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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in my school, my classroom

Updated: Feb 11

teacher writing prompts for AI tool

Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies are marked by transformative technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics.  The emergence of advanced AI models like GPT has paved the way for the Fifth Industrial Revolution (5IR)

5IR looks beyond the 4IR pillars of automation and optimisation, it aims to bring the human element to the forefront of thought. The focus on technology in education should address the re-humanising of edu-tech in the age of machines, automation and artificial intelligence.

The advancement in artificial intelligence is happening so quickly that many educators fear that school policies will be outdated as soon as they are published. Educators are also concerned about learners using AI, how they should handle cheating, and concerns about data protection. There are benefits and concerns, pros and cons as with all technology. As teachers and education leaders, we need to be open to learning, researching and finding out about the technology, and how we might decide to use it.

With the frame of mind of always learning! I had an interesting 2023, exploring AI and how to use it in the classroom.

ArtificiaI intelligence in the classroom. Teacher on computer using AI

The range of AI tools and experiences keeps growing.

I would like to share with you some presentations and my scope of AI research for these presentations:

  • 7 & 8 Feb I participated in the Teaching and Learning with Artificial Intelligence Online Symposium, organised by Prof Johannes Cronje. I presented AI applications and tools for schooling (R-12).

  • As teachers, we should take time to explore, play and find out. Thandi A. I. was added to my EvolveSchool website - with tips on how to use it. (This AI tool is busy being updated)

  • In February I shared an idea of using Dalle to create resources as a Foundation Phase teacher in the "101 Creative Ideas to use AI in Education, a crowdsourced collection" It was published as a book later in the year.

  • 23 Feb William Cronje & I discussed AI on my Edu&Tech Chat webinars, as an Edu&Tech education and tech webinar. (YouTube Link)

  • 29 & 30 March: AI & research conference - eLearning, I presented "Transcription, sentence rewriting and citations" (Find resources: (e)Learning update)

  • On 20/07/2023 I received the progress letter about my SACE endorsed course "Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Education. Resources for learners & tips for teachers (FP, IP, SP & FET)" - Let me know if you would like this course presented to your staff.

  • In July 2023, I was invited to present to the North West University Management & Economic Sciences to the 'Innovative Teaching and Learning with Technology' (iTLT) group, entitled "Teaching using Technology In Management & Economic Sciences lectures"

  • In August and September 2023, I presented to various schools "Artificial Intelligence & education" my SACE endorsed course with tips and considerations

  • In October 2023, I was invited to present at the TUT HEDS 2023 Research Indaba. The title of the presentation was "AI in Higher Education, the World’s your oyster"

  • Then on 30 November 2023, we reflected on ChatGPT, Prof Johannes Cronje's learning conference entitled "Working With AI ChatGPT One Year Later". I presented "So ChatGPT sparked interest, now AI in higher education?" Exploring the existing AI projects in HE in South Africa already (Find resources: (e)Learning update)

This AI exploration and the research before 2023, have made me reflect on what we as teachers and schools should consider concerning artificial intelligence.

change management, technology integration including artificial intelligence (AI)

As a school consider, "Where is the school at" concerning technology integration in lessons, device availability and use, and teachers' confidence and knowledge.

AI and the teaching staff

  • Speak to the teachers, in a non-threatening manner, and find out what AI tools they are playing with, what they find useful, what they enjoy using and what they didn't find useful.

  • Having these discussions and getting to know your teachers' views and ideas is very important.

AI speak to teachers on the staff

School's AI Policy

Adding AI into existing policies or creating a new one - researching and having discussions before finalising a policy is important. Considering having a policy which is not cast in stone would make sense, since the technology is changing so quickly, and should be reviewed regularly and not be too narrow in its formulation.

AI is here to stay, involve all the school stakeholders in the discussion.

Once completed communicate to all the stakeholders, and ensure the learners are involved.

Possible considerations for your school’s AI policy

  • Define the scope and purpose in relation to learners (considering learners’ abilities, differences and age), staff and existing school policies.

  • Address privacy and security, align to POPIA and ensure learners' data is protected. 

  • Describe ethical guidelines, and the use of AI in the classroom and responsible use. Include being polite when using AI.

  • Create an environment for continuous learning about AI technology, its benefits, limitations and risks. Assess AI-generated content of teachers and learners.

  • Promote the evaluation of AI tools. Provide guidelines on how to assess the AI tools. Provide a digital space where the AI evaluations can be reported and accessed by staff members. 

  • Ensure inclusive and accessible AI support for learners with disabilities and provide individual learning.

