[BFTP] The one question I’m asking at ISTE 2013

[ISTELive 2024 starts this week so I am resurrecting three blog posts from previous years. Below is Blast From the Past (BFTP) #3 from 2013!]

Here’s my guiding question for the ISTE conference this year (for both presenters and vendors). If you’re at ISTE right now, I encourage you to ask this question too!

Jumpforjoy

Image credit: Because I’ve never told him he can’t fly, Lotus Carroll

[BFTP] 5 thoughts from ISTE weekend

[ISTELive 2024 starts this week so I am resurrecting three blog posts from previous years. Below is Blast From the Past (BFTP) #2 from 2015!]

Katie

Five thoughts from the first couple of days here at the 2015 ISTE Conference…

  1. If “it’s not about the technology, it’s about the learning,” then why are we centering so many of our sessions on the tools?
  2. Are there uses of technology with students that would offend the majority of us so much that we would stand up and shout, ‘No! We should never do that!’? I see things here and there that concern me but many others seem to be pretty blasé about them or simply accept them as inevitable parts of the landscape (for example, behavior modification software, draconian Internet filtering of children and educators, and drill-and-kill systems ‘for those low-achieving kids,’ just to name a few)
  3. The work of transforming school systems is difficult work. School transformation stems from personal transformation, not from devices or apps or software. How many of us can say that we’re truly transforming more than a small handful of other educators?
  4. The work of transforming school systems is slow work. Some of us have been at this for a decade or two (or longer). How do we invest in and energize both ourselves and each other so that the frustrations, sluggishness, and setbacks don’t win?
  5. We should have more babies at ISTE. Who doesn’t love babies?!

[BFTP] 3 kinds of ISTE sessions

[ISTELive 2024 starts this week so I am resurrecting three blog posts from previous years. Below is Blast From the Past (BFTP) #1 from 2015!]

Iste

Not including the more informal networking events, there generally are 3 kinds of ISTE sessions:

  1. Tools, tools, tools! These sessions focus on software, apps, extensions, productivity and efficiency, how-to tips, etc. Little emphasis on learning, heavy emphasis on how to use the tools.
  2. Technology for school replication. These sessions focus on the use of digital technologies to replicate and perpetuate schools’ historical emphases on factual recall and procedural regurgitation, control and compliance, students as passive learners, etc. Behavior modification apps, teacher content transmission tools, flashcard and multiple choice software, student usage monitoring programs, and the like.
  3. Technology for school transformation. These sessions focus on deeper learning, greater student agency, and perhaps real-world, authentic work. Learning technologies tend to be divergent rather than convergent, foster cognitive complexity, and facilitate active, creative student-driven learning.

We need more of #3. Lots more. Right now these sessions are still a significant minority of sessions at ISTE (and most other educational technology conferences).

Which kinds of sessions did you attend? What does that mean for your ability to effectuate change back home?

Which kinds of sessions did you facilitate? What does that mean for your responsibility as a presenter to help others effectuate change back home?

We’re wasting opportunities to move our systems…

ISTE Community Leaders: Apply for the 2024-2025 cohort

ISTE Community Leaders: Apply for the 2024-2025 cohort

[I am highlighting various initiatives of the ISTE Community Leaders…]

For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing some of the many things that ISTE Community Leaders do. From our new podcast to expert webinars, from helping others within ISTE Connect to meetups and conference events, we are busy but also are having a blast. If all of this sounds fun to you too, applications for the 2024-2025 ISTE Community Leaders cohort are now open. Hope some of you are interested and apply!

See also

ISTE Community Leaders: ISTE Connect

ISTE Community Leaders: ISTE Connect

[I am highlighting various initiatives of the ISTE Community Leaders…]

Perhaps the main responsibility of the ISTE Community Leaders is to engage with the larger ISTE community within ISTE Connect. ISTE Connect has numerous job role groups, including ed tech and instructional coaches, educational leaders, librarians, higher education, and P-12 educators. ISTE Connect also has topic groups that range widely, from AI to curriculum to digital citizenship to STEAM to equity, inclusion, and accessibility. There are LOTS of resources and numerous daily conversations shared across the ISTE Connect platform. ISTE Community Leaders answer questions, provide resources, connect folks, and try to spark interesting discussions as they support the needs that emerge in the online community. It’s super fun and I’ve interacted with a whole bunch of interesting people. If you’re not already engaged in ISTE Connect, come join us!

