Go to top of page

Artificial intelligence (AI) in schools – information for parents and carers

On this page

Parents and carers can find information about artificial intelligence (AI) on this page, including how it may be used in their child’s education.

AI and AI-enabled technology may be used in South Australian public schools as part of teaching and learning. Schools determine when this use is suitable, considering privacy, security and students’ learning needs.

The department is committed to supporting schools, teachers, students and parents and carers to take advantage of the benefits of technology responsibly and ethically.

What is artificial intelligence and generative AI

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence refers to the ability of systems or computers to do things that would normally require human intelligence. AI is used in many products and services we use daily, from search engines to smartphone assistance.

Generative AI

Generative AI can understand instructions and produce or deliver meaningful content. It uses the data it was trained on to generate new data that has similar characteristics.

Generative AI products are widely available, and they’re expected to keep changing and improving quickly. Currently the most popular generative AI tool is ChatGPT.

We’re already seeing how AI can be used in education by students and teachers.

Types of different AI tools and what they can do


Chatbots are software apps or tools, usually online, that can understand language inputs and produce language outputs. Simply put, you can ask for information, and the chatbot gives you an answer.

To understand, interpret and respond to user prompts, chatbots use generative AI and large amounts of data.

They can create many different types of content. They can, for example:

  • craft an original story
  • write an essay on a given topic with citations and references
  • write a poem
  • summarise content
  • explain complex concepts in simple terms.

Examples of chatbots currently in use:

  • Open AI ChatGPT – a free service that generates text in response to prompts; requires a sign-in.
  • AI-powered Microsoft Bing – a free service that generates text in response to prompts and includes a search engine; requires a Microsoft account.
  • Quillbot – a free paraphrasing service that will change the wording of text to different levels of complexity; no sign-in required.

Image and video generation tools

Generative AI tools can make new images or videos. They can also edit existing materials.

These tools learn from large datasets of images. They can generate new images that are similar in style and content.

Popular tools include:

The visual generative AI tools aren’t as advanced as language chatbots, but they’re improving quickly.

Intelligent tutoring systems

Intelligent tutoring systems use AI to provide personalised learning with instructions and feedback. They learn patterns and adapt to the learning needs of a student based on their responses and behaviour.

Intelligent tutoring has been around for a few years, but it’s improving quickly in line with generative AI.

Intelligent tutoring is dialogue-based: the student enters a written or spoken response (for example to an assignment), and the tutoring system gives feedback or prompts the student to think about the topic more deeply.

Intelligent tutoring systems include:

How students may use AI tools for their learning

AI tools can support student learning in a variety of ways.

Your child could use AI to:

  • answer simple questions on a topic
  • start creative tasks, like stories or poems
  • explain information in different ways to help their understanding
  • create a study timetable or program
  • test their knowledge or prepare practice questions
  • combine information from different sources
  • paraphrase information
  • learn about critical thinking
  • explore the impact of emerging technology.

The use of AI may vary between year levels.

If your school uses AI-powered tools, your child’s teacher and school will determine when they can be used. This could include in the classroom or for homework.

You could also help your child use AI at home to support their learning.

How teachers may use AI to support teaching and learning

Chatbots offer opportunities for teachers to streamline tasks, generate ideas and tailor learning.

A teacher could use AI tools:

  • as a starting point for lesson planning
  • for rewording information so that students at different stages of learning can understand it
  • for inspiration on topics
  • to create or prompt questions as the basis for conversations or assessments for students
  • to tailor a task to support engagement.

Teachers are exploring these uses of AI. They’re encouraged to share their learnings and what works for them with their colleagues.

Every school determines how their teachers and students can use AI.

What you need to be aware of

AI offers opportunities in education and these will change over time. When considering the use of AI tools, you should keep in mind:

  • privacy
  • security
  • your child’s learning needs.

Age and access

For some AI tools, users need to be over a certain age. This depends on the platform’s terms of service. For example, for ChatGPT and DALL-E:

  • the minimum age is 13
  • users under 18 need their parent or carer’s consent to use the platform.

