Seven Takeaways from ISTE 2022

It’s hard to imagine that the ISTE 2022 convention has already appear and gone. For numerous attendees, this was the initially in-man or woman meeting attendance considering the fact that right before March of 2020. The enjoyment surrounding it has been making for 3 several years as we’ve experienced to shift to digital situations. The past in-person ISTE was in Philadelphia in June 2019. For the previous two many years, ISTE was held virtually, which enabled educators from about the earth to join and understand together, just as we have done in-person, but devoid of the additional power of connecting in the exact bodily room. The good thing is, with engineering, many more educators ended up ready to take part in prior several years, as nicely as this calendar year. 

This event took position in New Orleans from June 26th to 29th. There have been 16,581 full attendees, of which 14,282 ended up there in human being. A overall of 88 countries were represented with attendees from 65 nations around the world remaining in NOLA for the convention. The convention kicked off on Sunday afternoon with an opening on the principal stage with ISTE CEO Richard Culotta, who was joined by Zach King, Brandon “BMIKE” Odums and Avis Williams. A crucial concept was a reminder to “Bring back again the pleasure.” The major phase events were normally whole of audio, power and inspiring conversations. Sunday’s opening concluded with a marriage involving two of my close friends, David Lockett and Tara Linney, a to start with in the ISTE conference working experience. 

There have been so a lot of highlights of this year’s conference, the most important being that we were capable to re-connect in man or woman with close friends and come to feel that ISTE vibe and the energy of remaining related. Fired up educators just about everywhere noticed each other for the initial time in years and in quite a few situations, met for the very first time soon after acquiring formed friendships by means of Twitter and other understanding spaces almost. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s ISTE encounter.

Heading into registration just after an astounding Sunday morning breakfast with good friends from about the world!

1. The People

What I feel to be most vital when it will come to situations like this is to emphasis on the connections we produced and the new connections we can make. Just after numerous years of not viewing some friends, it was terrific to reconnect in this house and have time to catch up, even if that meant a temporary couple of minutes for a quick hi there discussion and then moving on to the subsequent detail. A single of the most widespread issues was “Is it okay if I hug you?” No make any difference in which you went at the convention, you normally passed close friends, met another person at last in person for the very first time, and could see smiles and listen to the enjoyment in all places you went. For me, getting to satisfy Shawnee Caruthers from the Obtaining Smart group was undoubtedly a spotlight! 

2. Highlighted Voices

I was honored to be picked as just one of the Featured Voices for the meeting this year. The speakers included classroom teachers, professors, superintendents, tech coaches, consultants, a filmmaker, a New Orleans jazz trumpeter, and various pupils. The objective was to spotlight the perform remaining finished by educators, business people and other individuals from careers other than schooling. ISTE highlighted the classes presented by the Showcased Voices and also held some specific fulfill and greet functions and discussions.

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

3. The Understanding

For anybody who attended the convention for the initially time, or who had not attended conferences for very some time, it could sum to an too much to handle experience. There ended up choices to be created and a lot of alternatives to have interaction in experienced studying. The conference software not only offered so lots of decisions for in-human being attendees, but virtual attendees have been equipped to take benefit of many of the sessions owing to the recording or signing up for in when the session was remaining presented stay.

Recommendations and sample schedules

Some of the finest parts are that ISTE offers a wide range of formats and of training course this 12 months, had several classes readily available in their digital system. There had been 37 subject areas supplied in a range of formats including Mainstage sessions, EdTalks, interactive classes, development labs, posters and playground classes, panel discussions, and study paper opinions. Subject areas such as Fairness, Esports, Rising Technologies, SEL, STEM and Virtual Reality were fairly popular. ISTE designed 15 sample schedules to make it easier for attendees to find periods that met their interests.  

ISTE 2022 delivered lots of alternatives for edleaders to build new pathways for learners. For example, there have been periods on new understanding types these kinds of as venture-dependent discovering and makerspaces. Quite a few discovering alternatives were being in alignment with the pillar of Help and Advice by sessions centered on SEL and fairness. With topics this kind of as Esports, Emerging Systems, STEM and Virtual Reality, the pillars of Unbundled Mastering (finding out can take place any place) and Accelerated Pathways (preparing for the long run of perform and understanding) were being highlighted.  

image courtesy of Jami Shields, @missjshields1

One more powerful learning opportunity arrived from the ISTE Every day Livestream supplied through a partnership with Adobe, ISTE and NewEdTechClassroom with Holly Clark and Sam Kary main the conversations. Three times of interviews with numerous diverse educators and matters. I liked getting a guest and speaking about digital fact and of system, catching all of the episodes to study from the other friends. 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 speaking about VR and the upcoming of emerging systems in training with Sam. 
Capturing the strategies and inspiration from the convention.

4. The Functions

This meeting has numerous prospects to interact this kind of as classes, the expo hall or off-web-site functions. The hardest element is figuring out wherever to go with the time we have. For this yr, ISTE made available a photograph walk via the streets in New Orleans, there was a Foreseeable future All set Library Media Specialist Summit, a pre-conference LACUE session with Weston Kieschnick, and visits to the Entire world War II museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. 

