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Updated: Oct 22, 2023

How will the world of education evolve in the emerging era of ChatGPT and similar AI applications? Fourth Portal is developing a two-day discussion on the challenges and opportunities ahead. And yes, we did ask ChatGPT.

Fourth Portal Gravesend library June 2023

November 2023

Inspired by visitors in Gravesend who homeschool children, Fourth Portal will host a day of open discussion on learning in an era of accessible AI and associated innovations.

Within the Fourth Portal network, conversations on new models of learning have been ongoing for years. By bringing together people new to Fourth Portal and longtime Fourth Portal contributors, we will have a lively and engaging mind-expanding discussion and see what emerges.


A flexible and fluid structure throughout the day with people coming and going will encourage open and diverse conversation.

There is no intention in 'finding a solution' to working with AI learning tools but to allow realistic possibilities to emerge and ask what learning and the education sector may look like in two years.

The day will have an underlying theme of 'what is the purpose of education'.

Free and open to all, including children, educators and engineers, the Fourth Portal will encourage the day to unfold as naturally as possible.

If there is demand, there will be an overflow day on the Friday.



Even the most seasoned computer programmers and futurists have been surprised by the speed of advance of some of the large language models (LLMs) and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations. If the engineers are surprised, what about the rest of society, particularly those who work in the field of education?

North Kent has a large home-schooling community that has been expanding. Will the world of AI learning become more like home learning than school education?

The UK university sector has been in crisis for some time with the pandemic exasperating strains that date back years. In a world where an essay can be written in moments, how do course leaders adapt their approach to learning?

And what is learning? Is learning the same as education?

New opportunities for everyone

There are numerous recent technological innovations in addition to AI that open new possibilities. Photo imaging, voice recognition, robotics, virtual reality, audio and other advances provide avenues for people of all abilities and ages. For those who struggle with reading, writing and/or math there are more capabilities to do things that were impossible only a few years ago.

Learning vis-a-vis education

Is it an education that is required to understand these technologies, or is it the ability to learn enough about their potential? Learning to learn is not a new concept and has been picked up by those tasked in the UK to legislate for this period of change. It is a concept that must become more commonly accepted, along with an acceptance that humans see the same thing in different ways.

Ways of seeing

The makeup and layout of the Fourth Portal are to show these different ways of seeing (John Berger) in a real-world environment without being too prescriptive.

What does ChatGPT say on the subject?

The following are questions to ChatGPT and replies;

Q: How will the world of education evolve in a world of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT response...

In a world with ChatGPT and other similar technologies, the field of education is likely to undergo significant changes. Here are a few ways in which the world of education could evolve:

  1. Personalised Learning: ChatGPT and AI-powered systems can adapt to individual learners' needs and provide personalised learning experiences. They can assess students' strengths and weaknesses, tailor content to their learning style, and offer real-time feedback and guidance. This personalised approach can enhance student engagement and improve learning outcomes.

  2. 24/7 Access to Information: With ChatGPT, students can have access to information and educational resources anytime, anywhere. They can ask questions, seek clarification, and explore various topics beyond the confines of a traditional classroom. This accessibility to knowledge can promote self-directed learning and foster curiosity.

  3. Intelligent Tutoring Systems: ChatGPT can act as intelligent tutors, assisting students in their learning journey. These systems can explain complex concepts, provide additional examples, and offer step-by-step guidance through problem-solving processes. They can adapt their teaching strategies based on individual progress, providing targeted support to help students overcome challenges.

  4. Collaboration and Peer Learning: ChatGPT can facilitate collaborative learning experiences by connecting students from different locations. It can create virtual study groups, facilitate discussions, and promote knowledge sharing among learners. This can foster a sense of community and enable students to learn from diverse perspectives.

  5. Automated Assessment and Feedback: ChatGPT can automate certain aspects of assessment and provide immediate feedback to students. It can grade assignments, evaluate essays, and offer suggestions for improvement. This can save teachers' time, enable faster feedback cycles, and allow students to track their progress effectively.

  6. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Integrating ChatGPT with emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can enhance the educational experience. Students can interact with virtual environments, conduct experiments, and engage in immersive simulations, making learning more engaging and practical.

  7. Ethical Considerations and Digital Literacy: As ChatGPT becomes more prevalent in education, it is crucial to address ethical considerations and promote digital literacy. Students need to understand the capabilities and limitations of AI systems, critical thinking, and information verification to navigate the vast amount of available information responsibly.

It's important to note that while ChatGPT and AI can significantly enhance education, they are not meant to replace human teachers. Educators will continue to play a crucial role in guiding and mentoring students, creating meaningful learning experiences, and fostering social and emotional development.

Q: How can applications like ChatGPT help those in older age groups who did not have particularly good early education return to learning?

ChatGPT response...

