When I accepted a position as a Technology Integration Specialist with Forward Edge, one thing I found out was that I would be attending my first ever ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference. This year’s conference was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. I know a lot of my EdTech friends didn’t have the opportunity to go, so I thought I would pass along some of my biggest takeaways.
- We have to start with a focus on our instructional strategies and expectations. If you start your decision-making process with “what the tech can do” and then try to cram it into your existing instructional system, you’ll be frustrated. If you start with what you want instruction to do for all students, and then find the tech that supports and amplifies that, you’ll be transformed. [ Transforming Teaching and Learning with an Authentic Audience (YouTube: 15:56) ]
- Programming is big. Kids should learn about coding, and learn to code. Coding involves math, science, literacy and pre-literacy skills, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving. These are skills that we want every one of our students to develop and learn to use in real-world circumstances. This is really scary for teachers who don’t know how to code, but there are some resources out there that make it a lot easier. [ Free resources: Code.org | Scratch ] [ Hardware Kits: Makey Makey | Raspberry Pi | Project Bloks by Google and Wired.com article on Project Bloks | littlebits | Ozobot ]
- It is worth the time spent getting a vision for what sort of world our students are heading into. What will the world be like in five years, or ten, or twenty, or fifty? Are we preparing kids for that world, or the world fifty years passed? And what sort of a societal change do we want these students prepared to make? [ Wrap-up of Dr. Michio Kaku’s keynote | Wrap-up of Dr. Ruha Benjamin’s keynote ]
I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate with two brief presentations. Some friends of mine made “home video” recordings of my presentations, via Periscope, now on YouTube:
- Five Rules of Design Thinking to Reach All Students – ISTE Ignite
- Three Big Fat Lies All Tech Coordinators Tell – ISTE Administrators’ Forum
I’m already looking forward to ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, TX, June 25-28, 2017! If you have the opportunity to go, I would love to see you there!