Banish the bots

Position Statement: LT should be limiting students’ access to websites such as Photomath, SparkNotes, and ChatGPT in order to continue to stimulate student growth and individual skill-building.

Staff Editorial, Reporters

Forgot to read a chapter of the book your teacher assigned? Decided to skip the entire book? SparkNotes is there for you. Have you decided to rely on Photomath to get you through algebra? No harm, no foul. If only that were the case. 

Almost every high school student has utilized an online resource at some point to help them in school. While many believe that students should be allowed to use said resources, this defeats the purpose of the learning environment that is set up to prepare students for adulthood. 

Many take the ability to think critically and analytically for granted. As an adult, one is constantly faced with decision-making. From budgeting to a new project at work, people are met with situations that require the ability to analyze their surroundings and decide the best course of action. The ability to make these decisions showcases maturity and wisdom, traits that get people very far in their careers. 

Students are not tasked with reading and annotating books simply because it’s important as an adult to understand the depth of every last metaphor and motif. These skills teach students how to view the world through different lenses and see obstacles through diversified perspectives. This capacity to reflect on varying experiences and viewpoints helps one handle conflict, build empathy, and improve insight on difficult scenarios as an adult. This skill can not be taught through SparkNotes. 

Students are not taught calculus and trigonometry for the sole purpose of memorizing equations that will never be needed in real life. Learning how to analyze situations with a clear right and wrong answer and work through them is incredibly important to understand how to do. Using Photomath to memorize each step without thinking through the question will not develop these capabilities. 

The worst offender of these apps has just surfaced. ChatGPT is a new AI that communicates back and forth with the user. It is able to respond to follow-up questions, admit and correct mistakes, reject inappropriate requests, and can challenge incorrect ideas according to This bot, while a revolutionary technology, also opens up an opportunity for students to create outstanding work without any of the required effort. ChatGPT has, in some cases, been able to write completed essays. If this bot were to be allowed in school, we would be setting a dangerous precedent for our student body by allowing them to use AI to imitate their own creative thinking.

At the end of the day, technology will always be advancing. Students, when provided with increasingly advanced technology, will continue to find more advanced ways to cheat. From SparkNotes to Photomath to ChatGPT, the world is always evolving. Schools can and should be taking measures to ensure that students recognize the value in their own work. We can not let an entire generation grow up in a system that allows them to skip the most essential skill-building needed–the ability to think analytically, creatively, critically, and most importantly, independently. 

Staff Votes: 15-10