The ISTE Board met in Philadelphia in June. Below are the highlights of that meeting.

Board hears ideas about teacher education

Representatives from a broad range of universities and schools shared their thoughts and insights about teacher education and how ISTE can strategically position itself to help prepare tomorrow’s teachers for the digital world.

“We wanted to build a clearer understanding of the current environment and issues related to teacher preparation, specifically technology integration efforts for preparing teachers,” said board member Mia Williams, who is an associate professor of educational technology and educational foundations and curriculum studies in the School of Teacher Education at the University of Northern Colorado.

Panelists, including graduate students, professors and principals, talked about some of the reasons young teachers are not prepared to teach effectively with technology and what might be done about it.

Chris Lehmann, principal and cofounder of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, said “the challenge is finding teachers who can leverage technology toward a pedagogy end.”

Alicia Drelick, a graduate student at Drexel University, says in her experience, technology is taught in isolation and not embedded and that most professors don’t place a strong emphasis on technology. 

“We haven’t told preservice teachers that the profession has changed,” Drelick said.

Catherine Schifter, an associate professor at Temple University College of Education, suggested that an ideal model would be to have student teachers in a school similar to a “teaching hospital” model, where it’s totally collaborative.

Board committee gathers members’ big ideas

The ISTE Board Linkage Committee received some great insight during an ISTE 2015 session designed to solicit member feedback on the direction ISTE should be heading, said Laurie Conzemius, who heads the committee.

The board continually asks members what they see as the major challenges.

“We want to know where they think education is headed in the next five years and how that will affect the way they teach,” Conzemius said.

Some of those who attended the ISTE 2015 session said the next challenge is helping students know when to turn off their devices and how to be mindful and present during the face-to-face conversations. Teaching mindfulness and serving people of all ages were two of the prevalent themes that members brought to the board.

If you have feedback for the ISTE Board Linkage Committee, you can sent it to

From the CEO

ISTE CEO Brian Lewis discussed the three new membership offerings that were announced at ISTE 2015:

Institutional Membership. This membership is geared toward education entities like districts, schools, county offices of education, etc. Benefits include preferred rates on large-scale professional learning, district-level tech integration guidance and individual membership for superintendents. 

Group Membership. This offering includes basic individual membership to groups of 10 or more. It includes two or more registrations to the ISTE Conference & Expo (depending on the size of the group) and a free basic individual membership for the superintendent. For more information. 

ISTE Professional Learning Packages. These comprehensive professional learning packages, on topics vital to successful digital age learning and leading, come bundled with ISTE membership. Topics include mobile learning, digital citizenship, coaching and the ISTE Standards.

Lewis also updated the board on the search for a chief learning services officer. An executive recruiting firm has been retained to conduct the search. The chief learning services officer will lead ISTE’s Learning Services Division.