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New ISTE Book Explores What Artificial Intelligence is and How Educators Can Use it as a Tool for Learning

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December 17, 2018

WASHINGTON – December 17, 2018 – The children inch toward the robot sitting in the corner of the classroom and proceed to inspect its wires, screws, arms, the wall plug, and the wheels that function as its feet. They want interaction. They want to know if it is friendly. Will it scare them, or will it shake hands with them?

This encounter is one of the scenes framing Michelle Zimmerman’s new book, Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning. The book is published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and produced by a grant from General Motors to support the development of new resources in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in K-12 education.

Through examples and conversations drawing on a broad variety of voices, including educators in other countries and underrepresented student voices, the book looks at AI’s potential for teaching STEM, project-based learning, design thinking and more. Resources and activities throughout the book offer opportunities for further learning and ideas for introducing AI concepts in the classroom.

While the future of AI is exciting, a thorough understanding and careful approach is important. Teaching AI offers ethical considerations and advice on avoiding bias and stereotypes. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of AI and be prompted to ask questions of their own as they engage students and colleagues in the conversation. In preparing students for a future with machines, this book asks the very important question of what it means to be human.

Each chapter of Teaching AI opens with a scene. These stories feature diverse settings and characters, including students at a Japanese primary school, a software developer and the retiring headmaster of a boarding school. This is not an expected approach to a technology book on artificial intelligence, but is intentional. Asking questions and making connections between seemingly unrelated concepts are essential skills for the future. At the end of each chapter introduction there are a series of questions to bring the topics covered in the chapter into sharper focus and to connect each to AI.

Zimmerman has taught students from ages 3-16. She received her doctorate in learning sciences and human development from the College of Education at the University of Washington in Seattle, and her research has been recognized with multiple awards. She currently leads the ongoing re-envisioning at Renton Prep Christian School in Renton, Washington. Microsoft selected Renton Prep as the first K-12 Microsoft Flagship School in the United States in September 2018. Since 2007, Zimmerman has presented around the world for groups including the American Education Research Association, UCLA CRESST, ISTE, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York Academy of Sciences and New York Academy of Medicine, as well as at multiple edtech conferences and universities.

The book is available for purchase at


About the International Society for Technology in Education

ISTE is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation. Our worldwide network believes in the potential technology holds to transform teaching and learning.

ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for students, educators, administrators, coaches and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments. ISTE hosts the annual ISTE Conference & Expo, one of the world’s most influential edtech events. The organization’s professional learning offerings include online courses, professional networks, year-round academies, peer-reviewed journals and other publications. ISTE is also the leading publisher of books focused on technology in education. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit Subscribe to ISTE’s YouTube channel and connect with ISTE on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.