Education Dept. publishes AI guide for edtech developers

The Department of Education published a guide with recommendations for edtech AI developers that includes provisions on equity and transparency.
U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona delivers remarks at the department's Lyndon Baines Johnson Building on January 27, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of Education on Monday published a new guide designed to aid development of educational technologies that include artificial intelligence. 

The 49-page guide — Designing for Education with Artificial Intelligence: An Essential Guide for Developers — is intended “to support people who are managing teams in the design and development of products that leverage AI to improve teaching and learning,” according to the guide.

The free-to-download document, published as one of the products of President Joe Biden’s 2023 executive order tasking the government with the “safe, secure and trustworthy” use of AI, includes definitions, frameworks and recommendations for developers.

The report’s five key recommendations involve product design, providing evidence, advancing equity and civil rights, ensuring safety and security and promoting transparency and earning trust.


“Educational decision makers express cautious optimism for new products and services that

leverage new capabilities of AI,”  the guide reads. “As indicated throughout this guide, educators see a wealth of opportunities to use AI to achieve the vision of their educational institutions—and yet they must be well informed of risks that must be addressed.”

Time magazine in May selected Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as a “Person of the Week.” In an accompanying article, Cardona said care should be taken so that AI does not replace schools’ critical functions.

“AI, for example, it’s here. It’s here,” he told Time. “So we either help our students with digital citizenry and give them guardrails to understand how it can help, but how it can hurt, how you can get a lot of information, but you could also get biases reinforced, and make them better consumers of the product of AI or whatever tools are out there. Because I think if we deny the fact that this is coming, they’re going to do it without us. And then those guardrails are not there. But everything in moderation.”

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