Seven Takeaways from ISTE 2022


It’s challenging to feel that the ISTE 2022 convention has currently occur and absent. For a lot of attendees, this was the first in-man or woman conference attendance because ahead of March of 2020. The enjoyment surrounding it has been creating for 3 yrs as we have experienced to change to digital events. The previous in-person ISTE was in Philadelphia in June 2019. For the earlier two a long time, ISTE was held pretty much, which enabled educators from all-around the earth to link and discover alongside one another, just as we have carried out in-individual, but without having the extra ability of connecting in the exact same actual physical area. The good thing is, with know-how, a lot of a lot more educators ended up in a position to take part in prior several years, as perfectly as this calendar year. 

This event took spot in New Orleans from June 26th to 29th. There were being 16,581 full attendees, of which 14,282 have been there in human being. A full of 88 nations around the world have been represented with attendees from 65 nations being in NOLA for the meeting. The conference kicked off on Sunday afternoon with an opening on the main stage with ISTE CEO Richard Culotta, who was joined by Zach King, Brandon “BMIKE” Odums and Avis Williams. A crucial concept was a reminder to “Bring back again the joy.” The main stage gatherings have been generally total of new music, electricity and inspiring discussions. Sunday’s opening concluded with a marriage ceremony involving two of my buddies, David Lockett and Tara Linney, a very first in the ISTE conference practical experience. 

There were being so many highlights of this year’s convention, the major remaining that we were capable to re-join in individual with mates and truly feel that ISTE vibe and the electricity of being linked. Fired up educators almost everywhere saw just about every other for the 1st time in years and in quite a few cases, achieved for the 1st time after having fashioned friendships by Twitter and other understanding spaces just about. Below are some of the highlights from this year’s ISTE practical experience.

Heading into registration soon after an amazing Sunday early morning breakfast with close friends from all over the globe!

1. The People

What I imagine to be most significant when it will come to functions like this is to aim on the connections we manufactured and the new connections we can make. Following quite a few decades of not looking at some friends, it was terrific to reconnect in this room and have time to catch up, even if that intended a brief pair of minutes for a speedy hi there dialogue and then moving on to the up coming matter. One particular of the most popular questions was “Is it alright if I hug you?” No issue in which you went at the meeting, you generally passed mates, satisfied another person at last in individual for the to start with time, and could see smiles and hear the pleasure almost everywhere you went. For me, obtaining to satisfy Shawnee Caruthers from the Acquiring Intelligent staff was certainly a spotlight! 

2. Featured Voices

I was honored to be chosen as just one of the Showcased Voices for the convention this year. The speakers included classroom teachers, professors, superintendents, tech coaches, consultants, a filmmaker, a New Orleans jazz trumpeter, and many students. The objective was to spotlight the get the job done currently being completed by educators, business people and some others from professions other than education and learning. ISTE highlighted the periods introduced by the Featured Voices and also held some unique fulfill and greet occasions and discussions.

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

3. The Finding out

For any individual who attended the meeting for the to start with time, or who experienced not attended conferences for quite some time, it could volume to an frustrating practical experience. There were alternatives to be designed and plenty of prospects to interact in expert understanding. The meeting system not only provided so many decisions for in-individual attendees, but digital attendees were in a position to acquire edge of several of the periods because of to the recording or becoming a member of in when the session was getting introduced live.

Suggestions and sample schedules

Some of the ideal parts are that ISTE gives a range of formats and of study course this 12 months, experienced numerous periods available in their digital platform. There have been 37 matters available in a wide range of formats which include Mainstage classes, EdTalks, interactive periods, development labs, posters and playground sessions, panel conversations, and study paper assessments. Topics these as Equity, Esports, Emerging Systems, SEL, STEM and Virtual Actuality were really preferred. ISTE established 15 sample schedules to make it simpler for attendees to come across sessions that satisfied their passions.  

ISTE 2022 provided numerous prospects for edleaders to produce new pathways for learners. For example, there were sessions on new studying styles these types of as venture-centered understanding and makerspaces. Several learning options were in alignment with the pillar of Aid and Advice by means of periods targeted on SEL and equity. With matters these as Esports, Emerging Technologies, STEM and Virtual Truth, the pillars of Unbundled Learning (learning can happen everywhere) and Accelerated Pathways (preparing for the future of perform and finding out) have been highlighted.  

picture courtesy of Jami Shields, @missjshields1

Yet another impressive finding out option came from the ISTE Everyday Livestream furnished as a result of a partnership with Adobe, ISTE and NewEdTechClassroom with Holly Clark and Sam Kary top the discussions. A few days of interviews with numerous unique educators and subject areas. I liked getting a visitor and conversing about digital fact and of study course, catching all of the episodes to discover from the other attendees. You can capture all of the recordings on the NewEdTechClasroom YouTube Channel.

Holly Clark, Sam Kary and guest Ken Shelton during the ISTE Livestream.
I relished chatting about VR and the foreseeable future of emerging technologies in schooling with Sam. 
Capturing the thoughts and inspiration from the conference.

