Unpacking ISTE 2019

By Jenna Krambeck-Reeh

Nearly five days later I am still working to sort, unpack, and share the amazing wealth of resources from ISTE 2019. Five major themes for this year’s conference include student voice, student choice, creators vs. consumers, networking, and the sharing of ideas.

#1. Student Voice: Holly Clark stated, “If you have not heard from every student in your classroom every day you are not doing your job in 2019.” Technology can provide us with opportunities to amplify even the quietest voices in our classrooms and gather feedback from all of our students.

Tools: Equity Maps, Webjets, and Go Soap Box

#2. Student Choice:

Provide opportunities for student choice. If a student is given a voice and a choice in how they show their learning, he or she can share their strengths and use them to demonstrate their understanding in a way that is enjoyable and fun. Technology is a game changer and equalizer for “showing what you know.”

Tools: Hyperdocs, GoFormative

#3. Creators vs. Consumers:

While research and consuming information has a purpose, we need to shape opportunities for students to become creators of content. Create a space where students want to spend time. Make your classroom feel like an artist studio. Mistakes will happen. Things will get dirty. It may be loud, but learning is taking place. At this year’s conference AR and VR were highlighted in several sessions. Our students are consuming augmented and virtual reality, but are they getting the opportunity to create AR and VR experiences? Learning in this way not only engages our students, but provides them with a platform to play and engage with next level technology.

Tools: AR Makr (iOS), Google Tour Creator, CoSpaces

#4. Networking:

Teaching can be lonely, especially when you are blazing a new path using technology. Problem solving, brainstorming, and thinking outside the box is easier with a great team on your side. Engaging in professional networks by following people that you respect, not only will inspire you, but will support you when you need help.

Not sure who to follow? I would suggest: Kasey Bell, Tony Vincent, Michael Bonner, Holly Clark, Ken Shelton, and Leslie Fisher to get started.

#5. Sharing Ideas:

The sharing of ideas is what teachers do best. Open and honest dialoguing about what works and doesn’t work, challenges and frustrations, loses and wins are essential to creating a rewarding learning environment for our students. Looking for ways to share your story? Try blogging, podcasting, tweeting, and Instagramming. Share your story and bright ideas because teaching is hard enough without the support of those around you. 

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