How to navigate the ISTE 2016 digital program

ISTE is more environmentally-friendly this year! To honor our commitment to sustainability, we will not offer a printed program this year. Instead, attendees will be able to access vital info and all of the fantastic sessions via the digital program on isteconference.org or within the ISTE 2016 mobile app. Here are some tips to familiarize yourself with the program and make the most of your conference experience.

Welcome to ISTE 2016! Take a Tour of the Convention Center

Planning your ISTE 2016 schedule? This tour of the Colorado Convention Center & ISTE 2016 is a great way to orient yourself before arriving on-site. From playground locations, lounges and places to relax and wayfinding information to ISTE Central where you can find resources & ISTE swag, this video has the basic info you’ll need to hit the ground running at ISTE 2016.

Where young educators learn, share and meet their eduheroes | Register now for ISTE 2018

“You feel very lonely or apprehensive when you think you’re the only one doing something. When you find your tribe at ISTE, everyone empowers each other,” says Ed Tech Coach Chris Aviles. As a young educator, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or feel isolated, especially in your first year of teaching. In this video, ISTE Conference & Expo attendees share their tips for young educators on how to stay connected, collaborate, innovate and transform learning. Learn more and register for the ISTE 2018 Conference & Expo at isteconference.org

ISTE 2016 Ignites | The culture and climate of an authentic STEM classroom

Ben Smith is a physics teacher and technology resource instructor at Red Lion Area Senior High School in Pennsylvania. He is also a doctoral student in instructional technology at Towson University, and is an ISTE Consultant and a PK-12 representative to the ISTE Board of Directors. With over a decade of professional development experience, Smith works through EdTEchinnovators to provide educators with resources to help them successfully infuse technology into their classrooms. As well as providing strategies and templates for teachers and students to facilitate the shift to the digital age classroom, he has created step-by-step tutorials on tool use, assisted educational organizations in planning technology purchases, and helped school districts and organizations develop a philosophy or vision for technology use. Along with Jared Mader, Smith serves as the Science Curriculum Specialists for Learning and Leading, ISTE’s flagship journal. Together, they recently worked with NASA to develop an iBook for teachers to complement the MMS Mission Launch student activities. Smith took time from his busy schedule to join ISTE for a 2016 Conference Ignite session—a rapid-fire event where multiple presenters get just five minutes and 20 slides each to inspire audience members. In his presentation, The Culture and Climate of an Authentic STEM Classroom, he speaks about how classroom climate and culture can lead students to the excitement of STEM projects, relying on each other and building a sense of themselves as learners. His classroom model is an inspiration for educators.

Support the ISTE Cause and Lead the Change in Transforming Learning Around the World

Learning, exploring and creating are natural human instincts. We are wired to connect and share; it doesn’t matter where, only that we do. ISTE’s mission is to empower learners to flourish in a connected world by cultivating a passionate professional learning community, linking educators and partners, leveraging knowledge and expertise, advocating for strategic policies, and continually improving learning and teaching. Support ISTE and join us in transforming education worldwide.

ISTE 2016 Closing Keynote Highlights – Michelle Cordy

Closing the ISTE 2016 conference & expo in Denver, Colorado is 3rd grade teacher from London, Ontario, Michelle Cordy. Author of Hack the Classroom and a highly respected ISTE community member, Cordy is on a mission to ignite young minds through new ways of learning and teaching. In her closing keynote speech, she makes the point that structure matters in educational networks. What happens, she asks, when just a few teachers, instead of being only connected to the teacher on your left and the teacher on your right, make just a few more connections, and find people like themselves in that network? What if there are connected educators that reach out to people they don’t normally speak to, that introduce their friends to your friends? Amazing things can happen then, because when your friends are better connected, you are better connected, and in this network—what Cordy calls a “small world”—good ideas are passed around, people have access to the expertise of librarians, STEM educators, artists, and more. Connection and community can lead to empowerment. By changing how teachers are bonded together, you may find a new engagement that allows for devising solutions together. By bringing students into the process, we can together transform education for future students. This innovative teacher calls ISTE a “special small world where good ideas pass. In fact, ISTE is many small worlds because within this group… all of us are connected and we share ideas in this diamond network.” Being a connected educator is a powerful thing!