See also

ISTE Community Leaders: Expert webinars

ISTE Community Leaders: Expert webinars

[I am highlighting various initiatives of the ISTE Community Leaders…]

In addition to The Edge podcast, ongoing meetups, and various conference-related events, the ISTE Community Leaders also regularly host webinars on a variety of topics. Here is a list of upcoming and/or recent webinar topics:

Keep an eye out in ISTE (or ASCD) newsletters or other communications for information about upcoming webinars. There’s also usually a call for webinar proposals a couple of times per year. Happy listening!

See also

ISTE Community Leaders: Meetups and conferences

ISTE Community Leaders: Meetups and conferences

[I am highlighting various initiatives of the ISTE Community Leaders…]

In my last post I mentioned that the ISTE Community Leaders are doing amazing things. I have been particularly impressed with the frequency and variety of the meetups and conference events led by the Community Leaders. As an example, in recent months the Community Leaders have hosted meetups related to “meeting students where they are,” strategies for educational technology coaching, and a makerspace-themed digital escape room.

Other big events include conferences and in-person events. Some of the Community Leaders hosted the Global Impact Virtual Conference. You will see several Community Leader-hosted playgrounds at ISTELive24. I am keynoting – and several of us are helping with – the 2024 Summer ASCD + ISTE Summer Leaders Meetup in Colorado Springs. And so on…

As I mentioned, we’ve got a lot going on!

See also

ISTE Community Leaders: The Edge

ISTE Community Leaders: The Edge

I have been involved with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for over two decades. ISTE was a major supporter of our School Technology Leadership Initiative (STLI) at the University of Minnesota, a $2.5 million federally-funded project which, among other things, created the first graduate program designed to prepare a technology-savvy school leader. STLI later morphed into the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), which was the first university center in the USA focused on technology, leadership, innovation, and deeper learning. As the Founding Director (and current Co-Director) of CASTLE, I served on the original advisory board for ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (the NETS-A), and since have served ISTE as a professional learning partner, reviewer, workshop facilitator, and Ambassador. I was the recipent of ISTE’s global Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2016, and this year I am helping plan and host ISTELive here in Denver. To say that I am grateful for my relationship with ISTE would be an understatement!

For the past few years, I have been fortunate to serve as an ISTE Community Leader. There are a few dozen of us, located all around the world, and we have monthly virtual meetups in which we share what each other is doing, hear what ISTE is planning, and connect and design with each other. The Community Leaders are all doing amazing things, and our joy-filled, high energy meetings are a bucket filler for me each month.

The Community Leaders program has been around for only a few years, and I’m a huge fan. This week I will be highlighting some of what we do, starting with ISTE’s newest podcast, The Edge. The Edge evolved organically during the Community Leaders’ first couple of years together. The Edge is a podcast run by ISTE members, not ISTE staff, and the episodes are meant to highlight a variety of interesting activities happening in the ISTE community. Previous podcast topics (and guests) have included Building an E-Sports Program (with Julie Mavrogeorge), Outdoor Learning and Place-Based Education (with Paul Bocko), Neurodiverse Students and Inclusive Learning Environments (with Matthew Harrison), and Engaging Student Creativity (with Michael Hernandez).

If The Edge is not currently in your podcast listening cycle, I encourage you to check it out!

Featured interview in K-12 EdTech Magazine

Featured interview in K-12 EdTech Magazine

I had the honor of being the featured interview in the Winter 2024 issue of K-12 EdTech Magazine. Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

Keep asking the question, technology for the purpose of what? How you answer that question depends on your learning model. If your learning model is about teachers transmitting low-level knowledge with students regurgitating back factual recall, then your technology adoption and decision-making will revolve around that learning model.

AND

I think there’s a huge difference between viewing the student computer as a curriculum and content delivery device versus a student empowerment device. That shapes how we think about not only technologies but also professional development for teachers.

And I think what we see is that we spend most of that time focusing on the old traditional model of learning and teaching instead of how we do what we really need to do for the kids of today and beyond, and we seem to be fighting really hard to use today’s technology to replicate 1970s education.

Happy reading!