Monday, July 8, 2024 - 05:30 am Categories:
Press Release

North Dakota School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said new state guidance about artificial intelligence has been designed to help local schools develop their own AI policies, and help teachers and administrators work more efficiently.

The information, which has been posted on the Department of Public Instruction’s website, was compiled by a group of educators drawn from North Dakota schools, the NDDPI, the Department of Career and Technical Education, and state information technology agencies. 

Baesler said implementing AI, or any other instructional tool, requires planning and alignment with existing educational priorities, goals, and values. Humans should always control how AI is used, and review any AI output for errors, she said. An abbreviated description of the process is Human-Technology-Human.

“We must emphasize keeping the main thing the main thing, and that is to prepare our young learners for their next challenges and goals,” Baesler said.

Steve Snow and Kelsie Seiler, who work in the NDDPI Office of School Approval and Opportunity, said guidance information was drawn from other state agency education agencies and technology websites, such as and It took about eight months to gather and develop the material.

“We had a team that looked at guidance from other states, and we pulled pieces from different places, and actually built guidance tailored for North Dakota students,” Snow said.

Seiler noted that AI is best at data analysis, predictive analytics – which examines past behavior to predict future actions – and automating repetitive tasks. It is not good at emotional intelligence, interdisciplinary research and problem solving, or inventive concepts.

Snow added that one possible use of AI for teachers is to design lesson plans that align with North Dakota’s academic content standards. This can be done quickly, and plans can be changed to accommodate students who may not have initially grasped the material. AI can ease the task 

“You have so many resources (teachers) can use that are going to make your life so much easier,” Snow said. “I want the teachers, administration, and staff to get comfortable with using (AI), so they’re a little more comfortable when they talk to kids about it.” 

Seiler also pointed out that the NDDPI guidance is not a “how-to” manual for using AI but provides general suggestions on how to develop local policies to take advantage of it in ways that make families, students, and teachers comfortable.

“Our guidance is meant to provide some tools to the school administration and say, ‘Here are some things to think about when you implement your own AI guidance,’” Snow said. “For instance, do you have the infrastructure to support (AI)? Do you have a professional development plan so your teachers can understand it? Do you have governance in place that says what AI can and can’t be used for?”