Part of the draw of ISTE is the vast amount of knowledge shared about educational technology.  I got to share about blogging with students in my Build-A-Blog workshop.  It was fabulous!

My Session (Build-A-Blog)

If you’re thinking of starting a blog yourself, or you’re thinking of getting your students to blog (in which case, you should definitely be blogging yourself), check out my blog series about beginning blogging.

If you’re looking for presentation materials from the workshop, head to this page.

Take Aways

Our redesigned classroom

Our redesigned classroom

I attended several really awesome sessions, including one on designing for modern learning. Here we looked at different ways students learn and the way that classroom design can have an impact of student performance and participation.  Techy? Not really, but if you start playing with the idea of space as making… yeah.

Maker Spaces.  This has been a lot of fun to learn more about.  With our school exploring the idea of Maker Spaces (finally) I’ve learned quite a bit about what it takes to set up a maker space and some of the tools that come in handy.  But, my biggest take away is that Maker Spaces aren’t necessarily all about robotics and electronics.  Students can Make things out of cardboard and pipe-cleaners.  They can use cleaned out yogurt cups and batteries and build pretty cool stuff.

Another interesting idea that seems to be spreading is that learning spaces are about students, not teachers.  For that matter, learning is about students.  “Traditional” learning is so last century, but with the jobs of tomorrow not even invented yet, more and more we have to let students discover and inquire and create.  Do.

And one of my favorite things: start with WHY.  I love the book, but it’s so true with education.  If we don’t know why we are educating students, then the what and how of it are pretty pointless (and we end up with standardized testing that takes a snapshot of a student and is used to assess teachers, that despite everyones valiant efforts to force it to work, never really seems to make anything truly better).  If we return to the why of it, the point of education, the purpose for which we educate students, then the how and the what will become much clearer.  This is the secret of the great schools.

Overall?

Overall, ISTE is an amazing conference. While FETC (Florida’s version of ISTE) is good, it’s often repetitious.  I still like it (and I really like that it’s close to home), but ISTE has so much variety that it’s almost overwhelming.

My biggest gripe?  Why is it, that at a tech conference, the wifi is SO darn horrible?!

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