DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A new survey by Junior Achievement projects 44 percent of students will likely use artificial intelligence to do their homework this year.

Additionally, 60 percent of teens consider using it to cheat, and nearly half said they know someone who uses AI to do their schoolwork.

“I’ve been teaching for 32 years, and every time there’s a development of new technology, I think it’s human nature that students will have a natural tendency to want to find shortcuts,” Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, said.

“We saw that with the advent of Google and how Google searches could shortcut the research process. We’ve it with cell phone usage in schools. It’s not surprising to see it with tools like ChatGPT. I think it’s up to us as educators to get ahead of this and to make sure that we have clearly established guardrails in place so that students can use this as a tool for learning in a productive way rather than as a tool for cheating.”

According to DiMauro, educators have mixed feelings about the use of AI in the classroom.

“Just like any change in education, people will be all across the board in terms of how they feel about it,” he said. “There are some who feel very threatened by this change, and others who are embracing it and using this as an opportunity to change the dynamic for teaching and learning in the classroom.”

DiMauro said he believes AI may someday be used as a mainstream educating tool.

“It’s not surprising that students may be a little ahead of the curve in some cases because students have a tendency to naturally adapt to whatever new technology is out there, and sometimes it takes us a little bit longer to adapt, but I think, with time, you’re going to see more and more teachers with those guardrails in place, using this as a positive tool for learning, and instead of students losing content, or losing learning opportunities, they’re actually going to learn more,” DiMauro said.

“There will never be any substitute for a caring, qualified, committed educator in the classroom providing that support for every single student. Artificial intelligence can supplant teaching; it will never replace the role of a teacher.”

According to DiMauro, some teachers are advocating for AI technology tools that allow a more individualized instruction with students to provide one-on-one assistance, support and intervention for those in need of extra help. Additionally, it can be used as a tool for feedback.

“I know over the years as a high school social studies teacher carrying piles and piles of essays home with me on the weekends to grade, and then it might take a week or longer before students get those grades back and get that feedback,” DiMauro said.

“Now, with these tools, we can provide much more real-time feedback for students. So, it has the potential to help students and certainly to make teachers’ lives better and use their time more efficiently, but what we really need is time for professional development and training to do this right.”