Interview with Nicholas Provenzano – Giving students the freedom to fail forward

Learn more about encouraging students to fail forward by visiting the ISTE Blog here: http://bit.ly/2aZXucA What does learning look like when students are given the freedom to fail? In this inaugural EdTekHub InnerView with Nicholas Provenzano, Brian Lewis explores this very question. Nicholas Provenzano, an English teacher and technology curriculum specialist at Grosse Pointe Public Schools in Michigan, is deeply familiar with failure in his own educational experience both as a young student and as an adult. It wasn’t until high school that he discovered that he is dyslexic and finally understood why math and reading were so challenging for him. But by this point, Provenzano was used to failure and learned that he had to be okay with it and learn from it. It is this attitude and a philosophy that failure can be an extremely useful educational tool that Provenzano strives to bring to his own students. Learn more about encouraging students to fail forward by visiting the EdTekHub here: http://bit.ly/2aZXucA

EdTekHub InnerView with LeVar Burton – Sparking a passion for reading in digital age learners

Reading empowers students to become lifelong learners and gives them a unique sort of freedom that only reading can. That’s why LeVar Burton, actor, director and co-founder of RRKidz, is passionate about providing resources that make literature relevant for young readers. Burton credits his passion for reading and his commitment to serving the greater good to his mother, Erma Gene Christian, who worked as an English teacher and social worker. Later, through his work on the Roots miniseries, he experienced how powerful and compelling storytelling in a popular medium could be when created with intention. It was then that Burton realized that kids could be inspired to love reading if the material were presented in a medium that they understand and care about. In the 1980’s that meant T.V., but today it means digital access, which is how RRKidz and its Reading Rainbow-style resources were born. With versions for both families and schools, RRKidz continues to provide resources and a digital library of books that spark a love of reading in early and emerging readers, just as Reading Rainbow did in its time. Another lesson that Burton has learned and shares in this video is to not wait to understand the end destination before taking the next step. “You don’t need to know the end of the story, when you’re in Chapter 3,” he says. “Take the step that’s right in front of you.” Read more and find more compelling stories like this one by visiting the ISTE EdTekHub: http://bit.ly/2bgLHXN

Share your spark for learning and teaching | Michelle Cordy interview

Teacher and self-titled Applied Researcher Michelle Cordy wants to spark a curiosity for the world among her students and her peers. Growing up, Cordy’s extra-curricular athletic activities made her a bit of an unconventional student. Many of her teachers met the challenge head on and found a way to provide Cordy with the learning opportunities she needed while creating space for her to pursue this other important aspect of her life. This flexibility and a curiosity for the world instilled in her by her parents, opened her mind to a wealth of possibility and opportunity. As she settled into her career as an educator, she continued to expand her way of thinking and challenge her perspective through a commitment to professional learning and building relationships within her professional learning community. She found a home among like-minded educators through her ISTE membership and connections made at the ISTE Annual Conference & Expo and strives to bring the passion for learning and sharing back to her local PLN each year. When asked about what lesson she would most like to share with her peers, Cordy responded that her advice would be to focus on building valuable professional relationships and the collective good work they are doing on a daily basis.

