Seven Takeaways from ISTE 2022

ByLavinia E. Smith

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It’s tough to feel that the ISTE 2022 convention has currently come and long gone. For numerous attendees, this was the initially in-human being conference attendance since just before March of 2020. The enjoyment encompassing it has been setting up for 3 decades as we have experienced to shift to digital functions. The final in-particular person ISTE was in Philadelphia in June 2019. For the earlier two many years, ISTE was held virtually, which enabled educators from around the globe to connect and find out alongside one another, just as we have completed in-person, but with no the added electrical power of connecting in the exact physical area. Luckily, with technologies, quite a few more educators have been equipped to take part in prior years, as nicely as this yr. 

This event took position in New Orleans from June 26th to 29th. There had been 16,581 total attendees, of which 14,282 were being there in human being. A total of 88 countries have been represented with attendees from 65 international locations getting in NOLA for the meeting. The conference kicked off on Sunday afternoon with an opening on the principal phase with ISTE CEO Richard Culotta, who was joined by Zach King, Brandon “BMIKE” Odums and Avis Williams. A key concept was a reminder to “Bring back the joy.” The key phase events were often comprehensive of new music, energy and inspiring discussions. Sunday’s opening finished with a wedding involving two of my close friends, David Lockett and Tara Linney, a 1st in the ISTE convention encounter. 

There ended up so quite a few highlights of this year’s convention, the greatest staying that we have been able to re-link in individual with good friends and feel that ISTE vibe and the energy of remaining linked. Energized educators just about everywhere saw each and every other for the initially time in decades and in many conditions, satisfied for the very first time right after owning formed friendships as a result of Twitter and other studying areas virtually. Below are some of the highlights from this year’s ISTE practical experience.

Heading into registration immediately after an incredible Sunday early morning breakfast with buddies from all-around the globe!

1. The Individuals

What I imagine to be most essential when it arrives to events like this is to focus on the connections we made and the new connections we can make. Soon after numerous many years of not observing some mates, it was great to reconnect in this space and have time to capture up, even if that intended a short few of minutes for a speedy hello there conversation and then shifting on to the subsequent detail. A person of the most typical thoughts was “Is it okay if I hug you?” No issue exactly where you went at the conference, you always passed good friends, achieved another person ultimately in human being for the initially time, and could see smiles and hear the exhilaration in all places you went. For me, acquiring to meet up with Shawnee Caruthers from the Finding Smart staff was definitely a spotlight! 

2. Showcased Voices

I was honored to be selected as a single of the Highlighted Voices for the meeting this yr. The speakers provided classroom lecturers, professors, superintendents, tech coaches, consultants, a filmmaker, a New Orleans jazz trumpeter, and a number of students. The intent was to emphasize the operate getting accomplished by educators, entrepreneurs and some others from careers other than training. ISTE highlighted the classes presented by the Featured Voices and also held some particular meet up with and greet activities and discussions.

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

3. The Learning

For anyone who attended the convention for the very first time, or who had not attended conferences for pretty some time, it could volume to an overpowering encounter. There were selections to be created and heaps of possibilities to interact in professional studying. The meeting method not only delivered so many decisions for in-individual attendees, but digital attendees have been ready to choose gain of quite a few of the sessions due to the recording or joining in even though the session was being introduced stay.

Suggestions and sample schedules

Some of the most effective areas are that ISTE gives a selection of formats and of program this calendar year, experienced lots of classes available in their virtual platform. There ended up 37 subjects provided in a variety of formats such as Mainstage sessions, EdTalks, interactive classes, generation labs, posters and playground periods, panel discussions, and analysis paper evaluations. Subjects these kinds of as Fairness, Esports, Rising Systems, SEL, STEM and Virtual Reality were being really well known. ISTE designed 15 sample schedules to make it a lot easier for attendees to locate sessions that satisfied their pursuits.  

ISTE 2022 offered quite a few opportunities for edleaders to create new pathways for learners. For case in point, there had been classes on new learning styles these as task-dependent studying and makerspaces. Quite a few mastering options have been in alignment with the pillar of Help and Direction through classes centered on SEL and equity. With subject areas these as Esports, Emerging Systems, STEM and Virtual Reality, the pillars of Unbundled Mastering (understanding can occur any place) and Accelerated Pathways (planning for the foreseeable future of get the job done and discovering) ended up highlighted.  

impression courtesy of Jami Shields, @missjshields1

Yet another highly effective studying chance arrived from the ISTE Day by day Livestream delivered by means of a partnership with Adobe, ISTE and NewEdTechClassroom with Holly Clark and Sam Kary main the discussions. 3 times of interviews with many unique educators and subjects. I savored remaining a guest and talking about virtual reality and of study course, catching all of the episodes to master from the other guests. You can catch 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 enjoyed talking about VR and the upcoming of emerging systems in schooling with Sam. 
Capturing the concepts and inspiration from the meeting.

