Artificial Intelligence

Michigan Virtual Leads Statewide Workgroup to Release Sample K–12 AI Guidance Document

Nonprofit educational organization Michigan Virtual (MV) is one of 13 organizations statewide that have partnered to release a new "Sample Guidance on Staff Use of Generative AI for K–12 School Districts" document. The group includes the Michigan Education Association, administrator and principal organizations, and others.

An outgrowth of the work of MV's AI Lab established in October 2023, the guidance document focuses on "the impacts of data compliance, ethical use requirements, and challenges around disclosure for educators," according to the organization's release.

The guidance offers four recommended practices for using generative AI tools when there is no formal district policy in place:

  • Consider Impact: Assess the potential consequences of using AI, especially in terms of data privacy and integrity;
  • Critical Evaluation: Encourage cross-referencing AI information with reliable sources and consult with educational technology experts;
  • Stay Informed: Regularly update knowledge on AI advancements and adapt district guidelines accordingly; and
  • Alignment to Goals: Where applicable, align AI integration to how it supports existing school improvement goals.

Specifically as noted on MV's website, the document also contains:

  • Risks and limitations related to AI output around accuracy, bias, and content;
  • Disclosure expectations of staff using AI regarding the amount of AI involvement, demonstration, and citation practices;
  • Data stewardship that complies with state and federal laws, organizational regulations and requirements, and ethical use based on district objectives; and
  • Types of data and how they are used, credited, and protected in teaching, research, confidentiality, and intellectual property.

The document cautions that any AI policies "should be modified and reviewed with independent legal counsel as needed prior to implementation."

"Artificial intelligence is beginning to impact schools each day, often without clear guidelines or directions, and it's critical that our educators are supported," said Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute Senior Director Ken Dirkin. "We've partnered with education leaders around the state to establish best practices and guidelines in the hopes that such standards are considered when developing local policies around this new technology."

MV has also produced "A Planning Guide for AI: A Framework for School Districts."

More resources are available on the MV site here.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.