This conference was motivating, engaging, and provided great connections. I really enjoyed the Ignite session on Sunday night. The Ignite sessions are fast paced, 5 minutes and 20 slides. Pernille Ripp and Rafranz Davis focused on our responsibility for the change that education needs and that if we do not move forward, we may be harming our students. I really liked the format of the Ignite Sessions and the 1-in-3 sessions. The 1-in-3 sessions was a new presentation format featuring 18-20 presenters, each with just three minutes to share their best technology integration moment. I really enjoyed hearing from educators such as Holly Clark and Patrick Larkin.
ISTE 2015 seemed to have a heavy focus on maker movement, instructional design, communication and collaboration, professional development models with strategies for coaches and flexible learning environments. The conference did not focus on devices but movements that embrace new ideas for engaging students and encouraging teachers to rethink and redesign their instruction.
I focused my sessions on the topic of professional development and tech coaching. Three great sessions that I felt were the most beneficial were:
- Courtney Cohron and Andrew Swickheimer
- Research shows that teachers need at least 14 hours of high-quality PD on a single topic for effective classroom teaching (Center for American Progress, 2013)
- Adult learners value choice and interest when it comes to learning (Pink, 2011).
- Use of digital badges and backpacks
- creates competition and conversation
- Diana Neebe (@dneebe) and Jen Roberts (@jenroberts1)
- Start with a conversation
- consider two tracks (let teachers pick)
- offer drop in coaching
- create a central hub
- have fun! Use badges to mark Teacher completion and progress
- Alyssa Tormala, @alytormala, #techcoachBP
- What is a tech coach?
- informed collaborator (can’t be expert!)
- policy advisor
- tech helper
- The real coaching doesn’t happen of a schedule. Cannot be set weekly schedule times. Does not work with all teachers. Need to be available
- Things I MUST remember
- practice what I preach
- uncover collaborators
- create an active online presence
- find your village (thank those who helped you)
- know who is really in charge
- lead as a learner, not an expert
- recruit and nurture the master teachers
- PD should be short, engaging, and choice-based. IDEA: Speed Geeking. You get 5-6 teachers that have done something “cool”. 4-5 minutes with pictures. Split rest of faculty into groups. Ring bell, move on
- Know what my job is NOT and don’t be afraid to stand firm
- believe in the power of failure!
In addition to the professional staff development (which will be my #1 goal this year), I believe that ISTE 2015 showed the importance of Maker Spaces and coding. This cannot start at the high school level. We need to be implementing this in elementary and up. We need to give our students the exposure to creating and inventing. We need to introduce the benefits of coding to our elementary. This needs to be a district-wide goal.
I did not have the opportunity to attend sessions on Digital Citizenship at ISTE this year but this continues to be a topic we must focus on K-12. We need our students to be digital learners, creators, and citizens!