4. The Events

This convention has several alternatives to engage these types of as sessions, the expo corridor or off-web-site actions. The toughest aspect is figuring out wherever to go with the time we have. For this calendar year, ISTE supplied a photo walk by means of the streets in New Orleans, there was a Upcoming Prepared Library Media Professional Summit, a pre-meeting LACUE session with Weston Kieschnick, and visits to the Globe War II museum and the New Orleans Museum of Artwork. 

Microsoft and Wakelet held finding out situations for educators on Sunday afternoon and a private emphasize of the day was an astounding breakfast collecting hosted by Barbara Bray and Dr. Ilene Winokur. A lot of educators joined this breakfast which was unquestionably the position to be to kick off the ISTE practical experience!

I generally take pleasure in attending Flipfest each and every summer months simply because you can constantly hope some huge announcements from Flipgrid, now just recognized as “Flip.” Much more than 1,000 men and women joined in this celebration. With Flip, there are a lot of new functionalities including a camera with an ASL Lens that will instruct the principles of American Signal Language (ASL) by monitoring hand movements as you learn each individual letter of the alphabet. 

EdTechKaraoke is an additional massive party that I seem forward to just about every yr. Whether or not you are becoming a member of as a singer or there to cheer on your close friends, it is a further opportunity to hook up, recharge and enjoy the electrical power of becoming a connected educator. 

EdTech Karoake, Photo courtesy of Chase Chatfield

5. Connecting Educators

ISTE knocked it out of the park by generating a digital room for any one to sign up for in and both knowledge the session dwell or observe the recording in which offered. The platform style customized attendees’ encounters for the reason that it would recommend periods and connections primarily based on passions indicated in the attendee’s profile.

It is fantastic that ISTE offered a platform so that much more persons have been ready to take part even if they weren’t there in particular person. So lots of distinct forms of sessions had been made available that targeted on crucial matters these as fairness, SEL and rising technologies just to name a couple.

Classes are archived and are offered for 6 months. Remaining in human being is effective, but when introduced with so quite a few decisions, hoping to healthy them in into all those 4 quick days, is unattainable. Understanding that I can go back and check out out some of the recordings genuinely helps make a variance when it will come to expert mastering.

6. The Expo 

The Expo Hall is a must, not just to find out about the new systems or new characteristics to resources that you are working with, but a area to operate into your connections and make new kinds. I was fortunate to do some book signings and shows at a couple of the booths. It was in these areas that I was in a position to reconnect with close friends who I had not witnessed in a number of several years. Of class, a huge attract is the swag. Attendees can often wander away with tons of objects like luggage, chargers, water bottles, T-shirts, hand sanitizer, notebooks and so considerably extra. But I find the true price of the Expo Hall in the studying and reconnecting that comes about.

I enjoyed doing some demos at the Capstone booth and signing some of my books!

A further awesome detail about the Expo Hall was that I truly got to travel just one of the coolest robots, the Unitree!  It was astounding to see what this know-how can do. A whole lot of revolutionary strategies for educators wanting to join with students, foster the advancement of SEL and master how to carry emerging systems into the classroom.

7. ISTE Immersive VR Knowledge

Finding out about rising systems like augmented and virtual truth was a big section of the convention this yr. There ended up two playgrounds held. On Sunday afternoon, six stations and two mainstage places had presenters covering matters this kind of as AR/VR, the metaverse and NFTs, and artificial intelligence in schooling. I spoke about synthetic intelligence and take pleasure in the opportunity to join with other educators about how we can deliver matters like AI and other emerging systems into our lecture rooms for pupils even at early ages. Some of the favorite resources for AI ended up AIClub and the ISTE U Study course on AI. On Wednesday, there was a 4-hour VR practical experience with Oculus headsets ready to immerse attendees into a range of encounters to discover extra about digital actuality. For some, this was the to start with possibility to test an Oculus headset and practical experience the likely with applying VR. There was often a line to get begun and each individual person and I spoke to explained they were being impressed at the possibilities for making use of Oculus in the school rooms.

ISTE VR Playground on Wednesday, Image Courtesy of Rosemary Jane

All the points 

I undoubtedly packed my program in between coffee meetups, classes, booth shows and social occasions. But I can inform you each time making an attempt to program an ISTE timetable, never pressure about it much too a great deal simply because when you’re on your way from position A to point B, there is a really fantastic possibility you will be late, if you make it at all. Either you are likely to operate into anyone you have not seen in many years, or any person acknowledges you due to the fact you related on Twitter, so you need to have to be flexible. 

No matter what you do you will normally miss out on a little something. But the ideal conversations and time for connections transpire when you are open up to getting adaptable. You will definitely enjoy all that all those chances provide. And even when the meeting finishes, you will nonetheless have chances to understand and hook up. Meeting up with buddies at the airport to share a food prior to heading out or discovering out that half of the folks on your plane were just at ISTE and you make new connections. Discovering is all over the place.

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

Before leaving NOLA, I had a likelihood to catch up with a great deal of pals. We shared takeaways and there is so considerably to say about ISTE, you have to encounter it for yourself.  If you have under no circumstances been to an ISTE meeting, then mark it on your calendar for Philadelphia up coming calendar year, June 25 – 28, 2023.  See you in Philly!

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