Teacher resources: Integrating AI into the curriculum

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most talked about (and most requested by our readers) topics in education. Quickly evolving and ever changing, it’s crucial that students, who must navigate the growing impact of AI on their lives, have a fundamental understanding of how AI works, the elements that comprise it, and its responsible and ethical use.

Addressing how teachers can provide this understanding, and integrate AI into their existing lessons, is a new teaching resource from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

A practical resource for teaching students about AI

‘AI technologies have the potential to improve teaching and learning opportunities for students and provide enormous benefits for education,’ says acting CEO of ACARA Stephen Gniel. ‘But we also need to educate children in how to stay safe as they use these technologies.’

To assist teachers in equipping their students with the skills and knowledge needed to understand the challenges, opportunities and risks of AI, ACARA has developed a new Curriculum Connection resource on Artificial Intelligence.

Developed in partnership with academic and teaching experts in the AI field, the resource aims to equip young Australians with recognising the importance of:

  • understanding how AI technologies work, helping them to better navigate their use and recognising their limitations.
  • understanding the different types of AI (digital tools and AI systems) and their purpose, design and uses.
  • understanding about the responsible use and application of AI.
  • critically evaluating the broader impact of AI on society and reflecting on the ethical complexities of using AI.

    The resource links to existing curricula from foundation through to year 10, covering the learning areas of Mathematics and Technologies, the general capabilities of Digital Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, Numeracy and Literacy, and the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability.

    Donna Buckley, recipient of the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools and a key expert involved in developing the resource, highlights the benefit of this link.

    ‘As a mathematics teacher, I look for real-world applications and the Curriculum Connections Mapping documents made it easy for me to connect the Mathematics Curriculum to the mathematics that underpins AI technologies.’

    Where to access the resources

    The Curriculum Connection – Artificial Intelligence is available on the resources section of the Australian Curriculum website.

    Educators can filter information on conceptual themes from within the Australian Curriculum by year level, learning area, general capability, or cross-curriculum priority.

    The new resource also offers links to other resources developed on teaching the concepts, skills and general capabilities necessary to understand and effectively use applications of AI or design future AI systems.

    Acting CEO of ACARA Stephen Gniel says that ‘AI technologies have the potential to improve teaching and learning opportunities for students and provide enormous benefits for education.’ How are you incorporating AI into your own teaching?

    The Curriculum Connection resource aims to link the topic of AI to the Australian Curriculum. How often do you update and adjust your lessons to link them to relevant topics and real-world scenarios?

    AI is quickly changing and ever evolving. Do you stay up to date with the latest changes in order to make the most of new opportunities, and also to be aware of potential new challenges?