If you are still at ISTE, make sure you keep an eye out for our EdTechTeacher team members: Jen Carey, Carl Hooker, and Don Orth.

Here are there Carl’s thoughts and reflections from Day 1.

I just wrapped up my first official 24-hours at ISTE and I’m pretty exhausted. Spotty wifi not withstanding (although that was a trending twitter conversation at one point), there was a lot of great content and conversations available if you knew where to look for them. I also sensed a few themes arising from the workshops, vendors, and presentations.

Theme #1 – Learning should be fun.

From Dean Shareski’s opening Ignite! session on needing more silliness in education to Chris Lehmann’s session on Technology Transforming Pedagogy, it seemed that whenever kids enjoyed themselves, learning happens naturally. Lehmann mentioned not making it about going home and doing “an assignment”. Instead send the kids off with a project that they enjoy and actually want to do. Opening keynote speaker Jane McGonigal’s talk was a perfect kick-off to this theme of fun in learning, when she spoke to a packed house about gamification. (for a near replication of her talk, view her 2010 TED Talk)

Theme #2 – The revolution will be televised, only on a mobile device.

The surplus of apps, mobile devices, mobile device management systems, and any other accessory you can think of exists on the ISTE Exhibit hall floor. I saw foam gorillas, stylus pen combos, and even mobile speakers made out of cardboard boxes. I remarked to a colleague that 5 years ago, half of these companies didn’t even exist. I wonder how many will be around in the next 5 years? One company taking a huge risk is Microsoft. They are giving away their Surface tablet ($499 retail) to the first 10,000 attendees that register and get the necessary signatures. I spoke with some attendees about the Surface and early reviews were mixed. With Amplify, LearnPad, Lenovo, and many others out there, is there enough room in the pool for Microsoft’s tablet? Only time will tell I suppose.

Theme #3 – Mobile learning is now the norm.

In the past, you would see a scattering of BYOD or 1:1 sessions. Now they line up one side of the schedule and down the other. The lines for these shows their popularity. I even had to “sneak” into my own team’s session called “Think Different – 1:1 iPads in Education.” They did a tremendous feeding a crowd hungry for examples of how to use these devices in more than just a substitutive manner. This concept led perfectly into my next session put on by a team of 1:1 administrators from districts all over the world. “Disrupting Innovation: 1:1 iPad Pedagogies” really focused on this notion of transforming learning and teaching based on Dr. Ruben Puentadura’s SAMR model. It certainly made me feel better about our 1:1 in the sense that not one size fits all.

Theme #4 – Learning should be based on interest and inquiry.

Chris Lehmann mentioned his capstone Senior projects that they do at SLA (Science Leadership Academy) to culminate a year-long research project. These projects can be about anything as long as the student is interested. One particular project he mentioned was a year-long project about soap! (the student was researching how to make skin beautiful). Chris’ school is really a leader in this inquiry-driven concept of learning, and it’s always a pleasure and inspiration to hear him speak about his kids.

All-in-all, an action packed first 24 hours at #ISTE13. I’m super-charged about these above themes and the directions we are heading in education. While the future of technology trends is flexible and uncertain, education is figuring it out. One thing I do know for certain is this: I’m going to learn something tomorrow that I didn’t know today, and that is exciting.

2 Comments

  1. ISTE 2013 Overall Wrap-up: Turning Reflection into Action – from Carl Hooker | Leading Change in Changing Times Says

    […] session line-up really addressed the needs of all attendees, and the themes that I mentioned on my Day 1 wrap-up were common throughout the event. The amount of playgrounds, maker spaces, blogger’s lounges, and […]

  2. From San Antonio, TX to Shrewsbury, MA – Weekly Resources | Leading Change in Changing Times Says

    […] ISTE Wrap Up from Day #1: 4 Themes At the end of Day 1, Carl articulated 4 key themes: learning should be fun; the revolution will be televised – only on a mobile device; mobile learning is now the norm; learning should be based on inquiry and interest. […]

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