4. The Activities

This convention has numerous chances to engage this kind of as classes, the expo hall or off-web site actions. The toughest part is figuring out wherever to go with the time we have. For this yr, ISTE supplied a image wander through the streets in New Orleans, there was a Long term Prepared Library Media Professional Summit, a pre-convention LACUE session with Weston Kieschnick, and visits to the Globe War II museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. 

Microsoft and Wakelet held understanding occasions for educators on Sunday afternoon and a personalized highlight of the day was an incredible breakfast accumulating hosted by Barbara Bray and Dr. Ilene Winokur. Many educators joined this breakfast which was unquestionably the place to be to kick off the ISTE practical experience!

I always appreciate attending Flipfest just about every summer months mainly because you can normally anticipate some large announcements from Flipgrid, now merely recognised as “Flip.” Much more than 1,000 persons joined in this celebration. With Flip, there are several new functionalities including a digicam with an ASL Lens that will train the principles of American Sign Language (ASL) by monitoring hand movements as you learn each letter of the alphabet. 

EdTechKaraoke is an additional huge occasion that I search forward to every single 12 months. No matter whether you are signing up for as a singer or there to cheer on your mates, it is a different opportunity to link, recharge and enjoy the electric power of remaining a linked educator. 

EdTech Karoake, Photo courtesy of Chase Chatfield

5. Connecting Educators

ISTE knocked it out of the park by creating a digital place for any person to be part of in and either working experience the session stay or watch the recording in which accessible. The platform structure personalized attendees’ ordeals since it would propose periods and connections centered on pursuits indicated in the attendee’s profile.

It’s fantastic that ISTE provided a system so that much more individuals were equipped to participate even if they weren’t there in particular person. So quite a few distinct styles of classes ended up available that targeted on crucial matters such as fairness, SEL and emerging systems just to title a handful of.

Periods are archived and are available for 6 months. Being in individual is powerful, but when presented with so many decisions, trying to suit them in into those four quick days, is impossible. Realizing that I can go back and check out out some of the recordings seriously helps make a variation when it arrives to expert discovering.

6. The Expo 

The Expo Corridor is a must, not just to master about the new technologies or new characteristics to applications that you are utilizing, but a place to operate into your connections and make new kinds. I was fortunate to do some reserve signings and shows at a number of of the booths. It was in these areas that I was equipped to reconnect with buddies who I experienced not found in several decades. Of program, a major attract is the swag. Attendees can always wander absent with tons of objects like bags, chargers, h2o bottles, T-shirts, hand sanitizer, notebooks and so substantially additional. But I uncover the authentic benefit of the Expo Corridor in the finding out and reconnecting that transpires.

I relished accomplishing some demos at the Capstone booth and signing some of my textbooks!

One more magnificent issue about the Expo Corridor was that I truly obtained to travel one of the coolest robots, the Unitree!  It was amazing to see what this technological know-how can do. A ton of revolutionary ideas for educators wanting to link with college students, foster the development of SEL and study how to provide emerging systems into the classroom.

7. ISTE Immersive VR Experience

Mastering about emerging systems like augmented and virtual truth was a big component of the meeting this yr. There were being two playgrounds held. On Sunday afternoon, 6 stations and two mainstage locations had presenters covering matters these as AR/VR, the metaverse and NFTs, and synthetic intelligence in training. I spoke about synthetic intelligence and take pleasure in the option to hook up with other educators about how we can convey matters like AI and other emerging systems into our lecture rooms for students even at early ages. Some of the favorite sources for AI had been AIClub and the ISTE U Study course on AI. On Wednesday, there was a 4-hour VR encounter with Oculus headsets completely ready to immerse attendees into a assortment of activities to study much more about digital truth. For some, this was the initial chance to try out an Oculus headset and knowledge the likely with employing VR. There was constantly a line to get commenced and every person and I spoke to stated they were stunned at the alternatives for making use of Oculus in the lecture rooms.

ISTE VR Playground on Wednesday, Image Courtesy of Rosemary Jane

All the items 

I absolutely packed my program between coffee meetups, sessions, booth presentations and social functions. But I can convey to you when attempting to prepare an ISTE schedule, don’t stress about it as well significantly due to the fact when you’re on your way from position A to stage B, there’s a truly very good opportunity you will be late, if you make it at all. Either you’re heading to operate into any individual you haven’t seen in a long time, or any individual acknowledges you due to the fact you connected on Twitter, so you need to have to be adaptable. 

No subject what you do you will always pass up out on something. But the most effective conversations and time for connections occur when you are open up to remaining flexible. You will unquestionably appreciate all that individuals prospects offer. And even when the convention ends, you will continue to have alternatives to discover and join. Conference up with good friends at the airport to share a food ahead of heading out or finding out that half of the folks on your plane were just at ISTE and you make new connections. Finding out is in all places.

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

Just before leaving NOLA, I experienced a prospect to capture up with a lot of good friends. We shared takeaways and there is so considerably to say about ISTE, you have to knowledge it for by yourself.  If you have in no way been to an ISTE meeting, then mark it on your calendar for Philadelphia upcoming calendar year, June 25 – 28, 2023.  See you in Philly!

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Natasha M. McKnight

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