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Faculty in Focus

How do we help our students use AI as a tool while thinking and writing independently?

Danny Kane

At St. Benedict’s, we have a great team learning how to use AI and what its strengths and limitations are. As we learn more, we can begin to adapt.  

I’ve been adapting assignments to help students think. AI is good at explaining stories, but (so far) terrible at pulling accurate quotes. I’ve been asking more questions that require students to defend their opinions using textual evidence, which forces students to think deeply and make connections to the text. AI has pressured me into becoming a better teacher.

Daniel Kane ’03, Language Department Chairperson, Latin Teacher, Middle Division


Char-Lotte Searcy

AI can indeed be a valuable tool for students at St. Benedict’s, assisting in gathering information, analyzing data and even generating ideas. However, teachers must ensure and insist that students use AI ONLY as a tool to enhance their own thinking and writing; they cannot and must not rely on it completely. Hence the dilemma.

My goal as an educator is to encourage, enrich and empower students to be free thinkers and writers and perhaps use AI as a tool while maintaining their intellectual independence whereas remaining autonomous and intellectually engaged. By emphasizing critical thinking, independent research and creativity, I can ensure that students harness AI capabilities effectively.

Char-Lotte Searcy, English and Humanities Teacher, Girls Prep Division 


Brian Delaney '02

I look forward to using Chat GPT as a learning tool in the classroom, and especially using it for one of its limitations, its inaccuracy. Teaching Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I asked the class to write an analytical argument about Hamlet’s evolving view of life and death. I also asked Chat GPT. Chat GPT used a quote to support its argument. There was only one problem: the quote was from Macbeth, not Hamlet. What a teaching moment this proved to be. I look forward to using Chat GPT for activities like this in the classroom, while continuing to learn more about AI through research, professional development opportunities and brainstorming. 

Brian Delaney ’02, English Department Chair, English Teacher, Boys Prep Division

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