Seven Takeaways from ISTE 2022

It’s tough to believe that the ISTE 2022 meeting has presently appear and gone. For quite a few attendees, this was the first in-particular person meeting attendance given that ahead of March of 2020. The excitement bordering it has been making for three many years as we’ve had to change to digital situations. The previous in-individual ISTE was in Philadelphia in June 2019. For the earlier two decades, ISTE was held nearly, which enabled educators from around the environment to connect and learn with each other, just as we have done in-person, but without the additional ability of connecting in the exact actual physical area. Thankfully, with technological know-how, several a lot more educators had been able to participate in prior a long time, as nicely as this 12 months. 

This party took put in New Orleans from June 26th to 29th. There have been 16,581 total attendees, of which 14,282 were being there in man or woman. A whole of 88 countries have been represented with attendees from 65 nations around the world getting in NOLA for the conference. The convention kicked off on Sunday afternoon with an opening on the principal phase with ISTE CEO Richard Culotta, who was joined by Zach King, Brandon “BMIKE” Odums and Avis Williams. A crucial message was a reminder to “Bring again the pleasure.” The principal stage occasions have been always entire of new music, vitality and inspiring discussions. Sunday’s opening concluded with a wedding day involving two of my buddies, David Lockett and Tara Linney, a 1st in the ISTE conference practical experience. 

There were being so numerous highlights of this year’s convention, the most significant becoming that we ended up ready to re-connect in particular person with good friends and come to feel that ISTE vibe and the ability of remaining linked. Enthusiastic educators everywhere observed each other for the 1st time in many years and in several instances, fulfilled for the initial time following getting shaped friendships via Twitter and other understanding spaces almost. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s ISTE encounter.

Heading into registration just after an incredible Sunday early morning breakfast with mates from all over the environment!

1. The Persons

What I imagine to be most critical when it will come to functions like this is to target on the connections we designed and the new connections we can make. Immediately after a number of several years of not seeing some friends, it was fantastic to reconnect in this space and have time to capture up, even if that intended a brief few of minutes for a brief hi dialogue and then shifting on to the subsequent issue. A single of the most typical thoughts was “Is it all right if I hug you?” No subject in which you went at the convention, you constantly handed good friends, satisfied someone lastly in person for the first time, and could see smiles and hear the enjoyment in all places you went. For me, acquiring to satisfy Shawnee Caruthers from the Getting Smart workforce was absolutely a emphasize! 

2. Highlighted Voices

I was honored to be picked as 1 of the Showcased Voices for the convention this year. The speakers provided classroom teachers, professors, superintendents, tech coaches, consultants, a filmmaker, a New Orleans jazz trumpeter, and numerous pupils. The purpose was to highlight the get the job done remaining done by educators, entrepreneurs and other people from professions other than training. ISTE highlighted the periods presented by the Highlighted Voices and also held some distinctive meet up with and greet activities and conversations.

A session with Zach King. Dr. Desiree Alexander (left) and Tim Needles (right) joined in. Photo courtesy of Steve Dembo.

3. The Studying

For any person who attended the convention for the initially time, or who had not attended conferences for rather some time, it could total to an frustrating encounter. There were being decisions to be manufactured and tons of possibilities to interact in expert understanding. The meeting program not only furnished so lots of selections for in-human being attendees, but virtual attendees were being equipped to just take edge of a lot of of the periods thanks to the recording or joining in although the session was currently being offered reside.

Recommendations and sample schedules

Some of the best components are that ISTE presents a wide range of formats and of course this yr, had a lot of sessions offered in their virtual platform. There had been 37 matters presented in a assortment of formats which include Mainstage periods, EdTalks, interactive classes, creation labs, posters and playground sessions, panel conversations, and research paper evaluations. Subject areas these types of as Equity, Esports, Emerging Technologies, SEL, STEM and Virtual Actuality had been rather well known. ISTE produced 15 sample schedules to make it much easier for attendees to discover classes that achieved their passions.  

ISTE 2022 presented many alternatives for edleaders to create new pathways for learners. For illustration, there ended up sessions on new discovering models this sort of as undertaking-based mostly discovering and makerspaces. Numerous learning chances were in alignment with the pillar of Help and Advice via classes centered on SEL and fairness. With subjects such as Esports, Rising Systems, STEM and Digital Actuality, the pillars of Unbundled Understanding (understanding can transpire anywhere) and Accelerated Pathways (making ready for the long term of operate and studying) had been highlighted.  

image courtesy of Jami Shields, @missjshields1

Another highly effective discovering prospect arrived from the ISTE Day by day Livestream provided as a result of a partnership with Adobe, ISTE and NewEdTechClassroom with Holly Clark and Sam Kary leading the discussions. 3 days of interviews with several unique educators and topics. I appreciated staying a guest and conversing about virtual actuality and of study course, catching all of the episodes to study from the other visitors. You can capture all of the recordings on the NewEdTechClasroom YouTube Channel.

Holly Clark, Sam Kary and visitor Ken Shelton for the duration of the ISTE Livestream.
I loved conversing about VR and the long run of rising technologies in training with Sam. 
Capturing the thoughts and inspiration from the meeting.

