What I learned at ISTE?!
ISTE stands for International Society for Technology in Education and it is a well-known non-profit organization with over 16,000 members worldwide. ISTE works with the global education community to “accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation” and to transform teaching and learning through technology.
1. Personalized Learning isn’t just for kids!
- Push for schools to not only provide choice for students but to empower them to drive their learning.
- This also applies to educators. When it comes to professional learning, flexible pathways are where it’s at!
- Targeted technology PD that’s based on skill level is key.
- A broad spectrum of skill levels– from absolute beginners to those that have tried a few tools/ideas, to early adopters and advocates, to tech specialists in need of advanced PD and coaching support.
2. Digital Literacy is just plain literacy!
- “Digital literacy should be built just like analog literacy, on the laps of parents and with careful planning by teachers. This literacy includes “read alouds” of all digital mediums and talk about digital expectations (citizenship).” Michael Hernandez
- “How are we preparing students to be mindful curators of knowledge and intentional producers of content?” Michael Hernandez
- The 21st-century learner should have the global competency skills to:
- Investigate the World
- Recognize Perspective
- Communicate Ideas
- Take Action
3. Learning first, technology second!
- Tech tools should support learning goals in the classroom.
- Don’t be a mindless robot! Evaluate tools on their ability to engage, enhance and extend learning.
- Sometimes paper and pencil tasks are better.
4. Creation, Collaboration, Communication over consumption.
- Without appropriate training before, during and after device rollout, those computers and iPads can become just a replacement for paper/pencil tasks– type a paper, practice digital flashcards, watch video lectures, play math games.
- There is a renewed focus to move away from consumption to more creation, collaboration, and communication with technology.
- Tools like Google Suite, Flipgrid, Padlet, Adobe Spark, Twitter, iMovie, and Book Creator all allow for students to collaborate on creative products.
5. Movies, VR and Makerspaces, oh my!
- There are many options for building creative, critical thinkers.
- Movie-making has become an increasingly effective and simple way for students to show what they know, respond to the text, and engage with others beyond the 4 walls of the classroom. Screencasting and green screening are becoming popular as well.
- Virtual Reality seemed like a fad, but it’s still around thanks to Google Expeditions (360 virtual adventures) and their new Tour Creator app which allows teachers and students to create their own interactive, 2D, multimedia tours around the world.
- So many teachers and librarians, or Media Specialists, are working to turn their outdated libraries and computer labs into maker-spaces. These are DIY spaces where students gather to create, invent, and learn.
- With tools like Alexa and Siri becoming the norm, Artificial Intelligence (or AI) is making its way into the education sphere. Automated grading and differentiated skill practice are commonplace, but on the horizon is the use of chatbots to communicate with students, and processes to identify and communicate student needs to the teacher. (AI can also communicate teacher needs to the administrator). This can then lead to specialized PD based on areas where students or teachers have the greatest deficits.
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