6 Things to Consider When Integrating AI Tools in the Classroom

Group of students using AI in the classroom to learn new technology with teacher during lesson in the classroom

While simple forms of artificial intelligence (AI) have been around for years, recent developments in generative AI platforms such as OpenAI have taken this technology from the shadows and placed it squarely in the classroom. Unlike other forms of traditional AI which rely on taking in large data sets to create and act on predictions, generative AI is capable of creating new content based on what the algorithm has learned from the old content. 

For teachers in the classroom, this may mean many things. This technology could be used by students to skirt the rules and cheat on assignments, however, it can also be a powerful tool that allows teachers to differentiate with ease and gives students new avenues to explore complex information and concepts. So, where does AI fit within the classroom and what should school districts, administrators, and teachers consider before diving in with AI in education?  

Where does AI fit in within the classroom?

There are a wide variety of both positive and negative opinions surrounding AI in education. One of the biggest fears that many teachers have is that students will use AI in the classroom to generate writing task responses or to do the thinking for the students. In other words, these teachers see AI as a way for students to cheat on their classwork. In fact, many people are highly skeptical about using AI in the classroom at all. 

However, there are many applications for AI beyond students using it to cheat on their schoolwork. For example, AI in the classroom can be highly beneficial when designing leveled coursework and differentiating readings or other content. A task that would ordinarily take hours can be completed in seconds. Freeing up a teacher’s time and enabling them to focus on other tasks such as connecting with students. 

In addition to using AI for education content creation, it also can be used to generate unique and adaptive assessments and gamified learning experiences. One of the challenges of developing real-world assessments is that in the real world often there are many different outcomes and options available to choose from and an infinite number of combinations of outcomes based on the choices that we make. Using AI to generate assessment items or to gamify learning allows educators to give students a real-world experience while targeting student growth needs.     

6 things that educators need to consider when choosing AI tools

As with any new technology or software, it is important to consider how the technology will impact student learning and student safety. Having a plan before using AI for education content development or using AI in the classroom is a good idea. Before implementing new AI tools there are six things that you should consider: 

  • Data privacy – First and foremost, before starting with any new AI tool it is important to work with your IT team to ensure that the tool protects student data. This is especially important for tools that are created for the general public, such as ChatGPT as they are not made with student use in mind. Typically, educators can find what user data is collected and for what purpose by looking at the terms and conditions of the product. 
  • District and school policy adherence – Before using any new AI in the classroom it is important to consider what your school and district policies state about using AI. In some cases, schools may not allow certain tools to be used by students, teachers, or both. It is also important to note that schools may not need to completely overhaul their technology plan, many of the same parameters that keep students safe with standard technology also apply to AI. 
  • Teacher and parent opinions – While people will undoubtedly have differing views about AI in education, it may be a good idea to consider teacher and parent opinions before diving in with a new AI tool. If stakeholders are not bought into the benefits of a particular tool or with using AI for education content, administrators could develop a professional development teaching the benefits of using the tool and why you are choosing to have it in your classroom. 
  • Technology capabilities – Different tools may require different operating systems or technological capabilities. Think about what your students and teachers have in terms of tech and whether the new tool will work with what you have. 
  • Identify your goals – AI should never be the end goal, rather it should be used to help students reach a standard or objective. This means it is important to identify goals ahead of time and then think about how AI may help a student reach these goals. 
  • Think about your timeline – Start out slow, there are a lot of tools and AI should not replace personal instruction within the classroom. 

The Bottom Line

Artificial intelligence is here to stay. The benefits such as using AI for education content creation and developing personalized learning experiences may outweigh the drawbacks. By thinking about how to implement AI in education considering data privacy, district policies, stakeholder opinions, technology capabilities, goals, and creating a timeline, educators can ensure that new AI tools are implemented smoothly. 

Find out how we’re introducing AI into the TAO platform experience to empower assessment authors. Explore the future of AI-assisted test creation in TAO and try out a sample of our smart test generator!