ISTE 2016 keynote speaker Ruha Benjamin | Incubate a Better World in the Minds & Hearts of Students

“Teachers, if actually unified and empowered, can change the direction of history,” says Ruha Benjamin in this powerful keynote address at the ISTE 2016 Conference & Expo. Benjamin, a Princeton professor in the department of African American studies, specializes in the interdisciplinary studies of science, medicine, race, ethnicity gender, biotechnology, health and biopolitics. She envisions an education system that acts as an incubator for social change, and poses the question, “How do we make our schools laboratories of democratic participation, rather than sites where inequality is reproduced, where not only is the potential of each individual child realized, but where we’re experimenting with technologies of love, of reciprocity and of justice.” She makes important points about adopting technology in the classroom. We must wrestle, she insists, with the parallel realities that today’s children face if technology is to become a tool to close the gap in educational opportunity and life outcomes. The goal is not to simply empower our student to succeed in the world of today, says Professor Benjamin, but to give them the tools and opportunities that will allow them to imagine and create alternatives to the current system and culture. Ruha Benjamin is an engaging and animated speaker who eloquently and successfully brings in examples as far reaching as Star Trek, nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, code switching, Google searches, zero tolerance policies, and much more in order to build a momentum that will galvanize viewers. Watch the full keynote now and get inspired to transform society through the transformation of education. Want to get inspired and join a tribe of passionate, innovative educators like you? Don’t miss ISTE 2017. Sign up to receive email updates: http://bit.ly/2cEsT4T

ISTE 2016 EdTekTalks | Janice & Marley Dias on promoting diversity in media with #1000BlackGirlBooks

11-year-old Marley Dias has had enough of reading about white boys and their dogs. So she decided to launch a campaign to transform school reading lists and ensure that smart, adventurous and interesting girls like her could see themselves in the characters of the books they read. With the launch of her #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, Marley started a movement that has so far achieved an impressive list of accomplishments. Watch Marley’s ISTE 2016 EdTekTalk with her mother Janice and read more about the campaign here:

ISTE 2016 Ignites | Personalize learning and empower students to change their stories

Is the ed tech you’re using a story changer or a story repeater? In this inspiring Ignite talk from ISTE 2016, Katharine Hale challenges you to take on what she calls “the single story problem” in schools. Traditionally, education has reinforced a single idea of want academic success looks like and, for kids who don’t fit the mold, their stories go like this: average student, special ed, behavior problem, etc. In this talk, Hale urges teachers to integrate tech thoughtfully and meaningfully to personalize learning and help students write their own stories.

ISTE 2016 EdTekTalks | Introducing a must-try global PBL opportunity for students

Caleb Harper, Director of the MIT Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg), joined us at the 2016 ISTE Conference & Expo EdTekTalks to share the powerful work he and his team of “farmers” are doing to produce Food Computers that promote an open-source ecosystem. These computers serve as tools for users to experiment, innovate, hack and grow. Every time users grow and harvest, they contribute to a library of climate recipes that can be borrowed and scaled so that users around the world can gain access to the best and freshest foods. By placing Food Computers into classrooms, K-12 students and educators become part of the worldwide community that is breaking down barriers of entry and developing open source hardware and software platforms for hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture systems. Students become part of the network of farmers, makers, scientists and others who are laying the groundwork for the future of food production. With useful visual aids to explain issues of food insecurity and distribution, Harper employs passion and humor to open up the world of the MIT Media Lab’s work in creating beneficial agricultural climates with a Food Computer, and explores the technology that makes it possible to code climate recipes, superior flavor and better nutrition. These collaborative tools and platforms make the science behind modern agriculture more accessible, and are opening doors for students to be an integral part of putting the power of food production back in the hands of the people who need it the most.

How to survive your first year of teaching | 5 tips from the ISTE Young Educator Network

Your first year of teaching can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming and confusing. Watch the video for five survival tips for new and first year teachers from the ISTE Young Educator Network. The ISTE Young Educator Network is a vibrant community of both new and veteran teachers under 35 who are passionate about transforming learning through the meaningful use of ed tech. They are innovative, generous and dedicated professionals who love to share resources, grow their PLNs and support one another. Learn more and try out some ISTE member resources at iste.org/YENresources

