This article proposes a list of questions (and elements of answer) that can help guide schools’ responses to the disruptions (opportunities and threats) generated by the rapid growth of artificial intelligence. Largely derived from the UNESCO’S Guidance for generative AI in education and research , its goal is to allow schools to leverage the full power of these technologies, all while avoiding their many pitfalls. This list follows a logical order to outline a systematic plan of action. The truth is, however, that an appropriate response to such fast-changing developments can only be agile. A proper AI action plan can thus not be sequential, or even cyclical. Its various components must run in parallel,continuously, and interdependently, to ensure adaptive adaptations to an ongoing revolution.
I. WONDERING: WHAT OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS DOES AI CREATE FOR OUR SCHOOL?
I.1. What is the current state and landscape of artificial intelligence technologies?
→ To provide adapted responses, continuously monitor AI’s potentially disruptive developments.
I.2.What opportunities does AI create for our school?
I.2.1. What short-term opportunities does AI create for our school?
I.2.1.a. How can AI help make our school operations more efficient and/or effective? (e.g., marketing, data analysis).
→ List and review school operations for potential AI enhancements.
I.2.1.b. How can AI help make our school administration more efficient and/or effective? (e.g., recruitment, scheduling).
→ List and review school administration processes for potential AI enhancements.
I.2.1.c. How can AI help make teaching and learning, including professional learning, more efficient and/or effective?
→ List and review T&L expectations (e.g., evaluation rubric, definition of high-quality teaching) for AI potential AI assistance and enhancements.
→ Review PL provision for potential AI assistance and enhancements.
I.2.2. What long-term opportunities does AI create for our school?
I.2.2.a. How might AI transform our school operations?
→ Review school organization and operations for potential transformations (e.g., custom LLM).
I.2.2.b. How might AI transform our curriculum, offering, and provision (including teaching and learning practices)?
→ Review school curriculum for potential AI-driven obsolescence and transformations (e.g., earlier, greater focus on research and higher-order thinking skills).
→ Review school offering and provision for potential AI-driven transformations (e.g., Studio Model, AI tutoring, AI-rich teaching, learning and assessment; AI-enhanced universal access to learning).
→ Update PD offerings (e.g., training in effective use of AI for teaching and learning).
→ Update study skills development (e.g., AI-powered ATL skills).
I.2.2.c. How might AI transform our school mission and vision?
→ Review the school mission and vision for potential AI re-envisioning (e.g., personalized learning).
I.3. What threats does AI create for our school?
I.3.1. What immediate threats does AI create for our school?
I.3.1.a. What immediate adaptations are needed in our school operations, administration, and policies?
→ Review and update school operations and policies as needed (e.g., data protection policies).
→ Review and update administrative processes (e.g., recruitment procedures, AI professional use guidelines for school employees).
I.3.1.b. What immediate adaptations are needed in our teaching and learning practices?
→ Review and adapt at-risk teaching and learning practices (e.g., assessment practices, academic honesty policies and processes).
→ Adapt study skills development (e.g., appropriate use of AI for learning).
I.3.2. What long-term threats does AI potentially create for our school?
I.3.2.a. What are potential long-term threats to our school operations?
→ Monitor the development of new forms of competition (e.g., AI-based online schools, AI integration and programs in other schools).
→ Make sure to maintain human accountability for AI-assisted school decisions.
I.3.2.b. What are potential long-term threats to our curriculum and teaching and learning practices?
→ Review school curriculum for necessary additions (e.g., AI literacy and competencies, including critical and ethical use of AI).
→ Monitor teachers’ and students’ AI use to prevent de-skilling (loss of fundamental skills) and other unintended consequences (e.g., return to traditional assessment methods, decrease in social learning).
→ Protect teachers’ “unique roles in facilitating higher-order thinking, organizing human interaction, and fostering human values” (UNESCO).
→ Monitor the response and evolution of higher education, the job market, and society to AI.
I.3.2.c. What ethical concerns does AI raise?
→ According to the UNESCO’S Guidance for generative AI in education and research ethical concerns raised by AI include:
II. RESPONDING: WHAT PRINCIPLES SHOULD GUIDE OUR SCHOOL’S RESPONSE TO AI DEVELOPMENTS?
→ The UNESCO’S Guidance for generative AI in education and research outlines a philosophy that can help guide this response. Its fundamental principle is that AI integration should be human-centered. More precisely, AI integration should be both ethical (it should support, not undermine, human dignity and diversity) and meaningful (it should enhance, not suppress, human agency), so as to serve, and not derail, personal and sustainable development.
II.1. When should we (not) use AI tools?
→ Derived from this philosophy, the following principles can help guide the adoption of AI tools by teachers and students. AI in general and particular tools should be used if and only if:
II.2. How should we use AI tools?
→ Ensure the use of AI tools does not replace but enhance human thinking. This includes:
→ Pilot and monitor AI integration to evaluate its safety and effectiveness. This includes:
The fast-developing power and use of AI technologies is likely to create more threats and opportunities than our societies are currently ready to address and harness. Our hope is that the questions and elements of response above will help school leaders ensure, in line with the UNESCO’s recommendations, safe and effective responses in the world of education.