Another great year of ISTE has come and gone—as always, the EdTech conference left a lasting impression on everyone who was able to attend. Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or technology specialist, ISTE 2018 offered countless new ideas, products, and connections to be discovered.
Educators from Atlanta Public Schools in Georgia as well as Florida joined the Boxlight team at the booth this year, along with key members of our teacher team: Travis Rink (Assistant Principal, Eisenhower High School, Goddard, KS), Paul Gigliotti (Teacher, Cleveland, OH), Claire Pavia (Teacher, Hinckley-Big Rock Elementary School, IL), Lindy George (Instructional Technology Specialist, FL), Christine Roberts (Teacher, Woodhaven, MI), Kate Piland (Technology Integration Trainer, Great Bend, KS), and Tanika Perry-Vincent (Educational Technology Specialist, Atlanta, GA). We also spent a lot of time exploring the conference as well as interacting with educators and industry professionals, returning full of insights into the educational technology industry. Here are some of the top trending topics our team encountered at ISTE 2018:
- Classroom Design
At this year’s conference, there was a renewed interest in how to mold classroom design to best support students’ learning. Educational technology has always been guided by classroom design and functionality, and between the new BYODex sessions and the massive expo hall with over 600 different companies exhibiting their best products and services, ISTE 2018 offered educators numerous new ways to design a successful learning space.
This year at ISTE, educators were looking to take control of their classroom with technology that is efficient at engaging students and promoting collaboration and interaction. At the Boxlight booth, visitors were intrigued by the MimioFrame touch board kit, a retrofit product that turns a normal classroom with a projector into a fully functioning interactive learning space. This product, as well as other innovative hardware and software featured at ISTE this year, are key in creating the perfect technology-driven space for students to learn.
Additionally, Tech & Learning awarded over 40 outstanding products for their quality, effectiveness, and potential to have a real impact in the classroom with their fifth annual Best of Show contest. The Boxlight MimioSpace collaborative system was honored with a spot on this list for its game-changing interactive space that spans nearly 11 feet, offering a large 32-touch area with Touch 360º interactivity.
- STEM Education
A consistent theme in the modern learning environment, STEM education continued to be one of the top trending subjects at ISTE this year. Science and math are two subjects that have always thrived with the assistance of EdTech, but ISTE 2018 put technology and engineering in the spotlight with a strong emphasis on computer science and invention.
Technology in the classroom has finally reached a long-awaited turn into the augmented and virtual reality domain. A new AR/VR scavenger hunt was just one of the many ways this technology made an appearance at ISTE, and we expect to see more of it throughout the year as companies experiment with bringing this technology into the classroom.
The conference also hosted a new student hackathon to showcase the impact of teaching students coding skills and robotics principles. Coding has become such a desirable skill that ISTE has created a separate workshop event from the main conference to provide educators with computer science knowledge and skills. In October, ISTE will host the ISTE No Fear Coding Lab, where educators will learn how to integrate computer science and computational thinking across the curriculum.
- Student-Led Learning
Manifested as the maker movement, project-based learning, or teamwork and leadership, student-led learning has and always will be a pillar of education. Creativity fuels this type of learning, and educators are searching for ways to motivate that creative spirit in students of all ages and learning abilities.
Opening keynote speaker David Eagleman discussed the advantages of learning about things that you’re interested in––including greater learning retention––and how this can be utilized when teaching students. Another keynote speaker, Michael Cohen, spoke about how to motivate students to be confident in their own creative abilities. Educators are constantly looking for ways to inspire their students to take control of their own learning, but these two keynote speakers emphasized the importance of encouraging creativity in making this a reality.
ISTE 2018 proved to be a valuable experience, leaving attendees with fresh ideas, insights, and professional connections. Along with these trends, ISTE 2018 also displayed dozens of new products and methods for educators to bring straight back to the classroom.
Want to learn more about what Boxlight featured at ISTE? Check out our ISTE wrap-up page.