It’s hard to imagine that the ISTE 2022 meeting has presently occur and long gone. For many attendees, this was the first in-man or woman meeting attendance due to the fact prior to March of 2020. The pleasure encompassing it has been creating for 3 many years as we have had to change to virtual gatherings. The final in-particular person ISTE was in Philadelphia in June 2019. For the earlier two years, ISTE was held almost, which enabled educators from all-around the entire world to join and master jointly, just as we have done in-man or woman, but without having the extra energy of connecting in the exact actual physical house. Luckily, with technological innovation, a lot of more educators had been able to take part in prior years, as perfectly as this year. 

This function took position in New Orleans from June 26th to 29th. There were being 16,581 overall attendees, of which 14,282 ended up there in person. A complete of 88 international locations have been represented with attendees from 65 countries staying in NOLA for the convention. The convention kicked off on Sunday afternoon with an opening on the main stage with ISTE CEO Richard Culotta, who was joined by Zach King, Brandon “BMIKE” Odums and Avis Williams. A key message was a reminder to “Bring back again the joy.” The key stage activities were being constantly total of songs, power and inspiring discussions. Sunday’s opening completed with a wedding in between two of my close friends, David Lockett and Tara Linney, a first in the ISTE convention working experience. 

There ended up so quite a few highlights of this year’s conference, the biggest being that we ended up ready to re-connect in man or woman with pals and sense that ISTE vibe and the electrical power of being connected. Excited educators almost everywhere saw every single other for the 1st time in a long time and in several situations, met for the initially time soon after getting formed friendships by means of Twitter and other discovering spaces almost. In this article are some of the highlights from this year’s ISTE expertise.

Heading into registration immediately after an amazing Sunday morning breakfast with close friends from all over the earth!

1. The Persons

What I feel to be most critical when it comes to activities like this is to concentrate on the connections we built and the new connections we can make. Just after numerous yrs of not observing some buddies, it was wonderful to reconnect in this space and have time to capture up, even if that intended a temporary pair of minutes for a quick good day dialogue and then relocating on to the following detail. A person of the most typical issues was “Is it ok if I hug you?” No make a difference wherever you went at the meeting, you constantly passed pals, satisfied another person lastly in human being for the 1st time, and could see smiles and hear the enjoyment just about everywhere you went. For me, obtaining to fulfill Shawnee Caruthers from the Receiving Clever workforce was absolutely a emphasize! 

2. Featured Voices

I was honored to be picked as a person of the Featured Voices for the convention this 12 months. The speakers integrated classroom instructors, professors, superintendents, tech coaches, consultants, a filmmaker, a New Orleans jazz trumpeter, and many pupils. The intent was to highlight the perform being performed by educators, business people and other folks from professions other than education. ISTE highlighted the sessions introduced by the Showcased Voices and also held some particular fulfill and greet situations and discussions.

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

3. The Studying

For any person who attended the meeting for the very first time, or who had not attended conferences for quite some time, it could sum to an overwhelming encounter. There were being possibilities to be built and loads of options to engage in qualified finding out. The convention plan not only presented so several options for in-particular person attendees, but digital attendees were being able to get advantage of many of the sessions due to the recording or becoming a member of in whilst the session was staying presented dwell.

Suggestions and sample schedules

Some of the most effective components are that ISTE provides a range of formats and of program this calendar year, had many periods accessible in their virtual system. There had been 37 subjects made available in a variety of formats including Mainstage periods, EdTalks, interactive classes, creation labs, posters and playground periods, panel discussions, and research paper reviews. Subject areas such as Fairness, Esports, Rising Technologies, SEL, STEM and Virtual Truth were being quite common. ISTE made 15 sample schedules to make it a lot easier for attendees to locate classes that achieved their pursuits.  

ISTE 2022 supplied numerous alternatives for edleaders to build new pathways for learners. For instance, there have been periods on new learning models such as challenge-based discovering and makerspaces. Many understanding opportunities were being in alignment with the pillar of Assistance and Steering by sessions concentrated on SEL and equity. With topics these as Esports, Emerging Technologies, STEM and Digital Actuality, the pillars of Unbundled Mastering (learning can materialize everywhere) and Accelerated Pathways (planning for the foreseeable future of perform and mastering) were highlighted.  

graphic courtesy of Jami Shields, @missjshields1

One more powerful mastering possibility arrived from the ISTE Day-to-day Livestream presented by way of a partnership with Adobe, ISTE and NewEdTechClassroom with Holly Clark and Sam Kary major the conversations. A few days of interviews with lots of distinctive educators and subject areas. I appreciated remaining a guest and speaking about digital reality and of system, catching all of the episodes to study from the other attendees. You can capture all of the recordings on the NewEdTechClasroom YouTube Channel.

Holly Clark, Sam Kary and guest Ken Shelton during the ISTE Livestream.
I loved speaking about VR and the long run of emerging systems in education and learning with Sam. 
Capturing the concepts and inspiration from the conference.

