Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy (AIEE) has released a new guide to help teachers and administrators integrate generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) into the classroom environment.

The new guide – GenAI Guidance for AZ K-12 Schools: A Balanced Perspective – is available to school leaders and educators for free and provides guidance on teaching and learning with GenAI, shares examples of administrator and school system use of GenAI, and gives insights into ethical considerations for educators.

Institute director Chad Gestson, formerly the superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District, said the guide was created in partnership with many writers, reviewers and organizations throughout Arizona and the United States.

“We believe that responsible AI implementation can be a positive agent of change in schools and classrooms,” Gestson said, “but only if we continue to prioritize student learning and focus on ethical implementation.”

To develop the guidance, AIEE began by reviewing the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance and other states’ existing guides. The AIEE team then met with leaders across the country and took note of guidelines that other leaders thought were most effective. Then, AIEE sent a survey to educators across Arizona, asking them what state-level guidance they’d like to see. Using the gathered AI guidance and the survey data, the AIEE team drafted an initial guide, which was then sent to 18 Arizona teachers, parents, educational organization representatives, superintendents, and technology experts for feedback.

“Arizona is home to incredible educators with ed tech expertise and vision around the use of generative artificial intelligence,” said LeeAnn Lindsey, the institute’s director of ed tech and innovation. “We were proud to be able to leverage that talent to draft and publish Arizona’s first statewide guidance for K-12 schools and school systems.”

The guidance is broken into four sections:

  • Understanding GenAI: This section serves as an explainer to help educators and administrators build a basic understanding of GenAI tech to better navigate the guidance document and participate in AI-related conversations.
  • Teaching, Learning, and Administrative Uses: This section lays out how GenAI can transform not only teaching, learning, and leadership, but also the education profession and the future workforce.
  • Responsible and Ethical Implementation: This section is aimed at helping teachers and administrators understand what’s at stake in order to move forward safely and responsibly.
  • Implementation Recommendations: The final section is designed to help school stakeholders lead implementation. This section provides action plans to improve GenAI implementations.

“The institute has produced a model guidance document not just for Arizona schools but also for systems across the country,” NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera said. “Unquestionably, artificial intelligence will continue to shape opportunity, mobility and impact in ways and speeds we have never experienced before. This document will assist educators in taking a balanced approach to the use of GenAI, leveraging its incredible potential while also staying responsible and responsive to the potential risks.”

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