|ISTE 2011, an international conference on technology|
in education, will be in Philadelphia in June. Attendees
can learn more effective classroom uses of the Internet,
iPads, blogs and other technologies.
There is an international educational technology conference heading to Philadelphia this summer. The conference is called ISTE 2011 and expects to draw 13,000 participants from around the globe. Last year, the conference was held in Denver and included people from 63 countries. The sponsoring organization is the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). ISTE advances excellence in learning and teaching through innovative and effective uses of technology. It is a global organization representing 89 countries. However, the conversation at the conference is about more than just technology. ISTE has developed the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students, Teachers and Administrators. While most educational standards, including those in Pennsylvania, describe what students should know, these standards describe what students should be able to do in a global environment. Examining the student standards reveals that students need to be creative and innovative. They should be able to communicate and collaborate. They should work towards solving problems and making decisions and demonstrate information fluency.
There are also standards for teachers and administrators to explore.
The conference runs June 25–29 with a theme of “Unlocking Potential.” The conference is not just for teachers. Administrators, policymakers, business people, technology industry reps, vendors, professional developers and others interested in student learning and success are expected to attend. If you go, bring a laptop, smart phone, or iPad. And to walk through than 125,000 square feet of exhibits, you’ll want a pair of comfortable shoes. Although not required, there will be a number of opportunities to engage directly in sessions, and many people will do so from their mobile device. I have been going to the conference for a number of years, and I guarantee that if you go you will find it to be engaging, interesting and chock full of great learning opportunities for yourself.
There will be sessions on how to use specific technologies such as iPads or interactive white boards. Other sessions provide descriptions and uses for software such as Wikispaces, a collaborative online workspace, or tips for bringing blogs into the classroom. The vendor area contains hundreds of exhibitors demonstrating the latest technology tools available.
Perhaps more importantly, you can find educators from across the globe engaging in discussions about student learning. There are many informal playgrounds, workspaces, and lounges for like-minded educators to share ideas. Last year, I worked in a session lead by Karen Cator, the director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. The session examined student workspace and its affect on learning, and educators from Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia joined me in my group.
So mark you calendars: June 25-29 in Philadelphia, ISTE 2011.
Any York County educators planning to attend?
Ben Smith is a physics teacher and science chairman at Red Lion Area High School, where he has worked for the past 22 years. He is also a partner in an educational technology consulting practice called EdTechInnovators (www.edtechinnovators.com). His work with schools has taken him across the U.S. and overseas to work with the Singapore Ministry of Education. Ben serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society for Technology in Education, a nonprofit international organization. Ben lives with his wife Lottie in York Township with their two children – Caitlin, 14, and Ian, 10.