The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) holds a conference each year. If you are interested in educational technology, this is the conference for you. Educators from all over the world gather to share the work they have been doing with students with other educators. The conference can breathe new life into teachers. You get so many ideas and meet people who have similar aspirations and also who challenge you. It can give validation to those who feel like they are doing their best to meet student needs in this changing world. There are plenty of provides networking opportunities. There are a lot of meetups and groups where you can meet new teachers and connect with those that have met online. ISTE will challenge you to try things that you may not have thought of.
This year, ISTE is being held in San Antonio, Texas. I wanted to go. Last year, I began making plans to go. But as usual, life threw me a curve ball and let’s just say, I had other things to prioritize over going to this conference.
The Will and the Way
However, all is not lost. In 2017, there are plenty of ways for me to connect to this conference without having major FOMO. Using the Internet and the power of Twitter, I am finding lots of resources, I have the ability to share with educators at ISTE and those who are not.
There is an amazing group of individuals that have created a Google+ group called NOTatISTE. Here, we can connect with other educators, make our virtual ISTE badges, complete daily challenges, and compete for points for our online #NotatISTE challenges.
There is also a wonderful team at #passthescopeedu who not only have a Voxer group, but they are actually there at ISTE Periscoping different aspects of the conference so we can feel like we are there.
Sue Waters has a blog post that explains how you can get connected and how to organize yourself for this conference even if you are not there.
Students should be creating more.
Something I already believe but need to determine how to help teachers see this. I become disappointed when I see teachers using what could be awesome ed tech tools in their classroom as worksheet replacements. When I try to explain or show them that there are so many ways said tool could be used, I am often met with excuses. (I don’t have time, Kids can’t do that, they are too young, etc.) If we are responsible for shaping a child’s future, then we cannot worksheet them to death.
Somehow I have let this slip under my radar. I know it exists but I never really pursued the EDU edition. Minecraft already has a place in my life. I play with my children and I have used it classrooms for math. It would be interesting to see how educators are using this in other subject areas. I will have to check the standards alignment. As an instructional technology coach, I would like to see all that the EDU version will offer. I am going to spend time exploring their site and would like to connect with other educators who are using it.
I am also very interested in virtual reality in an elementary classroom. I have dabbled in VR a little but have not explored the educational side apart from exploring Google Expeditions one day. This is going to be a good way to start collecting resources and exploring. I would like to see classroom application other than being a tour guide. I just found out that a new person in my PLN has a weekly chat about this so I’m going to follow-up even more about this.
Creating Your Story
The keynote speaker, Jab Abumrad, spoke of sharing your story, using your voice, and allowing your process to become your story. This is a very powerful message as we shift not only students but teachers from becoming consumers to being creators and sharing their story. I completely agree with this and will spend time cultivating this with the people I work with. This goes along with the work that Angela Maiers has done when she speaks of Student Voice, Teacher Voice, etc.
Day 1 Summary
This first day has been amazing and I feel fired up already! Last night I went to bed exhausted but happy about my first day experiences.
I am looking forward to the next few days.