Applications like ChatGPT can be beneficial for older adults who want to return to learning, especially if they had limited access to quality education earlier in life. Here's how ChatGPT can assist older age groups in their learning journeys:

  1. Personalized Learning Path: ChatGPT can create personalized learning paths based on the individual's interests, goals, and existing knowledge. It can assess their proficiency level in various subjects and recommend suitable learning materials, courses, and resources. This tailored approach ensures that older learners can focus on areas they need to strengthen while building upon their existing knowledge.

  2. Self-Paced Learning: Older adults may prefer self-paced learning to accommodate their individual schedules and commitments. ChatGPT can provide on-demand access to educational content and materials. Learners can explore topics of interest, ask questions, and receive immediate responses, allowing them to learn at their own pace without feeling rushed.

  3. Remedial Support: If older learners have foundational knowledge gaps, ChatGPT can assist them in addressing those areas. It can provide explanations, examples, and practice exercises to reinforce fundamental concepts. This remedial support can help older adults build a solid foundation before diving into more advanced topics.

  4. Engaging and Interactive Learning: ChatGPT can make the learning process more engaging and interactive for older learners. It can present information in conversational formats, offer multimedia resources, and incorporate gamification elements to enhance motivation and enjoyment. These features can make learning more accessible and appealing, encouraging older adults to continue their educational pursuits.

  5. Mentoring and Guidance: ChatGPT can act as a virtual mentor, offering guidance and support throughout the learning journey. It can provide encouragement, offer study tips, and suggest strategies to overcome challenges. This virtual mentorship can provide a sense of direction and support for older learners who may feel uncertain about returning to education.

  6. Community and Peer Learning: ChatGPT can facilitate connections with other learners, creating a sense of community among older adults who are returning to learning. It can enable virtual study groups, discussion forums, and collaborative projects, fostering peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing. This social aspect can enhance the learning experience and create opportunities for interaction and collaboration.

  7. Continuous Learning and Skill Development: ChatGPT can help older learners develop new skills and stay updated on various subjects. It can recommend relevant courses, suggest learning pathways, and provide resources for continuous learning. This ongoing skill development can empower older adults to remain intellectually active and adapt to changing societal needs.

Overall, ChatGPT and similar applications can provide older adults with accessible, personalised, and supportive learning experiences. These tools can help them overcome past educational gaps and embark on a fulfilling journey of lifelong learning.

Q: What if a person is unable to read and write, are ChatGPT and similar applications able to assist them in learning?

ChatGPT response...

If a person is unable to read and write, ChatGPT and similar text-based applications may not be the most effective tools for learning. These applications heavily rely on text-based communication and may not cater to individuals with literacy challenges. However, there are alternative technologies and approaches that can assist individuals with limited literacy skills:

  1. Voice Assistants and Speech Recognition: Voice-based applications and virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant can be valuable tools for individuals with limited literacy skills. These systems can understand spoken commands and provide spoken responses, allowing users to ask questions, receive information, and engage in basic interactions.

  2. Multimedia and Visual Learning: Utilizing multimedia resources can be beneficial for individuals who struggle with reading and writing. Video tutorials, animations, infographics, and visual aids can convey information and concepts without relying heavily on text. These visual learning materials can be more accessible and easier to understand.

  3. Audio-Based Learning: Audio-based learning resources, such as podcasts, audiobooks, and educational audio programs, can be helpful for individuals with limited reading skills. They can listen to content, lectures, and discussions on various topics, expanding their knowledge and understanding.

  4. Hands-On and Experiential Learning: Practical, hands-on learning experiences can be effective for individuals with limited literacy skills. Engaging in activities, experiments, simulations, and real-world applications of knowledge can help them grasp concepts and acquire skills without relying heavily on reading and writing.

  5. Personalized Instruction: Working with a tutor, mentor, or instructor who understands the learner's literacy challenges can provide personalized support and guidance. These educators can adapt teaching methods, use alternative communication strategies, and employ visual and experiential approaches to facilitate learning.

  6. Literacy Programs: While ChatGPT may not directly assist individuals with limited literacy skills, there are specific literacy programs and initiatives designed to help adults improve their reading and writing abilities. These programs often provide individualized instruction, reading materials, and support to help individuals develop foundational literacy skills.

It's important to note that the availability and effectiveness of these alternative approaches may vary depending on the specific context and resources available. In cases where literacy challenges are significant, it is recommended to seek dedicated literacy programs and support services that are specifically designed to address those needs.

--- END ChatGPT Chat ---

Become involved

We have some fascinating contributors attending to stimulate thought-provoking discussions, ideas and case studies, from homeschooling to rethinking the university model.

If you wish to contribute or be kept updated, get in touch here and we will add you to the subscriber list or email us at with the subject "Education in an era of AI".

Event date and schedule to follow.

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