After my first successful professional conference experience at NCTM this year (check out my exploits here, here, and here), I decided to come to ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education)’s conference in San Antonio. There were several reasons why I wanted to come for the first time to ISTE: 1) I learned so much at NCTM’s Annual Meeting this year, and I was eager to learn more about edtech, a personal interest of mine; 2) I was very envious of everyone’s tweets about the conference last year; 3) I am already very familiar with San Antonio’s convention center, since NCTM was in the same place; and 4) San Antonio is close enough to my home in Austin that I don’t need to fly.
My first day of ISTE top ten, in no particular order:
1. Live music. I was into the jazz duo in the lobby of the convention center and the girl band from Austin. Shout out to the Tiarra Girls.
2. New books. Well, just one new book. I find that reading is a nice way to take a break from all the tech-ness of this conference.
3. Fan girling. I feel pretty good about myself when I recognize someone that a presenter references. In this case, Jennifer Gonzalez and the Cult of Pedagogy being awesome, as usual.
4. Student presenters. One of the coolest parts of ISTE Ignite (20 slides, 15 seconds per slide, lots of information in a short period of time, whew) was the student presenters! One student was an entrepreneur who founded Studio1ne. Another student talked about different apps and websites that he uses, that maybe we might want to use with or introduce to our students:
- Kerbal Space Program
- Pocket Planes – app
- Plague Inc. – game
- Hopscotch – app for coding and game design
- PicCollage – app
We also heard from a student (@steamnerds) who was “too young” to join his school’s robotics team, so he started his own. Rock on, Generation Z! (Learned about them in another adult-led Ignite talk).
5. 90 minutes to wait for a session?!? No way, Apple. I don’t care how great your presentations are, that is too much time standing in line and not enough time checking out all the other cool sessions. I will never know what I missed anyway.
6. Good questions. A good thing to keep in mind, as edtech can be pretty overwhelming, and there can be a pretty big feeling of FOMO.
7. Innovation ≠ Technology (necessarily). A good thing to keep in mind at an edtech conference. Just because you use technology does not mean that it is innovative.
8. Radiolab. New fan of this guy right here: Jad Abumrad. Great thoughts about productive struggle and how to work through difficult things to make greatness, or something closer to greatness each time. I like the model he made for Radiolab. I think it also works for education.
9. The Gap. The difference between knowing you can do high-quality work and actually producing it. So good for students–and their teachers–to keep in mind during the learning process.
10. Size matters. ISTE 2017 is huge! Over 21,000 exhibitors and attendees. All 50 states and over 70 countries represented. Over 8,000 different schools and organizations represented. Maps and “Ask Me” helpers everywhere. People everywhere. Oh. My. Gosh. This thing is so big.
I hope tomorrow is just as thought-provoking!