10 Ways Students Can Authentically Use AI For Deep Learning

The article image is titled, “Mother Earth Goddess Who Protects the Oceans,” and was created by grade 8 students at Vientiane International School using Poe.com as part of a unit on SDG 13 - Climate Action.

The article image is titled, “Mother Earth Goddess Who Protects the Oceans,” and was created by grade 8 students at Vientiane International School using Poe.com as part of a unit on SDG 13 – Climate Action.

Students want to be content creators, not content consumers, and the “sit and get” teaching approach can no longer take the main stage in the classroom. Engaging and connecting to meaningful content is imperative for student learning. With the emergence of artificial intelligence, it is easier than ever for students to become empowered learners and designers. In a previous article, we discussed 10 AI Time-Saving Teaching Hacks. In this article, we will discuss 10 ways that students can use AI for deep learning and authentic engagement.

Please note that the purpose of this article is to provide suggestions for using AI creatively with your students. If you are interested in looking more into the ethical considerations and current debate over the use of AI in the classroom before jumping in, you can check out our article, Five Ethical Considerations to Keep in Mind Before Using AI In Your Classroom.

1. Tutor Bots

A tutor bot is created by the teacher who inputs prompts and background material into Poe or ChatGPT. Once the bot is created, students can use it independently for clarification about their learning. Rather than waiting for teacher feedback, the student can receive answers immediately. This tool works similarly to Siri and Alexa.

For example, in Megan’s school, the Economics teacher worked with the Technology Coach and the English Language Acquisition teacher to create an Econ Bot. They programmed the bot to answer students’ questions about economics using simple and clear language at the appropriate reading level for the class. They also instructed the bot to provide students with background information, charts, tables, and facts to help them generate their answers, but not to be directly told the answer. After piloting the bot with students, the teacher found that students’ understanding of difficult economics concepts improved. The bot reinforced the idea that technology is a tool rather than a destination in the learning process.

2. Conversation/Character Bots

Students can use AI to mimic authentic conversations with historical or literary figures.

For example, while teaching a grade six history unit on Ancient Egypt, Megan’s colleague wanted students to learn more about Egyptian social classes. He created several bots to represent people in different social groups (slaves, farmers, merchants, scribes, Pharaohs, etc.). Students then conversed with the bots in Poe, asking them questions about their daily lives and routines. The bots were instructed to respond at an appropriate reading level and to remind them to ask a mix of both closed and open-ended questions. You can view the lesson plan here.

3. Image Generation for Stories and Comics

There are many tools that students can use to create AI generated art. These include, as examples, Bing Image Creator and Midjourney. The use of AI art tools can help students imagine, create, tinker, and compare their results to the work of other artists. Using AI tools to generate images helps students become content creators. This approach can help students illustrate their writing or generate art to support presentations they are making for class. AI’s visualizing tools can help students who feel they lack the skills to skillfully render the visuals they want using traditional media like pen and paper. Students also improve their summarizing, describing, and explaining skills as they craft prompts to generate their desired images.

4. Creative and Informational Writing Partner

With increasing focus on standardized test scores and informational writing, many classrooms are shifting away from creative ventures. However, creative writing is just as important and can be made more collaborative and interactive with AI tools. For example, students could ask the AI to give them basic information about a character or a scene they want to write about. Then, they could ask it to generate a set of challenges each character faces in their life. Once the AI has helped the students generate initial ideas, the students can write a dinner conversation the characters might have with each other.

Students can also use AI tools to compare two works of literature. The website Magic Student has an informational chat feature (among other quite useful tools).  For example, students can ask it to make a t-chart to compare S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders to Langston Hughes’s “Thank You, M’am.” They could ask it to help them analyze Ponyboy’s challenge of being raised by his brother, Darry, to Mrs. Louella Bates Washington Jones’s treatment of Roger. Students can then use the information provided by AI to help them write essays on the topic. In this way, AI helps feed the writing process rather than becoming the composer of the essay.

