Diverse Ways HBCU Students Can Benefit from ChatGPT
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Certified VR and STEAMM Educator – My Quest To Teach
Sharing my personal perspectives of ChatGPT as
an educator in public and higher education.
HBCU institutions are in panic focusing on how too
protect their educational curriculums against the
influx of ChatGPT content created by students and
the influx of computer-generated content by AI. The
irony is that many knew this was coming, many people
denied it, many people hid from it, many people are
scared of it and there are many people that still do
not understand AI and its influence in content
Educational institutions from elementary, middle,
high and higher education will be affected. This will
be transformative for Blacks and the growing number
of students of color globally.
The past challenges of lack of exposure to being
a proficient writer, content creator, even reading
and comprehension will be changed. This will scare
many people across the academic spectrum because
ChatGPT has the potential to level the playing fields for
Black, Hispanic, Mexican, Caribbean, and other students
This will not be a case of “maybe,” “probably,”
it will be a solid intellectual influence on how
students will create content that will be used
across academic fields of study and careers that
demand intellectual awareness and savviness. Teachers
must see the potential with this platform to help
Black, Hispanic, and other students of color to be
better in their writing and even when applied correctly
better readers and increasing levels of comprehension.
HBCU institutions can either adapt to the use and
potential abuse of this new tool or they can run
and hide because the potential that many faculty
will not be able to cope and adjust. Technology as
a tool is designed to support and encourage the
development of communication, adaption to
collaboration and cooperation between students.
Having taught for 33 years in elementary, middle and
higher education as a STEM, STEAM and now STEAM+M
educator I want to encourage HBCU institutions not
to demonize and block this tech from being used, but
to use it as a learning tool to build the reading,
comprehension, critical thinking and higher order
thinking skills to drive, inspire, encourage
intellectual development across the spectrum of
academics and into careers.
Here are some strategies that I want to share from my
experiences as a professor at several HBCUs, PWI’s
and even employed with NASA and the Florida Department
of Education for several years teaching technology,
educational technology and cross-curriculum development.
The history of HBCUs has played an important role in
creating a landscape of learning, engagement, building
a vision for career success, community building and
the value for earning undergraduate, graduate, and
post-graduate degrees. HBCUs promote intellectual growth,
social equality, and culture understanding that does not
stay focused on slavery and indentured servitude, but
beyond those areas where Blacks and others of color
and color are successful.
The new ChatGPT models can aid first-generation students,
students that have come from low-income environments, low
performing schools either rural or urban the chance to
learn how to write, read and comprehend, increasing their
understanding of language use and development. The tool
can help students with learning challenges feel more
connected with their classmates on higher levels of learning
and can contribute more when working in teams on projects
that require writing and content development. Challenged
students can gain confidence and recognize their talents
in writing and expression.
The other areas of contribution are where HBCU students have
help in creating letters of enrollment for internships,
scholarship submission letters, cover letters for application
for jobs and other necessary documentation to assist them
to move forward in life. HBCU students in many cases lack the
exposure and intellectual tools to perform these functions
and in many cases, these are not taught in schools, and if they
are, they are either glanced over or used as a footnote
because Black students and other students of color are
unfortunately, not thought of as “smart enough” to learn skills
such as letter writing and content development.
The facts that HBCU schools admit a higher-than-average
population of underserved and first-generation college
students and these students need assistance where they are
lacking the skills and knowledge that was not shared or at the
time was not understood in their middle or high school years.
Tools like ChatGPT is a tool that can build self-esteem,
establish an understanding that even if these skills are lacking
there is a non=judgmental tool that will help students, not
criticize them or ridicule them as sometimes teachers even
in higher education do.
When HBCU student know that they are supported, encouraged, blessed,
shown favor and fairness they are more apt to push themselves harder
to gain knowledge and re-enroll each semester to earn their degrees.
HBCUs must create engaging communication strategies to establish
and build trusting relationships with students, which leads to
higher graduation rates. Providing access to these tools like
ChatGPT is a way to let students know they are supported and
encouraged to use technology to prepare them in career fields they
will be challenged intellectually, but they (students) will not
be on their own.
HBCU students need to understand that digital, intellectual,
creative and innovative thinking run the world. We are in a global
economic society that is run by algorithms, data sets, digital
tools and cyber influences. Web 3, 4, 5 and more are making a
presence in the future. Being able to write, create and build
content are taking on a new meaning. ChatGPT can be a tool that
opens doors, shatters glass ceilings and break down doors of
denial and stereotypes in corporate America that Blacks and
people of color cannot write, do not read and are invisible
when searched for high tech careers.
HBCU students your words are made more powerful that they must
be heard, accepted, recognized and respected because you have the
tool that everyone is using, and it cannot be denied or taken from