The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has released a guidebook for the use of generative artificial intelligence technologies in public schools.

“Generative artificial intelligence is playing a growing and significant role in our society. At NCDPI, we’re committed to preparing our students both to meet the challenges of this rapidly changing technology and become innovators in the field of computer science,” said State Superintendent Catherine Truitt. “We also believe that, when implemented thoughtfully and responsibly, generative AI has the power to revolutionize student learning and better prepare North Carolina’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

According to the state, the guidebook includes an initial set of recommendations that will be expanded in the coming months. Districts are encouraged to create accompanying guidelines that are specific to their schools.

The state guidebook says that AI literacy should be infused into all grade levels and curriculum areas. It also stresses the importance of incorporating AI into the classroom responsibly by using it as a tool to aid in learning. The guidebook also discusses some common concerns surrounding AI, such as cheating and the protection of student data.

These guidelines have been organized around the five focus areas of the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, which guides digital teaching and learning for North Carolina public schools. The categories are leadership and vision; human capacity; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; data privacy and cybersecurity; and technology, infrastructure, and devices. The guidebook provides additional resources for school leaders, staff development, and for teaching students about AI.

The state noted that the Digital Learning Plan encourages the safe use of innovative technology to prepare students for future school and work to improve student outcomes and support the appropriate use of technology to advance learning.

NCDPI’s Office of Digital Teaching and Learning worked with the organization AI for Education to create a framework for ethically implementing AI. The guidebook uses “EVERY framework,” which the state says is an acronym that gives guidance to North Carolina public schools for “How to Use AI Responsibly EVERY Time.”

The EVERY framework incorporates the following principles:

  • Evaluate the initial output to see if it meets the intended purpose and your needs.
  • Verify facts, figures, quotes, and data using reliable sources to ensure there are no hallucinations or bias.
  • Edit your prompt and ask follow-up questions to have the AI improve its output.
  • Revise the results to reflect your unique needs, style, and/or tone. AI output is a great starting point, but shouldn’t be a final product.
  • You are ultimately responsible for everything you create with AI. Always be transparent about if and how you used AI.

“Empowering learners to understand these technologies is essential,” said NCDPI’s Chief Information Officer Dr. Vanessa Wrenn. “The power of AI tools for education, community engagement and deeper learning will continue to drive innovation and policy. North Carolina is proud to be among one of the first states in the nation to provide guidance to teachers and schools, as we know that AI can be used by educators to support their daily work while transforming students’ learning in the classroom.”

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