5 Strategies for Success in Bringing AI to Schools
Artificial intelligence (AI) is having a major impact on education. Whether you are excited or concerned about AI, as a school leader you have a responsibility to ensure AI is approached thoughtfully and appropriately in your school community and informs your vision for teaching and learning. This guide will help you quickly gain the background you need as a learning leader in an AI-infused world.
What Is AI?
AI is a branch of computer science aimed at creating machines that mimic human intelligence. It’s used to perform tasks that usually require human thought, like understanding language, recognizing patterns, and making decisions. Types of AI range from systems doing specific tasks, like recommending movies or autocorrecting typing errors, to more advanced forms that can generate new content or predict future outcomes. AI is also behind self-driving cars and digital assistants, like Siri or Alexa. It’s a rapidly evolving technology that’s already a part of our everyday lives.
Guiding Questions for School Leaders
While a lot of exploration is still needed around AI in education, three overarching questions should be front and center for every school leader when it comes to determining the use of AI:
- How can schools use AI to support student learning?
- How can schools prepare students with the skills to thrive in an AI infused world?
- How can AI support educators, both with teaching and by freeing up time to allow them to focus on students?
Start this transition by engaging educators first. Once they’re familiar with the technology, they can lead AI explorations appropriately with students. Remember that many generative AI tools are trained on datasets that are not tailored toward children.
5 Strategies for Success
Schools that have been successful in bringing AI into their schools in purposeful ways have some common strategies. The following five strategies are critical for a successful AI culture in your school.
- Encourage Exploration: It’s critical that educators have a chance to experience the capabilities of AI tools. Giving them freedom to explore AI tools empowers them to gain first-hand experience using the technology and to think about how to integrate it into their work. Doing this will foster a culture where teachers feel safe to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from mistakes.
- Provide Training: Educators need training to feel comfortable using new technology. Offering workshops or professional development courses on AI (along with follow-up activities and discussions or opportunities to collaborate with colleagues) can help teachers understand its capabilities and limitations.
- Spotlight Success: Spotlight examples of AI that are already being used in your school. Encourage educators to share what they’re trying and whether it’s working or not. Encourage teachers to work together in their exploration of AI. Collaboration allows them to learn from each other’s experiences and builds a supportive community for this new journey.
- Host Conversations: Host conversations with educators about how schools can prepare students with the skills to thrive in an AI-infused world. Some topics of conversations are ethical AI use and digital citizenship, promoting computational thinking, collaboration and interdisciplinary learning, and integrating AI into the curriculum.
- Set the Right Conditions: When it comes to using AI or any other technologies in your school, it is important to establish conditions for effective use. Clearly outline the school’s policies on data privacy and ethical considerations when using AI, including those related to plagiarism and proper use of secondary sources. Teachers should know what’s expected of them and the boundaries within which they should operate.
Use the full guide, Bringing AI to School: Tips for School Leaders, complete with frequently asked questions as you experiment with using AI in your schools and classrooms.