Explore policy considerations:

AI Guidance for Schools Toolkit_TeachAI
Download PDF • 3.52MB
  • UNESCO K-12 AI curricula - A mapping of government-endorsed AI curricula

curriculum mapping ICTs UNESCO 380602eng
Download PDF • 4.23MB
  • Unintended consequences of AI and Education: Education and research

Download PDF • 405KB

Another useful resource to explore: Common Sense

As a teacher Common Sense is a wonderful website to watch and to subscribe to their newsletter.

  • Common Sense's AI Literacy Lessons for Grades 6–12: Quick, grab-and-go lessons to help your students think critically about AI and its impact.

So now the exciting part - let's play . . .

Here are some AI tools I have played with that may interest you.

Creating tests, assessments, and quizzes:

create AI task

There are a range of tools to use to create online assessments.

These are just a few.

Prepare your information, some tools allow you to upload content or to link to a curriculum, while others have the curriculum loaded onto their systems already.

Remember to always check the questions and the answers. : Build assessments according to curriculum. Indicate the mark allocation, type of questions, and the number of assessment sections - assessment is being created. Completed assessments can be marked and provide feedback.

marking AI

AI quiz maker

AI Quiz Maker by Fillout : Create a prompt of a minimum of 350 characters. Complete the criteria on the quiz maker.

In the prompt speak about the number and types of questions, as well as information about the content of the questions.

Here is a simple assessment example I created:

Google Extension: Addon in forms - GPT for forms by Lincoln Apps

Create quizzes with GPT for Forms: Quick and Easy Tutorial. 

Click on the extension and begin to formulate questions.

GPT for forms AI

GPT for forms - Google Forms!

  1. Ask the question

  2. Get the answer

  3. Verify the result

  4. Add to form

Using AI to assist in creating lesson plans, search for resources and create assessments

Bard AI

Use Bard to create lesson plans, search for resources related to a specific topic and create assessment questions and answers for the work.

Bard AI example

Think carefully about your prompt and all the details you would like included.

Here is an example of a response I got from a simple, brief prompt I wrote looking for teaching resources when teaching gears and mechanical systems.

Bard doc about gear resources
Download PDF • 61KB

The more descriptive and detailed the prompt the better the response you will get. Remember to be polite, you are engaging with a language model, and indirectly are teaching it as well.

Bard has become Gemini

Assessment preparation for learners

AI assessment creation

AI tools could assist learners in revising their work, building content knowledge and preparing for assessments.

These tools often turn learning into a game, so use adaptive learning altering as the learner demonstrates learning of the information

Revisely : Create resources that to assist learners with revision.

  • Create flashcards to build and reinforce knowledge

  • Create quizzes from notes and textbooks

Quizlet : Explore tools for your learners to reinforce knowledge or concepts.

Adaptive study tools to build context knowledge.

Tools to assist with writing

These AI tools do spell checking, grammar checking and sentence construction checking.

Tools similar to this have been used for many years, both Microsoft and Google have had spell-checking tools for a while.

WordTune can be added as a Chrome extension or be used online

Create digital artwork, drawings or videos using AI tools

AI tool graphic creation

Many of the AI Image and Video creators use a text prompt to describe the image or video you want to create.

Artists have been protesting, legitimately, that their artworks are being used illegally by AI to scrap images to create AI artwork.

A tool called Nightshade has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of Chicago. It functions by altering or "poisoning" an artist's creation by changing the pixels of the image subtly, then AI models aren't able to "scrape" the image, and can't accurately determine what the image is depicting. Read more here.

Dall.e is part of the OpenAI.Labs resources (family of ChatGPT).

It is an AI drawing and photo generator tool: Make resources to assist you in the classroom.

On this free version, you get an initial 50 credits to generate images, with each generation costing one credit. You will also get 15 credits per month after that for free, if you require more you can buy more.

Create AI generated slides on the Slides Go platform.

Other AI tools to help teachers:

There are many AI tools which could be used. Many have a cost involved.

Here are two tools you could explore.

Canva now offers an AI text-to-image generator called Magic Write.

Magic Write is available across all Canva designs for 50 free queries, and access to additional queries is available with Canva Pro.

Teachers sign up for free.

Use for multiple choice assessments, report card comments, lesson planning, text rewriter, and informational texts.

A.I. for teachers, use QuestionWell to generate questions related to written text or a video, and describe the type of questions you would like created such as learning questions or multiple choice questions. The generated questions can then be exported.

aiEDU is a non-profit organisation which creates AI learning experiences and provides information for teachers.