4. The Activities

This convention has lots of opportunities to have interaction such as periods, the expo corridor or off-web-site routines. The hardest aspect is figuring out wherever to go with the time we have. For this calendar year, ISTE provided a photograph wander via the streets in New Orleans, there was a Future Completely ready Library Media Specialist Summit, a pre-convention LACUE session with Weston Kieschnick, and visits to the Earth War II museum and the New Orleans Museum of Artwork. 

Microsoft and Wakelet held mastering events for educators on Sunday afternoon and a personal highlight of the working day was an awesome breakfast gathering hosted by Barbara Bray and Dr. Ilene Winokur. Several educators joined this breakfast which was unquestionably the position to be to kick off the ISTE encounter!

I constantly enjoy attending Flipfest each summer for the reason that you can generally count on some huge announcements from Flipgrid, now simply just regarded as “Flip.” Additional than 1,000 people today joined in this celebration. With Flip, there are many new functionalities including a digital camera with an ASL Lens that will instruct the basic principles of American Signal Language (ASL) by monitoring hand movements as you discover every letter of the alphabet. 

EdTechKaraoke is yet another large event that I search ahead to each year. Irrespective of whether you are joining as a singer or there to cheer on your buddies, it is an additional possibility to join, recharge and delight in the electric power of remaining a related educator. 

EdTech Karoake, Image courtesy of Chase Chatfield

5. Connecting Educators

ISTE knocked it out of the park by creating a virtual room for any person to be a part of in and possibly expertise the session are living or view the recording where available. The system style individualized attendees’ activities due to the fact it would recommend classes and connections based on passions indicated in the attendee’s profile.

It is good that ISTE provided a system so that much more people today ended up able to take part even if they weren’t there in particular person. So lots of distinctive styles of periods had been provided that concentrated on critical subject areas this sort of as fairness, SEL and emerging systems just to title a few.

Classes are archived and are obtainable for 6 months. Becoming in individual is effective, but when offered with so quite a few possibilities, making an attempt to match them in into those four rapid times, is not possible. Being aware of that I can go again and check out out some of the recordings seriously can make a variance when it will come to skilled finding out.

6. The Expo 

The Expo Corridor is a will have to, not just to study about the new systems or new functions to equipment that you are using, but a area to operate into your connections and make new ones. I was fortunate to do some ebook signings and displays at a couple of the booths. It was in these areas that I was able to reconnect with good friends who I had not observed in several several years. Of training course, a massive attract is the swag. Attendees can normally stroll absent with tons of products like luggage, chargers, water bottles, T-shirts, hand sanitizer, notebooks and so substantially much more. But I locate the actual worth of the Expo Corridor in the learning and reconnecting that takes place.

I enjoyed doing some demos at the Capstone booth and signing some of my publications!

A further brilliant detail about the Expo Hall was that I basically obtained to push a person of the coolest robots, the Unitree!  It was wonderful to see what this technological innovation can do. A good deal of impressive concepts for educators seeking to hook up with pupils, foster the progress of SEL and discover how to deliver emerging technologies into the classroom.

7. ISTE Immersive VR Practical experience

Mastering about rising systems like augmented and digital reality was a huge part of the convention this yr. There have been two playgrounds held. On Sunday afternoon, six stations and two mainstage spots experienced presenters masking subjects these as AR/VR, the metaverse and NFTs, and artificial intelligence in schooling. I spoke about artificial intelligence and take pleasure in the option to hook up with other educators about how we can convey topics like AI and other rising technologies into our classrooms for learners even at early ages. Some of the preferred methods for AI have been AIClub and the ISTE U Training course on AI. On Wednesday, there was a 4-hour VR encounter with Oculus headsets prepared to immerse attendees into a selection of activities to study a lot more about digital fact. For some, this was the initial prospect to check out an Oculus headset and practical experience the possible with employing VR. There was constantly a line to get started out and every individual and I spoke to explained they were astonished at the prospects for employing Oculus in the school rooms.

ISTE VR Playground on Wednesday, Photo Courtesy of Rosemary Jane

All the points 

I surely packed my program between espresso meetups, sessions, booth displays and social gatherings. But I can inform you every time making an attempt to strategy an ISTE agenda, don’t worry about it also a great deal for the reason that when you are on your way from issue A to point B, there’s a seriously good likelihood you will be late, if you make it at all. Either you’re heading to operate into anyone you have not found in yrs, or anyone recognizes you simply because you related on Twitter, so you need to have to be flexible. 

No issue what you do you will usually skip out on a thing. But the very best discussions and time for connections transpire when you are open up to currently being flexible. You will undoubtedly recognize all that these possibilities offer. And even when the meeting ends, you will nevertheless have alternatives to understand and connect. Conference up with mates at the airport to share a meal just before heading out or acquiring out that fifty percent of the people today on your plane were being just at ISTE and you make new connections. Mastering is in all places.

Hanging at the airport: Francisco Flores, Jaime Donally, Rachelle and Ken Shelton

Prior to leaving NOLA, I had a likelihood to catch up with a lot of friends. We shared takeaways and there is so a lot to say about ISTE, you have to working experience it for by yourself.  If you have hardly ever been to an ISTE meeting, then mark it on your calendar for Philadelphia up coming calendar year, June 25 – 28, 2023.  See you in Philly!

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