Microsoft and Wakelet held studying activities for educators on Sunday afternoon and a personal emphasize of the working day was an awesome breakfast accumulating hosted by Barbara Bray and Dr. Ilene Winokur. Quite a few educators joined this breakfast which was absolutely the spot to be to kick off the ISTE encounter!

I usually get pleasure from attending Flipfest each and every summer time due to the fact you can always count on some big bulletins from Flipgrid, now merely known as “Flip.” Additional than 1,000 persons joined in this celebration. With Flip, there are several new functionalities like a digicam with an ASL Lens that will train the basic principles of American Signal Language (ASL) by monitoring hand actions as you discover just about every letter of the alphabet. 

EdTechKaraoke is a further significant celebration that I look forward to each individual calendar year. Whether or not you are signing up for as a singer or there to cheer on your mates, it is one more option to connect, recharge and appreciate the ability of remaining a linked educator. 

EdTech Karoake, Photo courtesy of Chase Chatfield

5. Connecting Educators

ISTE knocked it out of the park by making a digital house for anybody to be a part of in and either knowledge the session live or check out the recording exactly where out there. The platform style and design personalized attendees’ encounters because it would endorse periods and connections primarily based on pursuits indicated in the attendee’s profile.

It is fantastic that ISTE furnished a platform so that extra folks ended up ready to participate even if they weren’t there in human being. So lots of various styles of periods had been made available that targeted on essential topics such as fairness, SEL and rising systems just to title a number of.

Classes are archived and are obtainable for 6 months. Remaining in individual is potent, but when introduced with so a lot of choices, hoping to fit them in into individuals 4 swift days, is unattainable. Recognizing that I can go again and examine out some of the recordings really will make a variance when it will come to skilled finding out.

6. The Expo 

The Expo Corridor is a must, not just to find out about the new systems or new features to instruments that you are working with, but a area to operate into your connections and make new types. I was privileged to do some e-book signings and presentations at a number of of the booths. It was in these areas that I was equipped to reconnect with pals who I experienced not observed in numerous years. Of course, a large attract is the swag. Attendees can generally stroll absent with tons of goods like luggage, chargers, drinking water bottles, T-shirts, hand sanitizer, notebooks and so significantly additional. But I come across the true benefit of the Expo Hall in the discovering and reconnecting that takes place.

I liked undertaking some demos at the Capstone booth and signing some of my guides!

Yet another amazing issue about the Expo Hall was that I in fact obtained to push one particular of the coolest robots, the Unitree!  It was amazing to see what this technologies can do. A great deal of ground breaking tips for educators seeking to hook up with pupils, foster the growth of SEL and understand how to deliver rising systems into the classroom.

7. ISTE Immersive VR Practical experience

Learning about emerging systems like augmented and virtual truth was a large element of the conference this 12 months. There have been two playgrounds held. On Sunday afternoon, 6 stations and two mainstage places had presenters covering subjects these kinds of as AR/VR, the metaverse and NFTs, and synthetic intelligence in schooling. I spoke about synthetic intelligence and take pleasure in the prospect to join with other educators about how we can deliver topics like AI and other rising technologies into our lecture rooms for students even at early ages. Some of the favored sources for AI have been AIClub and the ISTE U Program on AI. On Wednesday, there was a 4-hour VR experience with Oculus headsets ready to immerse attendees into a selection of experiences to master additional about virtual actuality. For some, this was the initially option to try out an Oculus headset and knowledge the prospective with applying VR. There was generally a line to get started and each individual person and I spoke to reported they had been surprised at the options for working with Oculus in the classrooms.

ISTE VR Playground on Wednesday, Photograph Courtesy of Rosemary Jane

All the matters 

I certainly packed my plan amongst espresso meetups, classes, booth shows and social events. But I can explain to you any time seeking to plan an ISTE schedule, really do not worry about it as well significantly because when you are on your way from place A to level B, there is a definitely excellent probability you will be late, if you make it at all. Possibly you’re heading to operate into anyone you have not seen in a long time, or any person acknowledges you mainly because you related on Twitter, so you will need to be versatile. 

No issue what you do you will usually skip out on anything. But the very best conversations and time for connections come about when you are open up to getting adaptable. You will definitely value all that individuals opportunities offer. And even when the conference ends, you will nevertheless have opportunities to master and connect. Assembly up with buddies at the airport to share a meal right before heading out or acquiring out that 50 percent of the people today on your plane ended up just at ISTE and you make new connections. Understanding is almost everywhere.

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

Ahead of leaving NOLA, I had a chance to capture up with a good deal of good friends. We shared takeaways and there is so significantly to say about ISTE, you have to working experience it for on your own.  If you have never been to an ISTE convention, then mark it on your calendar for Philadelphia future yr, June 25 – 28, 2023.  See you in Philly!

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