“It should be fun to work with artificial intelligence tools,” says Nancye Blair Black, Project Lead for AI Explorations and Their Practical Use in School Environments.

It’s a simple credo but one that belies both a deep passion for computational thinking and an urgent desire to see this project succeed in its primary objective: to cultivate a broad and diverse group of future AI users and developers. Black sees endless opportunities to introduce AI across the curriculum to students of all ages and backgrounds. As the program—a collaboration between ISTE and General Motors—wraps up its third year of professional learning opportunities and support for educators, she says, “this is really the end of the beginning of the work.”

We spoke with Black recently about the work that she and her colleagues are doing, what lies ahead and why she’s so excited about the potential of artificial intelligence in the classroom.

EdSurge: What do you hope to achieve with the AI Explorations project?

Black: I think our program meets a unique set of needs in the AI education space right now. In general, companies and organizations have been working primarily on student-facing resources. For the AI Explorations project, we also asked ourselves, “What is it that a classroom teacher really needs to know about AI?” The offerings that we’ve developed over the last three years have been focused on educating and providing professional development for educators so that they can make the dream of integrating AI education into K-12 a reality.

Now, we’re working on scaling up the program to increase its impact, which does two things. First, it connects all those early adopter lone rangers—both through the course and our professional learning network—so even after they’ve finished the course, they stay involved. And the secondary piece is that we help them to not just be lone rangers by allowing them to train other educators and other leaders in their schools and districts so that they can expand into more of an initiative, instead of just one person who knows a little bit about AI.

Read the full article about introducing AI across the curriculum by Sam Peterson at EdSurge.