ChatGPT ban in Australia’s public schools likely to be overturned – The Guardian

Government reveals a draft framework has been formulated for how ChatGPT rollout will work in schools
The ban on public school students using artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT may be reversed next year, the federal education minister says, but students will probably face changes in how they are tested and graded.
On Sunday, federal education minister Jason Clare said state and territory ministers have agreed on a draft framework for teachers on how the technology should be used in schools.
It has not yet been publicly released ahead of consultation with schools and teachers, but recommends an overhaul of assessments to prevent students using such tools to “bluff the system”, Clare said.
ChatGPT, which generates text on any subject in response to a prompt or query, has concerned many teachers given the potential for plagiarism, cheating and negative impacts on student learning.
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The technology is currently banned in most public school classrooms, but some private schools are already teaching students how to use it appropriately. Clare warned public school students could be left behind.
“This is the sort of thing that students are going to need to learn how to use properly,” Clare told Sky News. “You can’t just put it away and assume that students won’t use it. But at the same time, I want to make sure that students are getting the marks they deserve, and can’t use it to cheat.”
Toby Walsh, chief scientist at the University of New South Wales’ AI Institute, welcomed the move to reverse the knee-jerk reaction” ban that could have disadvantaged students.
“[The ban] ignored the reality of the situation, which is these tools are going to be a very useful part of our lives,” Walsh said.
Walsh said if used appropriately, the technology could transform education standards.
“Just as we’ve embraced calculators, we need to work out how to embrace this technology,” Walsh said.
Clare said the draft framework would deal with privacy concerns.
“We’ve developed a draft framework about how this could be rolled out in schools next year and we’ll put that out the next couple of weeks to get feedback from teachers and principals and parents and students,” Clare said.
“I also want to make sure that privacy is protected. The last thing we want is our children on ChatGPT putting things in and then in the afternoon, they get an ad on TikTok or on snapchat based on the information they put in.”
Amber Flohm, the senior vice president of the NSW Teachers Federation, said any use of ChatGPT in the classroom would need to be backed by evidence that it was in the best interests of teachers and students.
“We need to have genuine discussions about the legal and ethical risks, challenges and potential impacts of this emerging technology,” Flohm said. “Any costs associated with using AI in classrooms must be borne by the government, not schools, to ensure access and equity for all our students.”
Earlier this year, the NSW Department of Education announced the ban would remain in place while it reviewed how to “safely and appropriately” use emerging technology in the classroom.
Megan Kelly, a senior official with the department cited “a lack of reliable safeguards preventing these tools exposing students to potentially explicit and harmful content”.
Australian universities have also changed the way they run exams and other assessments amid fears students were using emerging artificial intelligence software to write essays. This includes a greater use of pen-and-paper exams.
Clare indicated similar changes may need to occur in government schools once the ban on ChatGTP is lifted.
“One of the things that this framework says is ‘we might need to change the way in which we examine [or] assess students so that we make sure that we’re measuring what students are learning and they can’t use this to sort of bluff the system,” Clare said.