Michigan Virtual releases new school AI guide

LANSING—As school districts across Michigan examine artificial intelligence and its implications in the classroom, Michigan Virtual, a pioneer in digital learning for the past 25 years, has developed the first of its kind comprehensive Planning Guide for AI: A Framework for School Districts.

“Digital technologies—the computer, the cellphone, the Internet—have profoundly shaped our world and impacted our daily lives,” said Elliott Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan and co-director of the Center for Digital Curricula. “And now, add AI to the list. Fortunately for our schools—and our children—Michigan Virtual has come forward, just in time, and provided a valuable tool kit of resources to help guide schools as they explore and adopt all the new AI-based products.”

Michigan Virtual officials say the new planning guide will help equip educators with the practical insights and strategies necessary to navigate the dynamic and evolving landscape of artificial intelligence within schools.

“AI offers significant promise, but it’s crucial to maintain a realistic and balanced perspective as we navigate the rapid evolution of AI technology, which presents challenges that require careful consideration,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “This guide equips educators with a framework to effectively integrate AI into their districts while acknowledging potential risks and keeping student success at the forefront.”

The guidebook serves as a companion to Michigan Virtual’s AI Integration Framework. School leaders can use the guide to develop a roadmap for working toward the level of AI integration that aligns with the district’s aspirations. School leaders can use the guidance to help identify areas where more information and research is needed, make informed decisions, address concerns, and ensure a successful and inclusive implementation of AI technologies.

“This AI Planning Guide is a practical resource for district and building leaders looking to explore the potential of AI and how it could positively impact their school community,” said Tina Kerr, executive director of the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators. “We very much appreciate Michigan Virtual’s work in creating this AI integration roadmap and for ensuring K-12 stakeholders’ voices were at the table every step of the way.”

Developed in collaboration with 22 school district leaders across Michigan, the Planning Guide for AI is built upon practical wisdom and real-world experience. It offers a comprehensive framework that addresses the complexities and opportunities of AI integration in education for teachers, administrators, and policymakers alike. The guide includes policy, ethical, and legal considerations, instructional framework recommendations, student learning and assessment measurements, professional learning insights, student use implications, business and technology operations, and outreach strategies.

“It will be critical for school boards to be actively involved in local policy development regarding the integration of AI technologies within our schools,” said Don Wotruba, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Boards. “The guide provides board members with an excellent foundational resource, ensuring they have the essential information to make informed decisions within this dynamic and evolving landscape.”

The ‘Planning Guide for AI: A Framework for School Districts’ has been endorsed by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, the Michigan Association of School Boards, the  Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning, and the Michigan Charter School Association.

The Planning Guide for AI: A Framework for School Districts is available at www.michiganvirtual.org/resources/guides/ai-guide.

Additional resources to support schools with AI evaluation and integration can be found at www.michiganvirtual.org/resources/ai.

Michigan Virtual is a nonprofit educational organization that is leading and collaborating to build learning environments for tomorrow. More at  michiganvirtual.org. For recent news and press releases, visit michiganvirtual.org/news.

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