Tempering New Technology

Middle School and Upper School heads deal with technological advancement


Photo: Rian Sinha

Chat GPT writes an essay about Chat GPT

Before winter break, you had to write essays by hand. Now, you have Chat GPT: a robot which writes essays for you after you give it a topic and possibly a writing style.

“To Rian me, It’s a thing that exists out there,” Director of Upper School Joel Sohn said about Chat GPT. “How do we approach it and how do we talk about it so that it doesn’t become a problem?”

 Sohn sees Chat GPT as something like a graphing calculator.

“Kids still need to know the basic math to use the graphing,” Sohn said.

While waiting to see if Chat GPT will become a problem or not Sohn is talking to English and History teachers to figure out how to approach it, and how to deal with a student using Chat GPT to cheat.

“They tend to follow the same structure every time and they also tend to lack voice,” English teacher Kim Gonzales said about Chat GPT essays. 

Gonzales, while trying to keep an open mind, is preparing to talk to her students about tech like this. 

“It’s important to have a conversation with students about what’s out there and why you might want to use it, and why you shouldn’t,” Gonzales said. 

Staying open-minded seems to be the common approach.

“Anytime something is brand new, we always have to see how people use it and then draw parameters,” middle school head Susie Wu said about Chat GPT.

While Chat GPT could grow into a problem for middle school as well, Wu is more focused on monitoring apple watches.

“Apple watches have been on my radar, though they haven’t really been a huge problem so far,” Wu said.

UPrep seventh grader Cole Waterman doesn’t think that Apple watches should have as strict a policy as phones. 

“You can’t play games. It’s more of a communication,” Uprep student Cole Waterman said. For now, Wu thinks she should wait and see.

“I always look to see how our students are using the devices during the school day and whether or not it’s somehow interfering or distracting,” Wu said.