Introducing Stretch, a new Chatbot created exclusively for Schools.

Introducing Stretch, a New Chatbot Created Exclusively for Schools | Future Education Magazine


Prepare yourself for “Stretch,” a new chatbot created exclusively for K–12 teachers. The International Society for Technology in Education and ASCD’s merging to form a new megaprofessional development organisation gave birth to the chatbot. Get ready for “Stretch,” a new chatbot being designed specifically for K-12 educators. The new chatbot is the brainchild of the newly combined professional development mega organization.

The nonprofit company collaborated with Google and Open AI (creators of ChatGPT) to develop its own new chatbot, which was inspired by the same kinds of massive language models that underpin ChatGPT, persona bots, and other artificial intelligence applications. The Stretch prototype is not yet accessible to the general public and is presently being tested by a small number of individuals.

How it is different?

Stretch will, however, differ significantly from most other chatbots in one important way. Stretch is only learning from resources that have been created or approved by ISTE and ASCD, as opposed to ingesting knowledge from the entire internet to train its artificially intelligent brain. In the future, the platform might incorporate data from additional education and tech companies that ISTE partners with.

Stretch will only be able to use research, papers, and other information that ISTE and any other participating organisations have already looked at if it is asked a question regarding, instance, approaches to social-and-emotional learning.

That will enable Stretch to avoid the pitfalls of ChatGPT and similar chatbots, which often spit out inaccurate or outdated information, said Richard Culatta, ISTE’s CEO, during a roundtable discussion and demonstration with reporters here. (For instance, a new chatbot mimicking President Barack Obama inaccurately parroted his administration’s critics as his own views when talking to a reporter about the president’s record on K-12 education).

Improved Reliability

What’s more, unlike other large language models, Stretch cites its sources, giving it another layer of accountability, Culatta said. And if it’s asked about something outside of its areas of expertise, it will tell users it can’t help with the question, instead of making something up, a characteristic of most chatbots that pull information from the entire internet.

“In terms of the reliability of the information, it’s rock solid,” said Joseph South, the chief innovation officer of ISTE, referring to one of Stretch’s main goals. ISTE is still working on Stretch and aspires to soon make it available to more educators. Stretch could eventually assist educators with their research and professional growth. One of the earliest so-called “walled garden AI” technologies, Stretch was developed to serve a particular community in the field of education or any other, according to Culatta.

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