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How To Teach Students: What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has become a buzzword in our digital age. From chatbots that provide quick customer support to recommendation algorithms that curate our online content, AI is silently but profoundly shaping our daily lives.

As educators, it will become our responsibility to not only introduce our students to AI but also guide them in becoming responsible digital citizens in an AI-driven world.

But getting started can be intimidating, especially if you don't feel like you know enough about the topic yourself. That's why I've created a simple 45 min lesson plan, designed for grades 6-12, that will help YOU and your students learn more about AI.

Click here to access the free lesson, "What is AI?"

The First Step: What is AI?

Imagine a classroom filled with eager faces, each holding a Pictionary prompt, ready to embark on a creative journey. This is where it starts. In our quest to introduce AI, we begin with a familiar game - Pictionary. Students gather in groups, sketching and guessing, racing against the clock. What they don't realize is that they're laying the groundwork for understanding AI.

This engaging activity, inspired by aiEDU, fosters teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. It's not just about guessing pictures; it's about learning how humans and machines can collaborate to achieve a common goal.

From Analog to Digital Minds

As the Pictionary game unfolds, students learn about an AI version called "Quick, Draw!" This transition from analog to digital thinking sets the stage for a fascinating conversation. They discover that AI can guess their drawings based on patterns and data, a glimpse into the realm of machine learning.

The Importance of Being Digital Citizens

But here's where the lesson transcends the technical. It's not just about understanding AI; it's about fostering responsible digital citizenship. AI is becoming a ubiquitous presence in our lives. It shapes our information consumption, influences our choices, and sometimes even makes decisions for us. To be responsible digital citizens, our students need to comprehend the power and potential pitfalls of AI.

This lesson, "What is AI?", is just the beginning of a broader journey into digital citizenship in an AI-driven world. It lays the foundation for discussions on AI's impact on society, ethics, privacy, and misinformation. These are essential conversations, preparing our students to navigate the complex digital landscape.

Beyond the Lesson: A Call to Action

As educators, we have the opportunity to empower our students. We can guide them in harnessing the benefits of AI while being vigilant about its risks. We can help them distinguish between reliable and misleading information generated by AI. We can instill a sense of responsibility to use AI as a force for good.

So, let's start with that first step - "What is AI?" - and then lead our students on an exploration of AI's role in our world. Let's nurture them to become not just digital natives but responsible digital citizens. Together, we're shaping a future where AI enriches lives while upholding the values of truth, ethics, and fairness. This is a journey worth embarking upon, one that will equip our students for the AI-driven world that awaits them.

Click here to learn more about my two week unit plan on "Digital Citizenship in the Age of AI"

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