Strike action and ChatGPT

Teenaa koutou,
Dear Parents / Caregivers,

It’s an unusual combination of items to share with you today: Strike action and Chat GPT.

Strike Action

While we are aware of the news items covering strike action, we are yet to receive official notice. We will confirm this as soon as we have been informed officially.

We may be informed by the PPTA by as late at the 13th March if their members will strike on Thursday the 16th March. This delayed official announcement of strike action enables any change in the negotiation situation to occur right up to the last moment. If the strike action does proceed, CHS will be closed for instruction. We recognise the impact that CHS closing can have on our community and we will provide a supervised study room for those students need to attend school for the day. Please contact the Student Office to confirm that your child will be at school on this day. These students will be supervised by our teaching staff who are not members of PPTA. If you need to make use of this your child must sign in at the Student Office at the start of the day and then head to the Library. Buses will not be running and the day will follow normal timings for breaks etc.

Chat GPT

You are likely to have heard of this tool already, but for those of you that haven’t here is a bit of an introduction. I used ChatGPT to explain itself to a 12 year-old and here is what it came up with.

ChatGPT is a computer program that has been trained to understand and respond to human language, kind of like how you talk to your friends or family. It uses a lot of information that has been gathered from books, websites, and other sources to understand what people are saying and respond in a way that makes sense.

People can talk to ChatGPT by typing on a computer or phone, and ChatGPT will talk back to them. It's kind of like having a conversation with a really smart robot that knows a lot of things!

This opens up a lot of questions for us to address in education, as students can now use a tool to submit cogent and high-quality work that is not their own. We intend to address this by using a range of indicators to verify the authenticity of the student work, such as the past performance and contribution in class or through changing the nature of the question/assessment. It is not acceptable to use ChatGPT to produce work that you then submit as your own work. However, like is often the case with new technology, there is also the opportunity to explore its benefits as a tool for learning. At home you could ChatGPT as a tool that can supplement learning in many ways, such as providing an introductory level of understanding of a topic, producing basic research results on themes or ideas or producing answers your questions whenever you need it, like an online tutor. Although we do need to use this with caution and verify the output as it is just a summary of information is collates from across the internet and we all know how variable that information can be.

Finally, to finish I want to say thank you to the CHS community for the funds we raised to support Wairoa College. Through the non-uniform day and other donations we received more than $3000 which will go directly to the school to use with members of their community who have lost everything.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Kia pai oo raa whakataa.

Greg Thornton
Cambridge High School