#ISTE2015: Sunday Round-up

I was only at ISTE for two and a half hours today, and I have so much to say that I wanted to blog about it right away (I can only imagine how much I’ll have to say after a 12-hour day tomorrow!).

My evening started with the keynote by Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien). She. Was. Amazing. She showed her journalistic cred by being both an excellent story teller, and by having clearly done her research. Granted her latest project, Starfish Media Group (@StarfishMediaG), is related to education, but she simply “got it” across the board about what is and isn’t working in education right now. Some inspiring quotes of hers included:

  • “The school to prison pipeline is very real. It is solvable. It makes me furious.”
  • “There is no point in using technology for technology’s sake.”
  • “Education is the next civil right.”
  • “”You as educators are at the forefront of a critical battle of who learns what and how” (Thanks to @elanaleoni for having a more accurate transcription of the quote!)
  • “Fewer women are getting computer science degrees than 30 years ago”
  • “Technology in children’s hands should be used for voice, agency, social justice and finding passion.” (Quote thanks to @snbeach; I was too busy writing a tweet to write this down adequately!)
  • “Access to technology can give Ss the info that they are missing from their schools. Not having it cuts them off from the world.” (Thanks @saneebell for this quote)
  • “Tuition is important, but mentoring is key”
  • “Some of my students don’t even know what jobs are out there.” (probably misquoting, but this was part of her introduction to Google Expeditions as a way of sharing jobs and opportunities with students who wouldn’t otherwise have that access. She aptly labeled it “information gap”)

I will have more to say about all of these issue (with studies to show that they are accurate statements and/or with studies that show how to improve the situation), but I thought this was a good start.

I also went to many of the booths at the Global Education Poster session. The majority of the topics I attended stressed global collaboration for educators (from everything from Twitter to international Google Hangouts) and of students (via Skype, Book Creator, Google Hangouts, and other tools). Some posters that I will be following up on or that seemed interesting included:

  • Global Nomads Group – for middle & high school students, Global Nomads Group “fosters dialogue and understanding among the world’s youth…[where] these exchanges promote empathy, peace, and build 21st century workforce skills”
  • Storytelling Nations – a collaboration between The Lippman School and members of a Cheyenne Indian tribe (affiliated with Chief Dull Knife College). An opportunity for students to learn about other cultures and reflect.
  • Using Book Creator for cross-cultural collaboration (done at The Avenues School by a broad age of students, preK to 12; they collaborate with other schools in other countries to write books about different foods, different habits, etc)
  • Flat Connections: Global Educator Julie Lindsay facilitates multi-week curricula for targeted age groups that include teacher training and global collaborations



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