5. Analyzing mentor texts

Students can use AI to help them draft model essays in response to a practice writing prompt. This can be helpful when showing students the components of well-composed essays. Essay samples generated by AI can be collectively deconstructed, analyzed, and revised. Since AI tools write so quickly, students can easily make changes to improve the initial draft. Multiple ways of exploring essay writing through AI shows students that they have many options for approaching writing demands and pulling apart a prompt. Students can also be challenged with improving or personalizing AI-generated outlines and content, acting as young editors. In this case, the student writer then becomes an editor, making the writing experience more comprehensive.

6. Presentation Making

AI tools like Canva Magic Studio and Gamma help students create attractive presentations and visuals. In the AI era, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make a presentation look polished and sleek. These sites quickly provide templates and drafts for students to build upon and finesse. This not only saves time but also helps students see themselves as designers and feel proud of what they make.

7. Research and Building Background Knowledge

AI can provide basic background knowledge and information when beginning research on a topic of inquiry. Early studies have shown that students who ask AI multiple questions about a topic learn more than students who ask just one or two questions. When learning with AI, it’s best to have a conversation. Simply plugging a research topic into AI isn’t going to give specific enough results to be helpful. Once a student has used AI to learn a bit about their topic, they can ask it to recommend sites for further research.

8. Understanding Complex Texts

Many of us have noticed that grit and resilience are sometimes underdeveloped in students. When faced with complexity, some seem to prefer swift versus thorough solutions. AI can act as a bridge to more complex texts. For example, the main conflicts in stories and novels can become more meaningful when the texts seem accessible. Extensions like Merlin AI or Quillbot can help students summarize longer texts into bullet points. In fiction pieces, identifying the theme, main idea, and supporting details provides the students with a foundation for deeper analysis. Science-based articles can be summarized by AI to provide students with the essence of the piece. Once comprehension is achieved, skills including comparison/contrast and inference become more easily accessible.

9. Language Learning Practice

Students who are new to learning a language or a bit shy to share in class might enjoy practicing in a low-stakes environment with AI. They can converse about a topic with ChatGPT in their chosen language. A conversation with ChatGPT feels like a conversation over a text messaging app. Students can even ask AI to point out any grammar mistakes they make. If students want to practice speaking and listening, they can use a more focused language practice site like TalkPalAI. The free version grants the user with ten minutes of conversation a day. Students speak into their microphones to practice pronunciation and intonation with the AI. It’s a great way to build both receptive and productive language skills.

10. Making Music

Many students find AI fun to play with because it’s so new. This is especially true when it comes to making music and writing songs using AI programs like Suno or AIVA. For example, while Megan’s students were researching UN Sustainable Development Goals they each chose an SDG and used Soundtrap to produce a short podcast. To accompany the podcast, the students used Suno to create a “Song for Change” to encourage people to take action in support of the SDG. Here’s an example of one that a student made about SDG14 – Life Below Water. The student wrote a few lyrics, plugged them into the website, and then told it to create an uplifting song in the style of “We Are the World.” It’s a catchy tune, don’t you think?

With proper support and teacher guidance, students can use AI tools authentically to boost their creativity, promote critical thinking, access difficult content material, and support research tasks. As our knowledge of AI continues to grow over the next few years, we will be more able to seamlessly integrate it into our classrooms.

Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, there remain ethical considerations for both teachers and students using AI, including racial and gender bias that might play a role when generating images. For more information about the ethics of AI in the classroom, please see our companion article, “Five Ethical Considerations to Keep in Mind Before Using AI In Your Classroom”.

If you are interested in connecting with others around AI in our schools, please join us on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:00 pm for our “Introduction to AI for Educators” webinar. You can sign up here! We hope to see you there.

This article was written by members of AMLE’s Teacher Leaders Constituent Committee. Learn more about AMLE’s constituent committees and other opportunities to get involved.


  1. A lot of these uses are very handy, but some caution is definitely necessary! Specifically as a math teacher, I have seen multiple examples of popular AI tools, even educational ones, providing erroneous errors to math problems, usually as a result of misunderstanding the wording of the problems. For that reason, I would specifically advise caution with use #1, the tutor bots.