Although I’ve never been to an ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference before, it’s been one of my professional goals for several years now. This year, the conference is being held June 25th-June 28th in San Antonio, Texas and, from what I’ve heard, it continues to get better and better each year. From the sprawling vendor floor, the countless selection of workshops and playgrounds, and the stirring keynote speeches, I might get totally overwhelmed in the moment.
Whether you’re a regular attendee, a first-time attendee like me, or haven’t had the privilege to go yet, there’s no easy button for organizing your schedule and hitting every session that catches your eye. It requires a balance of thoughtful planning, a bit of compromise, and a comfy pair of shoes. So, how do you choose what sessions to attend, what sessions to skip, and manage every second of precious time while you’re there? Well, after reviewing the hundreds of choices available throughout the duration of the conference, I think these five sessions are ones you don’t want to miss:
1. Presenting the ISTE Standards for Educators
On Sunday, from 3:00-4:00pm, the new ISTE Standards for Educators are going to be released! Not only is this exciting news, but the updated standards provide the framework for how educators across the globe should use technology in the classroom. Attending this session will give you an exclusive first-look at the standards in their entirety and help you transform your teaching practice pronto!
2. From Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership: Empowering Learner’s In Today’s World – George Couros
On Monday, from 12:00-1:00pm, George Couros will present the value of teaching students to harness technology’s power wisely. As the world evolves before our eyes, every educator should encourage their students to use digital tools responsibly, form an online presence, improve their lives, and improve the lives of others. This stirring discussion will certainly be a highlight of the conference.
3. Tuesday’s Keynote with Jennie Magiera
On Tuesday morning, from 8:30-9:45am, Jennie Magiera will motivate all of us to maximize our influence as educators. Magiera believes, despite the variety of challenges schools face, every classroom can be a safe, engaging, technology-rich learning environment. If you want to be inspired to be the very best educator possible, find a seat for this keynote…they’ll go fast!
4. EdTech Coaches Playground: Which Hats Do You Wear?
The EdTech Coaches Playground kicks off right at the tail end of the Tuesday Keynote, from 9:30am-1:00pm. EdTech coach or not, these innovative poster presentations will allow you to explore, play, and create using the most innovative strategies out there. And, you’ll even get practical tips on how to juggle the many “hats” an EdTech coach can wear. What a way to spend an hour (or two) on Tuesday!
5. Building Authentic Relationships Using Google Apps for Education – Tyler Tarver
As the conference winds down Wednesday, there’s still plenty of sessions worth checking out before you head home… One of those sessions (from 10:00-11:00am) is all about building authentic relationships in G Suite, and it’s moderated by one of the most enthusiastic educators I’ve come across online: Tyler Tarver. If you want to end the conference on a high note and get excited about the possibilities with Google tools, this presentation has your name written all over it!
No matter what your conference agenda is, you won’t regret attending these five can’t-miss experiences at #ISTE17. They’ll emphasize relevant topics, feature some of the most influential voices in education, and highlight important shifts for the future. Whether you use these suggestions or go a different route, remember that thoughtful planning, a bit of compromise, and comfy shoes will go a long way! See you in San Antonio!