How to Start the Discussion on AI with Students

Talk about AI with Students

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to shape our world, it is crucial for educators to introduce this topic to their students. Currently, they’re receiving a lot of mixed information on AI and this could lead to potential consequences due to misuse. In a recent blog post, A Teacher’s Guide to AI, we discussed the many ways AI can be used to help educators with their day-to-day responsibilities. In today’s post, we’ll cover how you can guide your students on the ethical use of AI and how they can leverage it for greater learning outcomes. 

Why Discuss AI?

Understanding the Impact

AI has become an integral part of our lives, from voice assistants to recommendation systems. Exploring the potential of artificial intelligence opens doors to exciting opportunities but it must be measured, especially with students.

By discussing AI with your students you’re showing them, first off, that you respect them. This is vital because to get respect from your students, you have to first give it. When a student feels respected by their teacher, they’ll feel the need to reciprocate the gesture. By hiding artificial intelligence or refusing to discuss it, your students may feel that you don’t think they’re capable or responsible. By beginning a dialogue on the subject, you’re offering them a seat at the table. This will help you build trust throughout the school year. 

Furthermore, you’re helping your students boost their ability to learn effectively. An AI can tailor study plans and exercises to the individual, meaning more efficient learning can occur. It’s not a question of simply using it to pass an assignment, it’s all about framing it as the means to improve greater understanding and comprehension in the classroom.

Approaching AI Discussions

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Environment

Establishing an open-minded and inclusive classroom environment encourages students to express their thoughts and concerns about artificial intelligence. Emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers, encouraging dialogue and exploration.

After this atmosphere is established, a great way to start is by tackling the elephant in the room: cheating. We cover this topic in our Student’s Guide to AI. This is an excellent place to start because, by tackling a tough, seemingly “clandestine” topic, you are once again showing you respect them. 

When discussing this don’t address it as “don’t do this because it’s wrong”. Instead, make your students aware of the consequences of using artificial intelligence (and we don’t mean potential punishments).

For example: “Yeah you could use it to cheat on homework assignments but what do you do on test day? By using AI to get assignments over with you’ve practically ensured an F during any exams”.

The one thing students don’t want is a harder schooling experience. This is an important facet to cover in these discussions.

Active Learning and Hands-on Experience

Engage students by incorporating hands-on activities that involve AI technologies. Encourage them to experiment with artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots or image recognition, to gain firsthand experience.

A great one to start with is right here on Numerade, the world’s first AI tutor, Ace! Ace can provide step-by-step explanations so students can understand fundamental concepts. Ace can also provide insights for just about any social-emotional issue you can think of!

Breaking Down AI Concepts

Demystifying AI Terminology

Introduce key terms like machine learning, neural networks, and algorithms in an accessible manner. Use relatable examples to help students grasp these concepts and their real-world applications.

Exploring AI in Everyday Life

Highlight how artificial intelligence impacts their daily lives, from personalized recommendations on streaming platforms to its use in video games or art. Relate artificial intelligence concepts to familiar scenarios to make them more relatable.

Nurturing AI Skills

Encouraging Curiosity and Lifelong Learning

Inspire students to pursue further exploration of artificial intelligence beyond the classroom. Share resources, such as online courses or videos to foster their curiosity and passion for AI-related fields.

Additionally, educators should facilitate collaborative projects that involve artificial intelligence. This allows students to work together to solve real-world problems. Encourage teamwork and interdisciplinary approaches to cultivate well-rounded AI skills.

The Wrap-Up

By initiating discussions about artificial intelligence, educators can equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the AI-driven world. Through engaging and interactive approaches, educators can inspire students to become active participants in shaping the future of artificial intelligence.

Remember, discussing artificial intelligence with your students should be a continuous journey, adapting to new advancements and challenges in this rapidly evolving field.


  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.