Help learners improve their language skills:

AI can be used to help learners improve their home (first) language, learn another language or improve their reading skills.

Reading and language apps can also be used to promote individualised learning.

Developing literacy, comprehension and language skills are most important skills for learners to learn well.

Create an account, select the language and begin to learn or reinforce your knowledge with bitesize lessons and tasks.

is wonderful for little children beginning to be aware of letter recognition and learning to read. Download the app, log in, set the age of the child, and the journey begins.

Books which children read aloud. Readalong has been my favourite AI powered app since

its inception. It is now available online or as an Android app. There are a range of books, including many written by African authors.

The child reads the stories aloud and the AI listens, then congratulates or assists the learner in developing their reading skills.

Assist learners with their learning

Khan Academy AI for education

  • Say hello to Khanmigo, Khan Academy’s AI-powered guide.

    • Tutor for learners.

    • Assistant for teachers.

Socratic works for all subjects

  • Socratic was built to support

    • Science,

    • Maths,

    • Literature,

    • Social Studies,

    • and other subjects

  • It was built to assist teachers in bringing visual explanations of important concepts in each subject. 

  • Built for learners’ learning

As you can see there are many different types of AI tools for both teachers and students.

Continue exploring and seeing which AI tools you liked best, and which work assists you for your teaching.

We should continually be questioning and reflecting.

Some educational concerns about AI include:

  • Ethics: “New” AI documents are often not referenced accurately nor are the credits complete. AI tools source and scrape content from a very wide range of sources, which are blended to create the “new” result.

  • Plagiarism: Learners use AI to generate content, which they submit as their own work. There are AI plagiarism checkers, but their accuracy varies.  Teaching the importance and value of being responsible digital citizens is important. Teachers are not building AI research and use in their assessment strategy and rubric criteria.

  • Loss of creativity has been described as a potential problem if education systems begin to use AI-developed systems and homogenisation of global education expansion. Or learners using AI to answer questions, without analysis or critical thinking being used to review, reflect and/or evaluate the AI product.  A counterargument is that one of the opportunities generative AI offers human interaction is to augment human creativity and overcome the challenges of democratising innovation (Havard Business Review, 2023).  AI-powered educational platforms can provide interactive and engaging learning experiences. AI-edu platforms may adapt to each learner's learning pace, which may develop personalised learning pathways, thereby providing an environment advantageous in potentially developing creativity and problem-solving skills.

  • Biases: AI learns from its data sources, so if the source reflects biases, only offers one perspective, or the team of developers is not representative bias the AI response would be biased.  Therefore when using AI tools, teachers and learners need to be aware of potential bias, and evaluate the response or compare it to other websites or research documents, to assist in removing bias. When framing questions, teachers need to provide holistic, unbiased prompts to promote unbiased responses, and always review and analyse the response for potential bias.

  • Misinformation: AI can only learn from its source or sources, therefore misinformation, inaccurate or problematic content from the original material is possible.

  • Other educational concerns raised are lack of equal access and inequality, learning without understanding, and a potential lack of personalised interaction, as well as privacy and confidentiality.

As teachers, we can change the way we ask questions and how we assess our learners.

  • Have learners complete tasks in class. For years I have thought projects should be done in class, then you truly know who you are assessing. Now it is not just “mom or dad” doing the work, but also maybe an AI tool.

  • Promote discussion in lessons, get to hear and learn what learners really know as they speak about the topic.

  • Learners writing, get to know how your learners write.

  • Create tasks where learners reflect on or describe their personal opinions and experiences.

  • Tasks which encourage creativity and original thought.

  • We can’t stop learners from using AI, we can build it into our assessment and teaching. We should be asking learners to show their work process and to justify their work. 

  • Analyse an AI response against existing research, encouraging analysis and evaluation.

Lastly, there are age restrictions on AI - OpenAI, including ChatGPT has an age restriction of 13 years old.

UNESCO is recommending 13 years of age for AI to be used in the classroom, and highlighting the importance of the protection of data privacy

As technology evolves, and educational initiatives become more interwoven with AI and other technological solutions, we need to recognise that it is understandable that school leaders, teachers and educational authorities are uneasy about potential challenges. We should not shy away from them, but rather address them, exploring anticipated solutions. 

As the technology changes we should as teachers keep exploring how we assess our learners fairly. We as teachers can always make a difference. The power is in our hands. 

I look forward to interacting with you.



Dr. Karen Walstra - Independent Educational Consultant.

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