5 tips for K12 leaders who want to incorporate AI into their schools

Generative artificial intelligence is arguably becoming one of the most impactful tools utilized for classroom instruction to enhance student learning and engagement—when used correctly, of course. However, time and time again, research suggests that teachers have yet to receive the proper training in order to leverage this technology effectively. But that can change.

In order for AI to be incorporated effectively in schools, administrators must empower those who will be responsible for its implementation: educators. That’s according to new guidance from the National Association of Elementary School Principals. At a time when education technology continues to evolve, administrators must do their part to equip educators with the resources they need to succeed.

“Artificial intelligence is having a major impact on education,” the report reads. “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.”

And while there’s still much to learn about the technology, administrators must find ways to leverage it for the well-being of their students. According to the NAESP, leaders can start this process by reflecting on the following questions:

  • How can schools use AI to support student learning?
  • How can schools support students with the skills to thrive in an AI-infused world?
  • How can AI support educators, both through instruction and freeing up their time to focus on their students?

Among the schools that have achieved success in bringing AI into their schools, the researchers identified five trends crucial for its efficiency. Here’s what leaders should know:

  1. Invite exploration: Let teachers experiment with it before weighing the pros and cons. This will allow educators to find ways to incorporate it into the classroom based on experience rather than what they’ve simply heard about it.
  2. Offer professional development: Like any other edtech tool, teachers must feel comfortable using it. Provide them with workshops and other opportunities to understand it better.
  3. Highlight success: Share with your team the innovative ways AI is already being used in your schools. Ask them to be transparent about whether it’s working or not, and allow them to collaborate.
  4. Host conversations: Let educators share how schools can prepare students with the necessary skills needed to be successful in an “AI-infused world.”
  5. Create the necessary conditions: Clearly establish ethical conditions for use and outline your school’s policies on data privacy and other ethical considerations when using the tool. Both teachers and students must know what’s expected of them.”

“AI is not magic,” the report reads. “Magic is mysterious and cannot be understood or controlled. AI is neither of these things. The more we seek to understand the concepts behind AI, the better we will be able to control it and use it for constructive purposes in education.”