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ISTE and ASCD Awarded Grant from Microsoft to Advance AI in Teacher Preparation Programs

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June 24, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and ASCD announced they will be receiving funding from Microsoft to advance artificial intelligence (AI) for learning. Microsoft will work closely with ISTE and ASCD on Transforming Teacher Preparation, a project aimed at equipping future educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively use AI for teaching and learning.

Recognizing the critical importance of empowering educators with AI capabilities, this initiative aims to enhance Education Preparation Programs (EPPs) and build pre-service teachers’ knowledge and practice utilizing AI to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this grant by Microsoft. As AI tools become an increasingly integral part of learning and life, it is critical that new teachers are prepared to thrive in an AI-infused world,” said Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE and ASCD. “This opportunity will allow us to support educator preparation programs in preparing future teachers to help young people learn the skills they need to use AI in impactful and meaningful ways.”

"Teachers globally are often inundated with daily demands and administrative tasks, but AI tools can help streamline their work and foster innovation in the classroom,” said Naria Santa Lucia, Microsoft General Manager, Digital Inclusion and Field. “We’re grateful to be working with ISTE to help equip future teachers to effectively use these tools, enhancing student and community impact.”

Together, Microsoft’s investment and knowledge sharing, paired with ISTE and ASCD’s experience in research-based pedagogy and expertise in innovation and technology, will result in the creation of a sustainable and scalable AI module, available in English, Spanish, and Arabic. This online module will prepare both EPP faculty and pre-service teachers to incorporate AI in their classrooms safely, responsibly, and innovatively. It will include foundational and hands-on AI learning experiences that are aligned to evidence-based instructional design principles.

This grant will reach thousands of pre-service teachers and hundreds of faculty members teaching in EPPs. As a result, hundreds of thousands of elementary and secondary students around the world will benefit from the higher quality of instruction and learning experiences, as their teachers gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively use AI in their classrooms. Learn more here.

About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate innovation in education through the smart use of technology. ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for rethinking education and creating innovative learning experiences. ISTE hosts ISTELive, one of the world's most influential education events, and offers a wealth of professional learning opportunities focused on technology in education. In 2023, ISTE merged with ASCD, combining expertise in technology and innovation with research-based professional learning for educators and education leaders, to advance student outcomes. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit

About ASCD

ASCD is where educators come to learn about new instructional strategies, grow as individuals and thrive as professionals. We are the preeminent global leader of professional learning resources for all classroom teachers, instructional leaders, principals, and superintendents. For over 80 years, educators and instructional leaders have used ASCD’s educator-generated, evidence-based resources, digital tools, and solutions to build teaching and learning environments to elevate education and boost student achievement. In 2023, ASCD merged with ISTE, combining expertise in technology and innovation with research-based professional learning for educators and education leaders, to advance student outcomes.