4. The Events

This convention has lots of prospects to interact such as periods, the expo corridor or off-web site functions. The toughest component is figuring out wherever to go with the time we have. For this year, ISTE provided a photograph walk by means of the streets in New Orleans, there was a Upcoming Prepared Library Media Professional Summit, a pre-convention LACUE session with Weston Kieschnick, and visits to the Environment War II museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. 

Microsoft and Wakelet held finding out activities for educators on Sunday afternoon and a own emphasize of the day was an incredible breakfast collecting hosted by Barbara Bray and Dr. Ilene Winokur. Quite a few educators joined this breakfast which was unquestionably the area to be to kick off the ISTE practical experience!

I always appreciate attending Flipfest every summertime since you can often assume some large announcements from Flipgrid, now simply regarded as “Flip.” Much more than 1,000 people joined in this celebration. With Flip, there are quite a few new functionalities which include a camera with an ASL Lens that will train the fundamental principles of American Indication Language (ASL) by monitoring hand movements as you discover every letter of the alphabet. 

EdTechKaraoke is an additional big function that I search ahead to every 12 months. Regardless of whether you are joining as a singer or there to cheer on your buddies, it is a different prospect to link, recharge and enjoy the power of being a linked educator. 

EdTech Karoake, Image courtesy of Chase Chatfield

5. Connecting Educators

ISTE knocked it out of the park by making a digital space for everyone to join in and either working experience the session are living or look at the recording where out there. The platform design customized attendees’ experiences since it would advise classes and connections dependent on passions indicated in the attendee’s profile.

It’s fantastic that ISTE delivered a system so that extra folks ended up equipped to take part even if they weren’t there in particular person. So quite a few various types of periods were available that centered on important subject areas this kind of as equity, SEL and rising systems just to identify a couple.

Periods are archived and are out there for 6 months. Currently being in human being is strong, but when presented with so quite a few selections, hoping to in shape them in into all those 4 quick times, is unachievable. Figuring out that I can go again and test out some of the recordings truly makes a variance when it will come to skilled studying.

6. The Expo 

The Expo Hall is a will have to, not just to master about the new technologies or new attributes to resources that you are using, but a position to operate into your connections and make new ones. I was fortuitous to do some e book signings and displays at a couple of of the booths. It was in these spaces that I was able to reconnect with pals who I experienced not observed in several years. Of training course, a big attract is the swag. Attendees can constantly wander absent with tons of items like luggage, chargers, h2o bottles, T-shirts, hand sanitizer, notebooks and so much additional. But I find the actual price of the Expo Corridor in the finding out and reconnecting that occurs.

I appreciated carrying out some demos at the Capstone booth and signing some of my textbooks!

One more magnificent matter about the Expo Corridor was that I actually acquired to generate 1 of the coolest robots, the Unitree!  It was astounding to see what this engineering can do. A ton of ground breaking tips for educators seeking to join with college students, foster the growth of SEL and study how to deliver rising systems into the classroom.

7. ISTE Immersive VR Working experience

Finding out about emerging technologies like augmented and virtual truth was a major section of the convention this calendar year. There had been two playgrounds held. On Sunday afternoon, 6 stations and two mainstage locations had presenters covering matters these types of as AR/VR, the metaverse and NFTs, and artificial intelligence in schooling. I spoke about synthetic intelligence and enjoy the opportunity to connect with other educators about how we can convey subjects like AI and other emerging technologies into our school rooms for college students even at early ages. Some of the favorite methods for AI have been AIClub and the ISTE U System on AI. On Wednesday, there was a 4-hour VR encounter with Oculus headsets all set to immerse attendees into a range of activities to discover extra about virtual actuality. For some, this was the initial chance to try an Oculus headset and knowledge the opportunity with working with VR. There was always a line to get started off and every human being and I spoke to mentioned they were impressed at the prospects for utilizing Oculus in the classrooms.

ISTE VR Playground on Wednesday, Picture Courtesy of Rosemary Jane

All the items 

I absolutely packed my schedule in between espresso meetups, classes, booth displays and social situations. But I can inform you when seeking to approach an ISTE plan, do not pressure about it too substantially mainly because when you’re on your way from point A to place B, there’s a really fantastic prospect you will be late, if you make it at all. Either you are likely to operate into anyone you haven’t viewed in years, or somebody recognizes you since you connected on Twitter, so you will need to be versatile. 

No make a difference what you do you will generally miss out on out on something. But the best discussions and time for connections take place when you are open up to remaining versatile. You will surely enjoy all that those prospects provide. And even when the meeting finishes, you will even now have opportunities to discover and link. Conference up with buddies at the airport to share a meal just before heading out or locating out that fifty percent of the people on your plane ended up just at ISTE and you make new connections. Mastering is everywhere you go.

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

Right before leaving NOLA, I had a opportunity to capture up with a good deal of good friends. We shared takeaways and there is so substantially to say about ISTE, you have to encounter it for by yourself.  If you have under no circumstances been to an ISTE convention, then mark it on your calendar for Philadelphia next calendar year, June 25 – 28, 2023.  See you in Philly!

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