Over 20,000 industry professionals from 81 different countries were in attendance at the 2019 ISTE Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, and more than 550 companies came out to present their EdTech solutions. For every teacher, administrator, technology specialist, and education leader in attendance, this year’s conference offered many opportunities to discover new products, explore innovative ideas, and develop new connections with others in the industry.
After another exciting year at ISTE, the Boxlight team has returned home with new industry trends in mind as we approach the 2019–20 academic year. Keynote speeches, BYOD sessions, and vendor presentations at the conference focused on a wide variety of EdTech topics and trends from robots to human connection. For those who were able to attend, the 2019 conference made a lasting impression.
Here are some of the biggest insights and highlights from ISTE 2019:
Promoting Digital Citizenship While Maintaining Human Connection
As technology in the classroom becomes the norm and students build digital accounts to create and share media, it is crucial that students understand the implications of their digital footprint. Between sessions and panels about teaching students to be responsible digital citizens and expo hall presentations of programs and software designed to help support student safety online, ISTE 2019 emphasized the importance of digital citizenship more than ever.
In a poster session, student Curran Dee talked about his DigCitKids movement, which focuses on students supporting and empowering each other in digital communities. Educators were also able to attend sessions, playgrounds, a panel, and a forum dedicated to digital and global citizenship, presented by Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran of the Digital Citizenship Institute.
Keynote speaker Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, also talked about balance and digital citizenship when using technology and social media. Manning emphasized the importance of maintaining meaningful human interaction and cross-cultural understanding in a world guided and connected by technology.
Robotics and Programming
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in the classroom has been on the rise over the past several years at ISTE, but the focus this year was on the engineering aspect of STEM—especially robotics and programming. With a growing demand for STEM professionals in the workforce, there is a greater need to familiarize students early on with STEM topics and principles, particularly programming and mechanical systems.
At the expo this year, Boxlight held demonstrations of the new Mimio MyBot educational robotics system, and educators were excited to discover the educational opportunities it offered. The MyBot system is unique in its ability to support learning about more industrial engineering and robotics applications, helping to address the real market need for robotic programmers. The system takes robotics in the classroom a step past being an explorative, game-based activity or toy and actually teaches students the programming and engineering principles they need to succeed in future STEM careers. Boxlight featured Jim Christensen, executive director of ShareSpace Foundation—part of the Buzz Aldrin Family Foundation—at the booth. He presented “Empowering Students in STEM Education Using Robotics and Space Exploration” to highlight how educators can incorporate robotics and coding into instruction.
Boxlight’s ISTE 2019 Highlights
Boxlight had a successful conference, taking home two Tech & Learning ISTE 2019 Best of Show awards for the MimioClarity™ classroom audio system and Mimio MyBot educational robotics system. Along with the Mimio MyBot system and MimioClarity, we also previewed the new MimioInteract activities for the ProColor touch table.
Our booth was jam-packed for April Mayo and Rod Smith from Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia and their “Teacher Support: The Key Ingredient for a Successful Digital Classroom” presentation. During their session, they discussed how they transformed 3,200 digital classrooms and shared best practices and lessons learned.
Our other presenters—Travis Rink, Paul Gigliotti, Claire Jones, Lindy George, and Alison Ambroso—have a combined 109 years in education and gave engaging and valuable presentations about EdTech, collaboration, robotics, coding, and more. We were also excited to meet educators and administrators face to face who use and are interested in our collection of innovative EdTech solutions.
While ISTE 2019 might be over, it has left us with lasting impressions and insights into some of EdTech’s biggest trends. These highlights are just a glimpse of everything the 2019 conference and expo had to offer, but we expect them to have a great impact on the direction of the EdTech industry in the upcoming year.
Did you have a favorite session or see something that sparked your interest? Let us know below!
Want to learn more about all the solutions Boxlight featured at ISTE? Check them out here.>>