AI Explorations in Education: Preparing Students for an Evolving Future

Educators Empowered by ISTE AI Initiative to Integrate AI into Classrooms

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to shape our world, educators face the challenge of preparing students for a future where AI will play a significant role. To address this need, the ISTE AI initiative, funded by General Motors, has launched AI Explorations and Their Practical Use in School Environments. This program offers professional learning opportunities for educators, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to integrate AI into their classrooms and prepare students for future AI careers. The emphasis on a human-centric approach ensures that AI is viewed not just as a technological advancement, but as a tool to enhance and augment the human experience. In this article, we will explore the experiences of three innovative educators who have participated in the AI Explorations program and discuss how AI education makes students and educators more human.

Incorporating AI in the Classroom

Dr. Jackie Gerstein, a gifted education teacher, has successfully incorporated AI activities into her classes. Using Google’s Teachable Machine, Gerstein taught her students machine learning activities, such as training the machine to recognize rock, paper, and scissors through hand gestures. She also introduced AI-assisted text generator activities, encouraging students to write stories and generate accompanying images using AI technology.

Dr. Brandon Taylor, a bilingual teacher, has explored AI chatbot activities with his students, allowing them to create AI tools in either English or Spanish. Taylor also facilitated discussions on the ethical use of AI-assisted text generators, encouraging students to devise a pledge outlining how they would responsibly use this technology for positive learning.

AI in Physical Education

Dr. Stacy George, an assistant professor, integrated AI into physical education using the HomeCourt PE Curriculum. By employing the ISTE-GM AI Hands-On Guide for Elective Teachers, George guided students in designing AI tools to enhance their athletic performance. Through this process, students developed critical thinking skills and engaged in self-reflection, as the AI tool provided feedback on their shot angles, footwork, and dribbling.

Human-Centered Design in AI Education

A human-centered design approach is crucial in AI education, ensuring that students learn how AI can benefit and augment their lives. Dr. George shared an example of a pre-service teacher who taught machine learning to second graders by incorporating animal characteristics. Students used Teachable Machine to identify flowers for pollination and created a robotics-based pollination device, fostering problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.

Learning alongside Students

AI has not only impacted students but also enabled educators to become lifelong learners. Dr. Gerstein highlighted how AI has allowed her to address students’ questions and interests, even when she doesn’t have immediate answers. By leveraging AI, she creates learning experiences that meet students’ needs, fostering a collaborative learning environment.


As AI continues to shape our world, educators play a vital role in preparing students for an AI-influenced future. The ISTE AI initiative’s AI Explorations program empowers educators to integrate AI into their classrooms, emphasizing a human-centric approach to learning. Through the experiences of Dr. Gerstein, Dr. Taylor, and Dr. George, we see how AI education cultivates critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-reflection skills in students. By embracing AI as a tool to enhance the human experience, educators are equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an evolving future.

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