ISTE 2016 Ignites | The culture and climate of an authentic STEM classroom

Ben Smith is a physics teacher and technology resource instructor at Red Lion Area Senior High School in Pennsylvania. He is also a doctoral student in instructional technology at Towson University, and is an ISTE Consultant and a PK-12 representative to the ISTE Board of Directors. With over a decade of professional development experience, Smith works through EdTEchinnovators to provide educators with resources to help them successfully infuse technology into their classrooms. As well as providing strategies and templates for teachers and students to facilitate the shift to the digital age classroom, he has created step-by-step tutorials on tool use, assisted educational organizations in planning technology purchases, and helped school districts and organizations develop a philosophy or vision for technology use. Along with Jared Mader, Smith serves as the Science Curriculum Specialists for Learning and Leading, ISTE’s flagship journal. Together, they recently worked with NASA to develop an iBook for teachers to complement the MMS Mission Launch student activities. Smith took time from his busy schedule to join ISTE for a 2016 Conference Ignite session—a rapid-fire event where multiple presenters get just five minutes and 20 slides each to inspire audience members. In his presentation, The Culture and Climate of an Authentic STEM Classroom, he speaks about how classroom climate and culture can lead students to the excitement of STEM projects, relying on each other and building a sense of themselves as learners. His classroom model is an inspiration for educators.

ISTE 2016 keynote speaker Michelle Cordy | Connect with your PLN to empower & engage students

Third grade teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Innovator, Michelle Cordy, was the closing keynote speaker at ISTE 2016 conference & expo in Denver, Colorado. As a teacher in London, Ontario, Canada and author of Hack the Classroom, Cordy is a highly respected ISTE community member on a mission to ignite young minds through new ways of learning and teaching that incorporate ed tech, and which empower students in their own education. In her closing keynote speech, she looks at the importance of being a connected educator, of expanding the education network, of engaging and empowering students, and she brings new ideas to the conversation, including the importance of mindfulness and stewardship. What happens, she asks, when just a few teachers, instead of being only connected to the teacher on your left and the teacher on your right, make just a few more connections, and find people like themselves in that network? In this network—what Cordy calls a “small world”—good ideas are passed between participants, people have access to the expertise of librarians, STEM educators, artists, and more. Connection, community, mindfulness and stewardship can lead to engagement and empowerment, to new devising solutions and a rethinking of how we think about and arrange the educational tools we’re given. By bringing students into the process, we can together transform education for future students. This innovative teacher calls ISTE a “special small world where good ideas pass. In fact, ISTE is many small worlds because within this group… all of us are connected and we share ideas in this diamond network.” Being a connected educator who shows up to the place in education where you can make your greatest contribution, and refuses to leave is a powerful thing!

ISTE 2016 Ignites | How to become a badass teacher

Laura Thomas, MEd. has been an educator, school coach and staff developer for more than a decade. Previously a high school English, speech and theatre teacher, she is currently the Director of the Center for School Renewal at Antioch University New England and is a library media specialist at Harrisville Wells Memorial School. She is also a community facilitator for Edutopia, a comprehensive website and online community that increases knowledge, sharing and adoption of what works in K-12 education. Emphasizing core strategies, Edutopia provides educators with resources for project-based learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studies, social and emotional learning, educational leadership and teacher development, and technology integration. Thomas is also affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools and the School Reform Initiative. She is the author of multiple articles as well as Facilitating Authentic Learning (Corwin, 2011) and you can find more of her work at The Critical Skills Classroom (http://antiochcriticalskills.wordpres…). Laura Thomas’ 2016 Ignite Session at the ISTE 2016 Conference, titled Becoming Badass, speaks to the strength of K-12 teachers, and the power of coming together as educators, of keeping an open mind, not passing judgement, always embracing curiosity and ongoing learning, doing what is right in spite of fear. She makes the point clearly that being a badass educator is teaching at its best. Take a moment to listen to Laura Thomas and be inspired.