But it’s difficult to control access because:

  • some generative AI sites, including ChatGPT, don’t ask for proof of age during registration
  • for others you only need an email address or a Google or Microsoft account to register.

Content produced by AI tools

  • Chatbots sometimes provide answers that can’t be tracked back to the source information. They can produce false references to support answers. They can also make things up, which is known as an AI ‘hallucination’.
  • AI responses shouldn’t be taken as a source of truth. Students should do fact checking and referencing before relying on AI generated content.
  • Chatbots may produce inappropriate content for students based on the questions asked, because they’re trained using large data sets and they’re not fully moderated.
  • AI responses may hold biases against individuals or groups. That could include outdated stereotypes or assumptions about someone’s background or personality. This may be due to incomplete data or a result of bias in the data.
  • Image and video generators could be used to create offensive or inappropriate content, which may not be intentional. They could also be used to produce copyrighted materials.
  • Some image generation tools let you upload images and make changes to them with AI. You shouldn’t use images or videos of students, staff, schools, family members or members of the community.

Plagiarism and assessment integrity

  • Students copying content created by AI and submitting it as their own work is plagiarism. This is the same as with any sources of information. Students learn about plagiarism, how to avoid it and the serious impact it can have on their assessments as part of their schooling.
  • It can be hard to identify where a student may have used an AI tool beyond how they’ve been directed by their school. That’s because content is generated in real-time by the AI, and not copied from another source.
  • Schools and teachers are aware of how chatbots could affect assessment integrity and may apply appropriate controls and strategies to address this.
  • Schools are encouraging students to use AI to support their own original thinking, not to replace it.

Safety and privacy

  • Information and content entered into generative AI becomes the property of the owners of the tool. This includes images that are uploaded. Terms and conditions may allow the owners to reuse the content.
  • It’s not always clear how AI providers secure the data.
  • The department recommends that schools and students don’t enter personal information into generative AI tools such as ChatGPT or image and video generators.

The learning needs of your child

  • Like other technologies, AI can enable and enhance teaching and learning. It’s not a replacement for teachers.
  • Teachers help students develop cognitive skills like critical thinking and creativity so students can use AI responsibly and effectively in learning.

How you can help your child use AI for their learning

The use of emerging technology in education is most effective when families, students and teachers work together.

You’re encouraged to talk to your child about AI and how they can use it. You can help them navigate this advancing technology and learn how they’re already using it.

Some things you could discuss with your child include:

  • Where age appropriate: How are they already using AI to support their learning and what types of AI tools have they used?
  • How have those AI tools helped their learning? What did it help them do?
  • How they can help you use AI: From their experiences, what could they teach you about how to use AI?
  • How do they see AI being used in the future, in their education and after school?
  • How are they using AI outside of learning? Are they using it instead of search engines to find information?
  • About academic honesty when using AI at school: How can they use AI to support their own original thinking rather than replace it?
  • Do they understand that AI responses aren’t always accurate and need to be fact checked?
  • About interesting and informative responses: What interesting responses has AI provided that has helped them develop their own creative ideas?
  • About inappropriate or unusual responses to questions: If they use AI, has it ever given any strange or unexpected responses?
  • Protecting privacy when using AI: You could use AI together to research how data is stored by tools like ChatGPT and who owns it.

These conversations can help to reinforce messages about AI your child receives at school.

Where to from here

AI technologies will continue to advance. This means we need to keep adjusting our thinking, practices and processes.

AI also offers positive opportunities in teaching and learning, and these are likely to grow in the coming years.

AI-enabled educational technologies have the potential to:

  • drive innovative teaching practices
  • better personalise student learning
  • help to streamline teaching tasks and other school administration.

Education Ministers from all Australian states and territories have agreed that responding to the risks and harnessing opportunities from generative AI technologies is a national education priority.

They agreed to develop the Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence in Schools, which will cover elements of:

  • human and social wellbeing
  • transparency
  • fairness
  • accountability
  • privacy and security.

The department will release further and more specific advice for schools and parents in 2023.