A Teacher’s Guide to AI

Teacher's how to guide on AI

There’s a lot in the news concerning AI but too few educators are receiving training on it. In fact, Clever’s most recent survey showed that 89% of school administrators report their districts offer little to no formal training on AI. Educators deserve to know more, especially when they’re the ones who stand to gain the most from using AI. That’s exactly what you can expect from this guide, we’ll be covering all the ways AI can be used to lighten the load for educators everywhere.

The Average Work Day for Educators

Before we get into how AI can help educators it’s important to understand where it will save educators time. Currently, educators are suffering from burnout at an unprecedented rate, and there are a number of factors that contribute to this. Most significant of all is the truly immense amount of work being asked of educators outside of working hours. A recent survey administered by McKinsey & Company found that, on average, educators work about 50 hours a week total. They also found that less than half of this time is spent on direct instruction with students. The other half is comprised of:

  • Material prep and lesson Planning
  • Administrative Tasks, evals, and feedback 
  • Professional Development

These are all areas in which AI can drastically reduce time spent and simplify tasks. Now that we’ve covered the where let’s talk how it will help educators in these areas.

Lesson Planning & Materials Prep

Lesson planning and creating assignments make up the bulk of an educator’s work week, with much of it being done long after the school day has ended.

Educators, when you go home you deserve to actually be home, not go home to work more. Here’s how you can use AI to reduce the total time spent on these tasks.

Lesson Planning

Lesson planning is usually what educators are the most excited about. Choosing lessons, topics, and planning the flow of the year are where educators can seriously demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity. However, lesson planning usually becomes exhausting after this because of the necessary tedious work to break topics down. Fortunately, an AI can help with this a great deal. Using AI isn’t just as easy as saying: “Create a lesson plan”. An AI needs a detailed and specific prompt to produce a satisfactory result. Here’s an example of a prompt we’ve seen other educators use: 

Create a lesson plan that I can use for my [subject name] learners. The length of the class is [class length] minutes. Theme of the lesson is [topic]. Delivery method is [remote teaching or in-class instruction]. The key teaching approach I want to use is [targeted lesson concept]. The student interaction format is group work. My objective for this lesson is to improve students’…, Materials I want to use in this lesson are…”

Remember, the more specific you can make your prompt, the better. Furthermore, once the lesson plan has been produced make sure you take the time to fine-tune and customize it to your needs.

Material Preparation

While creating in-class activities can be fun, it can quickly become monotonous, especially when you have to have both the worksheet and answer key. Fortunately, an AI can do both easily and quickly with the right information.

If you’re creating homework assignments or in-class activities an AI can competently create an effective worksheet if it’s given a specific enough prompt, here’s an example:

Create a worksheet that I can use for my [class name]. This worksheet should consist of problems related to [core concept]. The material covered in the worksheet is for students learning at a [grade] level. There should be [number of questions] on the worksheet.”

You can always add more information into a prompt as well such as expected time spent on each question, ramping difficulty, and more. 

Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is a method of teaching that ensures each student has a custom lesson plan tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Personalized learning is nothing new and, while it’s proven to be extremely effective, it’s unfortunately difficult for educators to provide due to the significant amount of time it requires. This is where an AI can truly shine.

An AI is more than capable of creating personalized lesson plans when provided with the necessary student data and information. Utilizing GPA, behavioral data, and other detailed information an AI can easily create a plan of study, relevant assignments and activities, and classroom flow for each student. 

Administrative Tasks

Recording and tracking information necessary for student success takes up a huge portion of an educator’s day. Whether it’s grades or behavioral data for a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), teachers spend countless hours tracking and recording this information.

Here are a few convenient ways an AI can handle these tasks and allow educators to take back some of their time.

Grading

An AI can be used to easily create a chart to track student GPA. Simply import your student’s grades and the AI can use that information to fill out the table, handling a would-be tedious task with ease. 

Going one step further, an AI can be used to automate the grading process. Utilizing specialized AI grading tools, teachers can import student assignments and a grading scale, and have assignments graded quickly, correctly, and efficiently. 

Below you can see a table we generated with the use of AI as well as the next steps the AI would take with more detailed grade data.

Using AI to record grades

IEP Data Tracking and Recording

Tracking data for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) can take up a lot of time, especially when this data must be recorded, compiled, and submitted at the end of each quarter/term. An AI can drastically simplify both tasks when given the appropriate commands. For example, if an educator is tracking data for every time a student refuses to do an assignment an AI can not only track this data but it can also create a table for tracking all the necessary information, action plan, and the implementation of the student’s current behavior plan.

A template such as this one was created by giving a simple command to generate a table to track whenever a student refuses to do work.

Using AI for IEP data

Professional Development & Evaluations

While the AI can’t actually watch you teach in real-time and offer feedback, it can take the feedback given from others and transform it into actionable goals. Think about it like this, when you’re helping a student succeed in a specific subject you never just say “Okay, now be better”. You provide them with steps they can take to improve performance, tips, and other helpful information. You have to do the same with your feedback. If you’re told: “you’re moving too fast through the lesson, you need to give students more time to ask questions and work on assignments”, simply use an AI to break this feedback into actionable steps. Here’s an example of a prompt you could use:

Create an improvement plan for slowing my current teaching pace. I currently spend [x] minutes on introducing a topic. I give students [x] minutes to work on an activity. I allow on average [x] number of questions”.

The AI will then produce several helpful, smaller steps for an educator to turn feedback into a clear goal with detailed objectives. 

The Wrap-Up

On average educators are currently spending 23-24 hours a week instructing and working directly with students. The other 26-27 hours are spent on the tasks and responsibilities laid out above. By using AI educators could be reducing the total time spent by half, that’s 13-15 hours a week that are now free! Any educators currently reading this struggling with the symptoms of burnout should definitely invest time in learning how to leverage AI to leverage greater student outcomes as well as reduce the amount of stress in their work week. Trust us, we’ve been involved in the AI game for a long time (we even developed the world’s first AI tutor!) and we know that when educators start using AI as a tool to not only simplify and reduce tedious tasks but enhance the quality of learning they’re able to deliver, everyone wins.

Want to learn more about how educators can use AI to create an entire curriculum? Check our our How to Build a Curriculum blog post today or head on over to Numerade today to see how we’re transforming education.

Author

  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As the copywriter at Numerade, Rob uses their extensive background in education as a former reading tutor and high school English teacher to inform and shape the topics and content on the blog.