After experiencing the ISTE conference, I have came up with ten things I learned, my ISTE Top 10.
- I need an iPad. Everyone seem to either have one or was giving one away. Watching the ease of use these devices had convinced me.
- It takes a conference like this to create the atmosphere for the greatest PD out there, connections. Getting to meet some of my twitter friends and connecting with some of their friends was by far the best experience and largest learning opportunity.
- It is all about the STUDENTS. Hands down, the best part of the conference was visiting the poster sessions and listening to students speak passionately about their education. I saw middle years kids from Mexico show me 3D movies they created, script and all, and 9th graders from Texas present to me their schools 6th graders videos and poems about Texas.
- QR Codes are not just the next shiny object. I believe these codes have their place in education, as we see the move to POD's in the classroom. Their appeal is not so much the "shiny new object" but the mystery and excitement of not know where they are going to take you and the convenience roll they play.
- In Philadelphia, they don't call them Philly cheese steaks, they are just cheese steaks, and they are delicious.
- American conferences are done up right! I was amazed at how much entertainment is incorporated into the conference. I couldn't wait to get to the keynote speakers to see the next Philly talent. Everything from acapella to dancers to drums. This was just short of indoor fireworks. (Check out the drummers at the beginning of the video posted below.) If you are reading this post, you must have and interest in educational technology. Check out the link above and go to San Diego!
- There are enough "tech tools" out there to solve every educational problem out there, accept for one HUGE factor. None of these are effective without a passionate teacher behind the tool.
- Student Response Systems is what my school needs to look into next. These devices are being made in many different shapes, sizes and capabilities. However, as explained in #2, the information gathered by the teacher could be key. It is the teachers responsibility to gather this quick data and respond accordingly.
- Paper has its place. After attending the "Print/Cut/Fold" session put on by Jim Holland, I was reminded of the unique educational worth of graphic organizers and print.
- NETs is a guiding document that is not going away any time soon and will not be limited anytime soon. These guiding standards need to be learned and followed to ensure we are engaging our students and ourselves to create efficient, effective, creative and critical thinking citizens.
p.s. Chris Lehman is my new hero. To date, his keynote address is the most inspirational "teacher" speech I have heard. He speaks with such passion and compassion, confidence and humility, leadership and wisdom. Beginning his speech with a poetry slam from students from his school he had to have an incredible speech to justify speaking after the incredible poem by the kids. He did. His words resonated with me on so many levels as he explained not what technology can do to a school, but what passion and caring can.