AI Lesson Plan Tips

ai lesson plan tips
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AI (artificial intelligence) is becoming a mainstay in discussions around technology use in the classroom. 

We are already ubiquitously surrounded by AI in our everyday lives, with our smartphones, homes, and transportation, to name a few examples, so this is a logical progression. In fact, in many K-12 schools, myriad learning technologies that we already use to instruct, engage, and assess learning use AI technologies

As some schools are discussing policies around AI use within teaching and learning, it might be helpful to know some of the best practices, do’s, and dont’s as you develop lessons that use AI and similar technologies.

AI Lesson Plan Tips & Best Practices  

Intentionally Use AI to Support Students with Meeting Learning Outcomes. Learning must be at the forefront of all technology use, and the same is true for AI. Only use AI (or any technology tool) if its use will contribute to students being able to meet the learning goals that drive the lesson. We must not have students just use AI because it is “cool” or a new thing that the teacher wants to try. Instead, we must center learning in the lesson and leverage AI to help students get where they need to be academically. 

Focus on Skill Building. One way to ensure that learning is at the center of any lesson that uses AI is to focus on how AI can support students’ building skills. This could be anything from helping students develop the 4Cs of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, or specific mathematical computation skills or reading fluency skills. Any skill that students that your lesson is targeting works just as long as your use of AI is supporting skill building and not on just using AI. 

AI Lesson Plan Do’s 

Do use AI to Elevate Learning Activities. The best part of lessons are the learning activities in which we get to see how students are engaging and connecting with the newly introduced content. Because AI tools are dynamic, these can be used to support student engagement within lessons. Use students’ interest in AI technologies and create learning activities that students are excited about. As a result, they will not only enjoy the lesson but learn more! 

Do use AI to Assist with Real-Time Progress Monitoring. The reality is that class sizes are not getting any smaller. It can be a challenge to meet with individual students throughout the day and gain awareness of where they are in the lesson. By using AI tools within the lesson, you can maintain a record of how students are mastering the content, plus AI technologies can offer students more practice or challenges depending on where they are with the content. 

Al Lesson Plan Don'ts 

Don’t Create Assessments that Can Easily be Completed 100% Through the Use of AI. As one of the major concerns with AI is the potential for students to use it to do their work, it is imperative that as you plan assessments for your lessons, that you do so in intentional ways. This means having specific metrics and check-ins with students that require them to provide non-generic responses. Instead of having close-ended questions with answers that can be easily determined, ask open, thought-provoking questions to stimulate cognition of students, and have them use real-world examples to support their narratives. 

Don’t use AI Without the Permission of Your School. While you may be tempted to jump and try to incorporate the use of AI into your lessons to enhance learning, you also should make sure that its use does not violate any school or district acceptable use policies. Share your plans with your principal and/or instructional coach during lesson review planning, and be prepared to use some of the best practices and do’s above to support your use of AI, as well as pivot, if necessary. 

Just as we want students to develop information literacy and fluency to determine “fake news” from trusted scholarly sources, we also want students to understand AI, how it is used, and the potential uses it has to enhance their learning. 

Hopefully these AI lesson plan tips and best practices will be helpful as you craft your own lessons that incorporate the use of AI in your classroom.

Dr. Stephanie Smith Budhai is an associate clinical professor in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at Drexel University, in Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies and K-12 teaching certifications in Technology Education, Instructional Technology and Business, Computers, Information Technology, Special Education and Elementary Education. She is also the 2021 Emerging Leader for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and the 2017 ISTE Awardee for Excellence in Teacher Education. Dr. Smith Budhai is a Nearpod, and VoiceThread Certified Educator.  Dr. Smith Budhai has more than a decade of online teaching experience, and has published myriad books, articles, and invited editorials surrounding the use of technology and online learning in education. Her publications include: 

- Leveraging Digital Tools to Assess Student Learning 

- Increasing Engagement in Online Learning: Quick Reference Guide

- Culturally Responsive Teaching Online and In-Person: An Action Planner for Dynamic Equitable Learning Environments 

- Teaching the 4Cs with Technology

- Best Practices in Engaging Online Learners through Active and Experiential Learning Strategies

- Nurturing Young Innovators: Cultivating Creativity in the Classroom, Home and Community