Classroom Technology

Teens Will Use AI for Schoolwork, But Most Think It’s Cheating, Survey Says

By Lauraine Langreo — July 28, 2023 2 min read
Student and computer devices using AI for schoolwork
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

More than 4 in 10 teens are likely to use artificial intelligence to do their schoolwork instead of doing it themselves this coming school year, according to a new survey.

But 60 percent of teens consider using AI for schoolwork as cheating, according to the nationally representative survey of 1,006 13- to 17-year-olds conducted by research firm Big Village in July for the nonprofit Junior Achievement.

The survey findings come as the emergence of ChatGPT—an AI-powered chatbot that can respond instantly to seemingly any prompt—has put discussions about how teachers and students should use it front and center in schools across the country.

Nearly half of educators who responded to an EdWeek Research Center survey conducted this spring said AI would have a negative or very negative impact on teaching and learning in the next five years. Twenty-seven percent said AI’s impact would be positive or very positive.

And in ChatGPT’s early days, some districts—including New York City schools—took a hardline approach and banned the technology in classrooms, because of concerns about cheating and data privacy. (The New York City district has since removed the ban on ChatGPT and is now encouraging students and teachers to learn how to use it effectively.)

When asked why they would use AI to do their schoolwork for them, the top response in the Junior Achievement survey was that AI is just another tool (62 percent). Others said they didn’t like school or schoolwork (24 percent), that they wouldn’t need to know the information because of AI (22 percent), that everybody else is doing it (22 percent), that they would do poorly otherwise (17 percent), and that it’s not important to know the subjects for which they use AI (8 percent).

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

“The misuse of AI to do all schoolwork not only raises ethical concerns, but this behavior could also shortchange many students’ educations since they may not be learning the subjects they are using AI for,” Jack E. Kosakowski, the president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA, said in a written statement. “Given the growing demand for marketable skills, this could become very problematic.”

Experts say educators should teach students how to use it as a tool and an assistant in their learning, instead of using it as a replacement for learning.

But given that 44 percent of teens say they’re likely to use AI to do their schoolwork for them, and 48 percent said they know friends and classmates who have used AI this way, schools have a lot of work cut out for them.

So how can educators incorporate AI use into their lessons, guard against cheating, and teach students to use it as a helper? Here are some examples that experts have shared with Education Week:

  • Create assignments that are impossible to complete with these tools, such as assignments about very recent news events or about the local community.
  • Allow students to complete assignments in class.
  • Ask students to give an oral presentation.
  • Create project-based learning assignments.
  • Allow the use of ChatGPT and other AI tools but require students to acknowledge and document how they used them. For example, students could use ChatGPT to get feedback on their essay drafts and explain which of the tool’s suggestions they agreed with and which ones they didn’t. This approach allows students to learn how to use the tool as a partner, instead of having it do all the work for them.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Personalized Learning Webinar
Expanding Teacher Impact: Scaling Personalized Learning Across Districts
Explore personalized learning strategies that transform classrooms and empower educators.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
How to Leverage Virtual Learning: Preparing Students for the Future
Hear from an expert panel how best to leverage virtual learning in your district to achieve your goals.
Content provided by Class
English-Language Learners Webinar AI and English Learners: What Teachers Need to Know
Explore the role of AI in multilingual education and its potential limitations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology Monitoring or Blocking What Students Do Online Poses All Kinds of Problems
Schools need to do a better job examining the downsides of monitoring students online behavior and blocking internet content, says a report.
4 min read
Photo of high school student in classroom using tablet computers.
E+ / Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion How ‘Innovative’ Ed Tech Actually Reinforces Convention
Alfie Kohn warns that tech executives and other leaders aren't asking the important questions about teaching and learning.
Alfie Kohn
4 min read
Illustration of school children being helped out of a black box by their teacher. Inside the black box is their classroom full of education technology.
Robert Neubecker for Education Week
Classroom Technology Opinion Educators, Not Companies, Should Shape Educational AI
Educators, students, and families should shape learning-focused AI's values and capabilities, says a letter to the editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Classroom Technology Schools Want Guidance on AI Use in Classrooms. States Are Not Providing It, Report Says
The lack of guidance is coming at a time when the use of AI is expanding in education.
2 min read
Photo of student using laptop.
iStock / Getty Images Plus