Most of us would agree that the ISTE conference is the destination for educator-tested strategies and extraordinary resources for transforming learning and teaching. It’s also the place to get connected to and network with the brightest minds in the education technology arena beyond the conference workshops and exhibit hall. Last week, we discussed the biggest trends from ISTE 2017. This week, it’s my turn to give you an educator’s perspective from this year’s conference.
Over the past several years, K-12 education has started to shift away from delivering technology that keeps the show running behind the scenes. Instead, there has been a fresh emphasis on main stage performances—engaging learners in innovative ways to improve student outcomes.
Another successful year at the annual ISTE conference has come and gone, and this year’s latest trends have made a strong impression on the EdTech industry. Whether you were at the conference in San Antonio or following the action through the #NotAtISTE hashtag on Twitter, there was so much to learn about. The Boxlight team returned from ISTE this year full of new insights into the educational technology industry, but a few topics stood out to us more than others. Here are the top three trending themes our team found most impactful at ISTE 2017:
With new education technology becoming more accessible to streamline communication between teachers and their administration, it's important to stay up to date with what's available. The use of SMS texting is great for sending out quick messages—and keeping educators informed at all times. Teachers can use SMS technology to collaborate on lesson plans, organize events, and share information with colleagues. With most text messages being read within a few minutes, it's the fastest way to reach out and communicate.
Some students are hard to motivate. The methods we typically use for motivatation—things that work with most students—don’t work with this group. This can be really frustrating for teachers who work with these students, as the behaviors often don’t “make sense” to those of us in education. Why would a student with plenty of opportunity to learn, and therefore advance their stake in life, not take that opportunity? It just doesn’t make sense.
We’re on the verge of one of the largest education technology conferences in the United States. So, of course, everyone wants to know what the 2017 ISTE Conference & Expo will bring to the table.
We are now at the time of the year when teachers are retiring or relocating to other schools. Administrators are looking to hire new teachers who will help take their schools to the next level in all aspects of education—especially in the area of technology.
What are some ways that principals can bring in educators who will be leaders in the area of technology? There are the basic ways to find out more about candidates, such as reference checks, resumes, applications, and cover letters. However, the traditional methods of exploring great candidates aren’t always enough to help find the right person. What are some other methods of discovering a candidate’s technical expertise and potential? Here are some ideas:
When winding down from the school year, I always take a bit of time to reflect on the events of the past year—but I also make certain to keep a steady gaze toward the future. When it comes to education, a great deal never changes. Teachers remain laser-focused and dedicated to their students’ success, while students are eager to learn (albeit they sometimes conceal their enthusiasm). Yet every year, I marvel at the pace of change within the technology ecosystem of K-12 education.
We know what it’s like to attend a one-day professional development event and never have any follow-up training. It is just as frustrating to listen to a trainer and not be able to practice what you learned because the equipment is not readily available. Additionally, many of us have struggled through a training never being able to touch a piece of technology equipment.
If keyboarding is an important skill for students to learn and master—and many would say that it is—what are some good tools to help students learn this skill? Like many online options, there are free versions that can work for different circumstances. Sometimes free versions have limits, and paying a little bit for one of the programs is well worth the money. But other times, especially when students are first learning keyboarding, free versions are just fine.