Reflections on the ISTE Conference

Three days at the massive ISTE conference in Philadelphia has me really thinking about educational technology, professional learning, and our needs in a Canadian context. I found that the bulk of the offerings were focused on tools,rather than teaching. Frankly I was disappointed by this. Having never attended this conference I had hoped that there would be stronger offerings by leaders in education that focused on implementation of change in teaching and learning to reflect a 21st Century context. This was not the case.

ISTE promotes it’s international status, but I found myself continually being referred to the American context. Being the polite Canadian that I am, I kept these thoughts to myself until I connected with several Australians who had the same thoughts. I’m thinking that Canada and Australia have much to share and learn from each other and will be looking for opportunities to connect and continue to learn from these new colleagues.

Things I enjoyed most at ISTE: connecting and sharing with like minded professionals in the unstructured caves, over dinner and lunch. Loved learning about the research conducted by Dr. Sofia Pardo and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Rob Mancabelli was a new voice working with @willrich45 great discussion about moving yah but to change. Enjoyed the masterful facilitation skills of Scott McLeod in the Tech Savvy Principals session and all the TSP’s on the panel and I thought that Roger Pryor from Australia did a wonderful job of integrating multiple modes of teaching into his discussion about change and planning forward for our learners.

Overall, ISTE had many sessions that certainly made me think. Philadelphia was a wonderful host city, and I have much to ponder over the summer as I take a break and plan for next year’s learning adventure.