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AI in Schools: Helpful or Harmful?

AI is not going away any time soon. You may wonder if/how it is being used at Marist. An MHS News poll answers that question.
AI apps like these are becoming increasingly popular in schools

In  the  last  four  years,  AI has  become  more  popular  with  students, but is it really  providing  the  academic  help  they  crave  or  potentially  making  things  more  complicated? 

The  term  “artificial  intelligence,”  was  created  by  John  McCarthy,  American computer  scientist  and  founder  of  disciplined AI. However,  the  first  successful  program  was  created  by  Christopher Strachey,  late  director  of  the Programming Research Group at  the  University of  Oxford. Strachey  worked  with  the  Feranti Mark I,  a  computer created  by  a  United  Kingdom electrical  and  equipment  firm  in  Manchester, England. He  made  a  checkers  program  as  a  test. By  summer  of  1952,  the  program  could  play  the  game  at  a  moderate  speed,  proving  to  be  effective  and  eventually  made  a  path  for  future  development  and  growth.

Seventy years  later,  AI  demonstrates  its  capabilities  by  giving  answers,  generating  images,  or  writing  papers. But  what  effects  has  this  amazing  change  had? 

Let’s  examine  the  current  statistics. According  to  the  website,,  97%  of  people  using  computerized  devices  use  AI  on  a  daily  basis. Here  in  North  America,  it  has  gained  about  $51  billion,  making  up  58.6%  of  the  entire  global  market. This  alone  proves  AI is  becoming  more  influential  than  ever. 

Now,  let’s  discuss  the  school  system. AI was  popularized  in  2011  and  took  the  internet  by  storm. It  began  dominating  the  school  system  in  2020  when  the  sudden  influx  of  COVID-19  suddenly  threw  students  into  online  schooling. Once  the  virus  subsided  slowly,  schools  opened  with  new  intentions.

Returning  to  school,  interest  in  apps  like  brainly  and  photomath came  to  the  forefront. However,  two  apps  were  not  going  to  be  enough. Around  2021  and  2022,   the  use  of  AI  in  schools  skyrocketed  dramatically  as  more  apps  and  websites  were  being  advertised  by  social  media  platforms  such  as Tiktok, Instagram,  and  more. 

MHS Media conducted  an  informal  poll  of  123  students  to  gather  statistics  on  the  usage  of  AI  at  Marist,  and  these  were  the  results. Out  of  all  four  years,  freshmen  use  AI the  most (40.4%).

 Among  all  year  levels,  26.4%  use ChatGPT,  the  most popular  and  preferred  source,  21.3%  use  AI for  English regularly,  and  12.3%  use  their  Snapchat  AI frequently.

Also,  20.2%  of students surveyed say  they  don’t  use  it  for  any  subject. At this  time,  52.3%  of  seniors  report  they  have  not  used  any AI this semester. 

The survey  concluded  with  multiple  thoughts  and  opinions. The  most  common  answer  for  positives  was  that  it  “helps  get  work  done,”  and  for  negatives  was  that  it  “isn’t  as  accurate  as  it  seems.”  Overall  views  were  divided  between  good  and  bad,  but  some  were  completely  against  it.

The differences  show  how  students  themselves  perceive AI. If  these  are  the  results,  then  what  are  the  main  reasons  students  are using  it? 

“Kids  feel  like  they  don’t  have  enough  time  to  work  on  things,  or  they’ve  procrastinated  and  are  up  against  a  clock  for  an  assignment  that’s  due,”  said Principal Mrs. Dunneback. “They  put  pressure  on  themselves  about  getting  it  done,  and  sometimes  they  do  it  the  wrong  way,  which  is  stealing  it  from  some  place  else.” 

 “Some  students  may  need  a  bit  of  help,” said Computer Science Teacher Mrs. Fey. “They  use  it  because  it  will  tell  them  how  to  do  stuff,  and  they  will  learn  from  it.” 

Both  expressed  that  AI has its  advantages  and  disadvantages,  but  it  mainly  comes  from  a  genuine  need  for  help,  or  just  getting  the  answers  and  submitting  without  effort.

“I think  there  is  a  lot  of  merit  to  having  an iPad,  a  phone,  and  a  computer. But,  there  are  still  a  lot  of  other  things  that  you  can  do  without  them,”  said  Dunneback. 

“It’s  a  good  learning  experience,  but  there  are  students  who  just  want  to  use  it  because  they  want  to  get  things  done  and  not  learn  anything. AI  doesn’t  benefit  them  that  way,”  said  Fey.

So,  is  AI actually  helpful  or  harmful? 

The  answer  is  unclear. There  are  benefits  such  as  quick  responses,  multiple  apps  or  websites  to  choose  from,  and  even  improvement. But,  there  are  also  drawbacks  such  as  plagiarism,  overuse,  and  creating  a  lack  of  effort. There  are  many  things  to  take  into  account,  but  it  all  depends  on  where  you  stand  on  the  matter.

Whether it’s  being  used  for  good  or  bad,  there  is  no  denying  that  AI  has  become  a  staple  in  schools. AI can  be  both  useful  and  non-beneficial. What  really  matters  is  how  it’s  used  and  if  it  can  really  make  an  impact  on  students  or  affect  their  academic  performance  as  a  whole. 


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Trinity Eadie
Trinity Eadie, Journalism and Media 2 Writer
My name is Trinity Eadie, and I’m a junior here at Marist. I was in journalism 1 and have leveled up to journalism 2, so I’ve been writing for a while. I like to read books in all genres. I like to make creative writing stories for fun. I enjoy watching horror movies and 90’s sitcoms. I like listening to music by the band Her’s, and my dream is to write a book.
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