ISTE 2015 – Recap!


If you have never attended an ISTE or even if it’s your tenth time attending, you will probably agree that this year’s ISTE was one of the best.  Held in the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, teachers, administrators, educational technology specialists, vendors, technology directors, and more convened together at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to share a common interest, the advancement of technology in education to improve student learning outcomes.

I had the opportunity to attend several sessions, all of which gave valuable resources and knowledge to take back to my school and begin implementing in the Fall.  Here’s a recap of a few of the sessions I attended.

iDifferentiate:  Using Technology to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners – Sara Heintzelman

It is important to meet students where they are.  Differentiated instruction is a method to ensure all student learning needs are addressed.  What is the learning that you want to happen?Technology needs to support the learning.
In planning for technology integration:
 – Have clear expectations
 – Test technology before lesson
 – Plan for time to explore
Some elements of technology integration include:
Movie Making
 – book trailers
 – less on reflections
 – documenting student learning
 – visual representation of new concepts
 – story retelling
 – story telling
 – writing brainstorming
Photo Journaling

Programming at All Ages – John Kilbane & Kristopher Velez

Presenters from the American School of Bombay (yes..India!!) spoke to us about how to teach computer programing to students regardless of their age and skill level.
This strategy was the best;  Program your parent – Student writes down algorithm to get your parent through the course.
Programming tools. languages,  and strategies by age group include:
ASB Programming Ecosystem
Scratch – K-6
K-3 Lego WeDo
3-12 Lego Mindstorms
7-12 Arduino
7-12 Processing
K-5  Languages
Scratch Jr
Lego WeDo
K-5 Projects
Problem Solvig
5 Core Concepts
Program w/o a computer
Stories with Scratch
Small stories
5-8 Projects
Core concepts
Small interactions
Programming with making
9 – 12
Focus on Projects
 – Individual creations
Leave it open ended
Algorithmic Visual project
Make an interesting interaction
This was a very informative session!

Learning Spaces

since we are in the process at our school of considering an upgrade of our computer lab, I attended 2 sessions regarding learning spaces.  These are my notes from two sessions:
Apps to design spaces:
    – Magic Plan by Sensopia
Makerspace in@3sail
One Way to make space – Storage on Wheels
Ditto Pro 3D Printer – from @Tinkerines
Books to help with space planning:
 – The Third Teacher
 – Make Space
 – Steal Like an Artist
 – Invent to Learn
 – Make:  Wearable Electronics
 – Get Active – re-imaging learning spaces for student success
Design is a purposeful act. Vision has to be larger and mission has to be clear.
Language of School design – book: based on David Thornberg’s work.
Digital lives are made up of 7 spaces – – group,secret, watching, engage, publish, perform, participate
Cave space – when student want to be contemplative
When you’re designing spaces – Give it a name
i.e. What will we name our new computer Lab??
Survey students about how they see the space being utilized.
Visual listening – fill board with pictures and then given dots to students/teachers and they put dots on what they like.
Edutopia – Remake your class – 8 tips and tricks to redesign your class
Become an anthropologist
– identify obstacle points w/sticky notes
– observe student behavior
– ask critical observers to chart the flow – David Bill
   – ask them to watch the flow of your class and give honest feedback.
Channel the optimism of a designer the resourcefulness of a hacker, and the playfulness of a maker – Melanie Kahl
Design is not just what it looks like but how it works.
DesignShare – designing for future learning – vs international website
scoop it
Google color search – under search tools select the color
The L!brary – Robin Hood Foundation in NYC – Siddiqi
The Third Teacher – 79 ways … vS teacher
David Thornburg – From the campfire to the holodeck – 21st century learning environments

Introduction to Minecraft –

This session was amazing!  I couldn’t wait to download Minecraft on my Mac after leaving this session.  I’ve heard and read so much information on Minecraft and student usage in the classroom but until ISTE, didn’t set aside the time to get to know the tool.  These sessions filled up pretty quickly at ISTE so when I saw the Intro session scheduled for 9am, I knew I had to get there early.  I made it to the Convention Center around 7:30 and was first in line.  The line quickly increase and only the firts 50 wee allowed into the session.  Here’s our picture outside the session waiting:
Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 5.38.34 PM
During the session we worked on Windows Surface tablets and were given a really good introduction to the game.  However, it soon became clear that this was more than just a game.  There is so much learning potential for students when it comes to Minecraft.  As a former math teacher, I can see many mathematical possibilities with this tool.  In the session we were introduced to the basics of Minecraft and we learned how to make a shelter in the game for protection during the nights in the game.  There’s so much more to learn which is why I’ve already downloaded it.
Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 6.22.25 PM

I also attended a couple of networking sessions after conference hours with SMART Technologies and with EDTechWomen.  These were great opportunities to grow my PLN and visit face-to-face with those in my PLN currently.

Great ISTE 2015!  Can’t wait to share with teachers at my school  the tools, tips, and strategies to further technology integration in the classroom.

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