ISTE 2016 EdTekTalks | Dr. Alex Thornton provides strategies for boosting digital health & wellness

Dr. Alex Thornton taught for seven years in Canada and Boston before shifting his focus to Educational Leadership. As Doctor of Education at RTSG Neuroscience, he brings his expertise in education and school program implementation to the consulting firm’s education related projects and studies. RTSG creates large scale interventions that use exercise to benefit groups of people. Dr. Thornton works in schools to maximize the benefits of physical education. His work has shown that, if done correctly, PE can improve academic performance in other subjects. He also collaborates closely with other educators, researchers and renowned thinkers to bring findings from sleep, nutrition, play, and Neuro/Biofeedback research to educational and organizational settings. His goal is to incorporate findings from neuropsychology into educational practice. Dr. Thornton joined us at the ISTE 2016 Conference EdTekTalks to share his findings on using exercise to change school cultures and optimize student learning. Using EEG and ERP data, he outlined in his talk the ways that exercise promotes attention and brain growth. Just a couple minutes of exercise can help students focus better and retain more information. The other side of the coin, however, is proper sleep. Memory is consolidated during sleep, and as students are getting less sleep than they did in the past—partly due to constant access to the Internet, online games, etc.—they are struggling harder to learn and retain information. Technology, says Thornton, interferes with both exercise and sleep, but also offers ideas and solutions to get more exercise and sleep. For educators and parents, finding the right balance is key to helping students do their best learning.

How a Proposal Becomes an ISTE Conference Session

Thousands of ISTE Conference session proposals are submitted each year, and after a rigorous review process by volunteer educators, about one-third make it to the final program. Assembling a conference program that features a range of content, is comprehensive and offers something for all attendees at all times would not be possible without the hundreds of educators that contribute to the peer-review process. This video illuminates the proposal selection process that involves several stages of peer review, months of work and hundreds of volunteer experts. Watch to learn more and visit isteconference.org to see the latest information on the program of the upcoming ISTE Conference & Expo.

What your PLN can do for you | Tips from the ISTE Young Educator Network

Teachers, tech integration specialists and edtech leaders share their reasons and advice for building a professional learning network. Their tips cover everything from getting inspiration for new strategies to try in the classroom to which digital spaces are the best for connecting with educators both locally and from around the globe. Special thanks to the ISTE Young Educator Network.

ISTE 2016 EdTekTalks | 4 tips for engaging kids in STEM with littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir

Today’s educators are preparing students for a future that has yet to be imagined. littleBits founder and CEO Ayah Bdeir shared the inspiration behind her company and her passion for empowering any child to become an innovator. There are 4 ways Ayah Bdeir’s company, littleBits, seeks to engage students more deeply in STEM education: 1. Making it fun 2. Going from STEM to STEAM 3. Help them make it theirs 4. Empowering educators Watch her EdTekTalk from ISTE 2016 and get inspired!

ISTE 2016 Ignites | Gamify and empower learning with a badging program

“Badges … are to grades and assessments like flipped was to teaching,” Brad Flickinger explains in this talk from the ISTE 2016 Ignite series. “They’re about skills. They’re not about knowledge.” Badging programs, both digital and analog, are not only a great way to engage and reward learners, they also motivate students by empowering them to take control of their own learning destinies. See how Brad Flickinger, an educator at the Metropolitan School of Panama, has engaged and empowered learners with a badging program. Subscribe to our channel for more great content!

ISTE 2016 Ignites | Make digital learning accessible for all students

In this 5-minute Ignite talk from ISTE 2016, Rhianon Gutierrez shares her passion for inclusive learning and her tips for how to make digital learning accessible for everyone. Born hard of hearing, Gutierrez doesn’t see her disability as a limitation, but rather as something that has led her to become an advocate for all different types of learning. With the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) at the forefront, Gutierrez shares her tips for how to make your content — both for students and for adults – accessible. To experience incredible learning opportunities like this, register for the ISTE Conference at conference.iste.org