ISTE Awards

The annual ISTE awards recognize exceptional educators and leaders who are paving the way for connected learning. We seek those whose exemplary work provides a model for teaching, learning and leading in the digital age.

Applications for 2017 ISTE juried awards are open through February 28, 2017. Click on the the award category below to learn more.

Congratulations to our 2016 juried award winners and to our 2016 PLN award winners!

Juried award categories

Award for Outstanding Leadership

For educators whose leadership advances the transformation of education through technology

Award for Outstanding Teacher

For classroom teachers who apply technology to engage and empower students

Award for Outstanding Young Educator

For educators 35 years or younger who transform learning through the visionary use of technology

Award for Advocacy

For individuals who champion ed tech policy at the local, state, regional, national or global level

Distinguished District Award

For the innovative application of technology across a school system

Kay L. Bitter Vision Award

For individuals who integrate technology with vision and creativity in a PK–2 classroom

Non-juried awards

President's Volunteer Service Award*

For individuals who demonstrate commitment and inspire others to volunteer

Making IT Happen Award*

For visionary educators and leaders who cultivate connected, empowered learners

*Nominations for this award are not reviewed by a judging panel. Visit the award page to view nomination requirements.

Juried award benefits

All award winners receive:

  • Recognition at the ISTE Conference & Expo
  • Complimentary registration for the ISTE conference
  • A one-year basic individual ISTE membership
  • Recognition in ISTE publications, in press releases provided to local media and on the website
  • An engraved plaque acknowledging the recipient's outstanding achievement
  • Additional prizes and cash awards
  • Opportunities to contribute to the field

Together, let’s lift up those who are transforming education!

"The award really gave me confidence that what I was doing was accepted. Often I’m trying to push things as far as I can, and it felt like a gigantic group of peers nodding their heads, like, 'That’s good stuff.' "

 —Bill Selak
2014 Kay L. Bitter Award

Professional Learning Network (PLN) awards

PLN award winners receive complimentary ISTE membership, a plaque and recognition in a news release and at the PLN Leader Breakfast at the ISTE Conference & Expo.

Congratulations to our 2016 PLN award winners!

Please log in to your ISTE account to access the award nomination forms below. Nominations for ISTE PLN Awards are open Feb 1 to Feb 28 each year.

Award for Excellence in Teacher Education

2016 Winner: Denise Schmidt-Crawford, associate professor and director, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

The Award for Excellence in Teacher Education honors an outstanding teacher educator who advances the field, demonstrates vision and innovation, and improves learning and teaching.

Librarians Network Primary and Secondary Awards

2016 Primary Award winner: Jenny Lussier, teacher-librarian, John Lyman Elementary, Middlefield, CT

2016 Secondary Award winner: Jenn Hanson, director of library services, Worcester Academy, Worcester, MA

The Librarians Network Primary and Secondary Awards recognize school librarians who exemplify the qualities of positive technology leadership and innovation in the school and community. Awardees should demonstrate an ability to serve as a leader in technology integration and as a collaborative partner with classroom teachers to provide students with valuable learning experiences that incorporate technology.

Games and Simulations Excellence Award

2016 winner: Sherry Jones, game design and psychology instructor, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, CO

The Games and Simulations Network Excellence Award recognizes an active network member who has displayed servant leadership and advocacy in advancing the use of games and simulations in education.

Innovation in Online Global Collaboration

This award is open to educators at all levels of K-12 as well as college/university and higher education. This award recognizes innovation in the design and implementation of online global collaboration for learning. Global collaboration broadly refers to geographically dispersed educators, classrooms, schools and other learning environments that use online technologies to learn with others beyond their immediate environment in order to support curricular objectives, intercultural understandings, critical thinking, personal and social capabilities and ICT capabilities.

Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator Award

2016 winner: Luis Perez, inclusive learning evangelist, independent consultant, Saint Petersburg, FL

Virtual Environments Pioneer of the Year

2016 winner: Mary O'Brien, retired teacher, Augusta, ME

The Virtual Environments Pioneer of the Year Award honors an educator whose work in both RL (real life) and inworld most embodies the adventuresome and innovative spirit characteristic of a Virtual Environments Network community leader.

Mobile Learning Network Teacher/Educator Innovator Award

2016 winner: Cathy Hunt, visual arts teacher, St. Hilda's School, Southport, Australia

The Mobile Learning Network Teacher/Educator Innovator Award recognizes teachers and other educators who are doing innovative projects that engage learners. Innovation is driven by a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement and is based on curiosity, the willingness to take risks and experiment to test assumptions, questioning and challenging the status quo, as well as recognizing opportunity and taking advantage of it.

Ed Tech Coaches Network Award

2016 winner: Fanny Passeport, technology integrator, Mercedes Benz International School, Pune, India

The Ed Tech Coaches Network Award honors an ed tech coach whose work artifacts and recommendations most closely align with the ISTE Standards for Coaches. The award will be given to a visionary leader whose work in digital age learning environments, professional development and program evaluation represents excellence in digital citizenship, content knowledge and professional growth.

Administrator Network Annual Award for Exemplary Leadership

2016 winner: Kenneth Willers, principal, School of the Madeline, Berkeley, CA

The Administrator Network Annual Award for Exemplary Leadership recognizes an administrator who sets the essential conditions necessary for teachers and students to leverage technology to enhance learning. This administrator will exemplify at least three of the ISTE Standards for Administrators.

Independent School Educators Network Outstanding Educator Award

2016 winner: Connie White, director of learning design & innovation, Woodward Academy, College Park, GA

The Independent School Educators Network Outstanding Educator Award recognizes an independent school educator or leader who has implemented innovative practices, established private-public partnerships and/or advanced the teaching practice for all educators.

Literacy PLN Award

The Literacy PLN Award recognizes a colleague who has created a digital resource that addresses an instructional/learning need through the innovative use of technology, particularly one that models how this can be done and/or can be shared and used by others to support students in greater learning through the applied use of technology.

STEM Excellence Award

2016 winner: Karin Davidson-Taylor, education officer, Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Canada

The STEM Excellence Award recognizes a STEM educator who has demonstrated leadership and advocacy in understanding and advancing the use of STEM in education.

Interactive Video Conferencing Network Award

2016 winner: Gianna Sullivan, distance learning education coordinator, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO

The Interactive Video Conferencing Network Award recognizes teachers, educators and/or education leaders who use interactive video conferencing to engage learners in K-12 and higher ed by incorporating innovative learning opportunities.

Learning Spaces Network Outstanding Learning Space Designer Award

The ISTE Learning Space Network Outstanding Learning Space Designer Award recognizes an educator who has created an innovative physical learning environment for his/her class, school, or district. The recipient will have applied the best practices of learning space design to create a space that promotes active learning.

Computing Teachers Network Excellence Award

The annual Computing Teachers Network Excellence Award recognizes an exceptional educator and leader who is championing the cause of improved computer science and information technology education.

3D Network Award

The ISTE 3D Network Award recognize an exceptional educator whose exemplary work provides a model for teaching, learning and leading using 3D, AR and VR.

Innovative Learning Network Award for Outstanding Leadership

The annual Outstanding Leadership Award honors an exceptional individual who exhibits a consistent drive to introduce innovative learning technologies to their schools and their peers. The awardee facilitates and exhibits proper usage and integration for educators, administrators and students alike through consistent mentoring, training and support in the classroom and beyond.