School Leader’s AI Workbook

Learn the why, how, and what behind AI as a school leader. This interactive workbook is designed to help you use AI with confidence and purpose. You’ll tackle limiting beliefs and discover how you can personally use AI in your everyday practice to save time and work better.

Cindy Blackburn & Sarah Phillips
5 min read

Welcome to our AI Workbook, a powerful resource designed to equip school leaders with the knowledge and confidence needed not only to understand the inner workings of AI but also to grasp its essential role. We will help you discover how AI can streamline your tasks and elevate your role as an educational leader. What distinguishes this workbook is its interactive approach. As you progress, you’ll encounter moments to pause and reflect — think of it as having your personal mindset and skill coach.

Begin your journey as an AI-enabled leader.

Download interactive workbook
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Discover how AI works

While it feels like it came out of nowhere, AI is not a new phenomenon. Recent advances in computing power and access to large data sets have drastically influenced the pace and quality of AI products. 

So how does AI work? Data scientists feed large curated data sets into AI models like ChatGPT. The AI neural network functions similarly to the human brain. However, while the brain makes connections using words and concepts, AI models are organized around statistical probability. 

ChatGPT is the tool that we’re going to focus on in this resource. It is a large language model that has been trained on large data sets. Because of its conversational tone and accuracy of responses, working with ChatGPT often feels like collaborating with a person! If you want a primer on how ChatGPT can be used in lesson planning and other basic tasks, you can access our guide to Mastering ChatGPT for Lesson Planning

A few interesting facts before you begin collaborating with AI: 

  • Models like ChatGPT have bias from the data sets that they are trained on. 
  • Models might sometimes hallucinate or make up information (facts, websites, and so on). 
A pictograph explaining how AI works!

It’s easy to fear or avoid things we don’t understand. Now that you know a bit more about how AI functions, let’s turn towards your practice and why you should be using it as a school leader!

Unpack why AI for school leaders

If you talk to future-minded educators and leaders, we tend to have a lot in common. While the language of our mission or vision statements might vary, we can generally align behind some core beliefs:

  • Future preparedness: We want to help develop the leaders of tomorrow and equip students with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in life.
  • Personalized learning: We believe in the importance of meeting students where they are by creating pathways that help our learners find their unique strengths and abilities.
  • Authenticity: We think that learning should be connected to life.
  • Critical thinking: We aim to develop the skills of critical and creative thinking.
  • Adaptability: We want our learners to have the resilience to learn, unlearn, and relearn throughout their lives.

According to UNICEF, 65% of children in school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist! To thrive in the workplace of the future, students will need to be equipped with AI-skills, critical thinking skills, and analytical thinking skills.  If we want to prepare learners for the future, we must understand and navigate AI responsibly.We suggest that the best place to start is with you. The more you become a confident and capable AI user, the greater your efficacy will be in leading your team and navigating the change.

Uses of AI for school leaders

So, how can you use AI? The key to this question is understanding your current time use and expertise. When surveyed, leaders identified that over half of their time is spent on internal administrative tasks and curriculum and teaching tasks! 

Pie diagram based on the survey for ways school leaders spend their working hours.

John Spencer led a keynote for school leaders and suggested seven major areas school leaders might use AI:

Table showing seven major areas that school leaders could use AI.

What’s great about ChatGPT is that you can use it both as a collaborator on passion projects, or you can delegate more mundane or less enjoyable leadership tasks! Either way, recent studies have shown that using ChatGPT helps experts like you complete tasks faster and at a higher quality than when working alone.

Tackle ten common leadership tasks with AI

Once you have decided which tasks you will work with ChatGPT to complete, we can turn our attention to effectively interacting with ChatGPT. One pivotal skill of the future is prompt generation. 

Prompt is is the message you type into the chat box when you are using tools like Bard or ChatGPT. The more specific and clear your prompt is, the better the output or final project will be. Here is a simple recipe for a great prompt:

A great prompt has 2 parts:

What voice will the Chat respond to you in? Are they:
imitating you

a coach or mentor

an expert in a field
What do you want the chat to make or do for you?

write an email

develop a budget

help you resolve a conflict

brainstorm ideas

For example: You are an expert at conflict resolution. You are working with a school leader. The conflict revolves around a grade level team that is not happy about a new school initiative to begin PLCS. Ask the leader one question at a time to coach them through solving this problem with their team.

Begin your journey as an AI-enabled leader.

Download interactive workbook
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Final Tips:

Tips on how to use AI prompts in an effective manner


Cindy Blackburn
Cindy Blackburn
Cindy has a Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership and has worked as an PYP educator and coordinator internationally for the past ten years. She currently works as the Director of learning and engagement at Toddle and specializes in developing resources to support teachers and leaders in honing their practice and understandings, to make the PYP simple, actionable, and above all else, joyous.
Sarah Phillips
Sarah Phillips
With over 15 years of experience as an IB educator, including Head of School, Sarah has considerable knowledge of the IB MYP curriculum. She has been an MYP mathematics educator and part of the wider global IB educator community. She has a great passion for student-centered, inquiry-based teaching and learning. She now works as Director of learning and engagement at Toddle.
Disclaimer : The ideas and resources presented in this blog have been developed independently from and are not endorsed by the International Baccalaureate (IB)