.

So, do I think that AI will make people lazier?

Creative people will use it to be more creative.

Workaholics will use it to do more work.

Productive people will use it to be more productive.

Lazy people will use it to be lazier.

With AI, we can make a “Showstopper” or a basic sponge—the choice is ours.

Key Learning