EdTekPhotoWhen it comes to ISTE, I’m an unabashed cheerleader. I’m effusive about the professional learning community I’ve developed through ISTE. I rave about the ISTE Annual Conference & Expo, with its enormous exhibit hall and wealth of sessions and big-name speakers. I never miss a chance to urge my technology-loving friends and coworkers to join. And I share the resources I get from my ISTE Professional Learning Network to everyone I can.

Yes, you could say that I love ISTE. And loving ISTE is only one of the reasons why I serve on the ISTE Board of Directors.

Like most educators, I have far too little time in my days and attend way too many meetings. So why would I take on the added responsibility of serving on the board? I polled fellow board members and came up with these seven reasons why serving on the ISTE Board of Directors of one of the most fulfilling (and fun) ways to share your passion for ed tech.

1)  The ISTE Conference & Expo. I love, love, love the ISTE conference! I’ve attended every conference since 2001 and volunteer at the event whenever I can. It is the highlight of my year and for other board members, like Hall Davidson, as well. Here’s what he has to say about the conference, “For years, I have gotten so much out of it — both by attending the great sessions from the classroom teachers, and by presenting. Knowing I might present at ISTE gave a new dimension to my work the whole year long. I think it does that for many people.”

2)  I love the ISTE organization. ISTE is much more than an annual conference. From the ISTE Standards to the networking communities to entrsekt and the EdTekHub, ISTE is a class act. Board member Kari Stubbs said, “I ran for the ISTE Board because I wanted to make a difference in the field of educational technology, and I see ISTE as the leading organization involved in this work.”

3)  I want to contribute to the ISTE vision. The vision of ISTE is a world where all learners thrive, achieve and contribute. That’s not only the ISTE vision, it’s my vision too, and it perfectly describes the kind of world where I want to live and work. And I am not alone. Incoming ISTE Board Chair Matt Harris, Ph.D., wants to help ISTE grow its mission of improving learning and teaching for all students through technology. His leadership on the board is his contribution to that continued vision for the organization.

4)  I want the inside scoop. ISTE members are typical early adopters of new technologies, and ISTE board members are no exception. Serving on the board has given me the opportunity to talk about the latest and greatest tools and to get a little geeky. But it’s not just about tools. Board member Kari Stubbs, Ph.D. put it this way: “Serving on the board has been a remarkable opportunity to grow my PLN, stay current on trends and challenges in our field and peel back the onion on the important work of ISTE.”

5)  I want to learn from the experts. Getting involved with ISTE — and more specifically, the ISTE Board — provides personal connections with a broad community of experts. ISTE board members recognize the benefit of being able to learn and grow from the leaders in educational technology.

6)  I want to be seen as an expert. Maintaining relationships with ed tech experts tends to give you a little bit of star status. Although board members don’t serve for the recognition, there is some measure of respect that comes with serving on an international board.

7)  I want to make ISTE even better. Finally, serving on the board is all about wanting ISTE to succeed. Paige Johnson says it best, “You believe that ISTE is a critical organization to the ed tech community and you want to volunteer your time to help make the organization more successful. You want to contribute to the long-term support of the organization’s work.”

Over the next few weeks ISTE will be building a slate of nominees for the upcoming elections. If being a board member resonates with you, find out how to put your name in the hat byvisiting the board page or by talking to any current or former ISTE board member.

Watch for the announcement of our nominees as the election process continues. We’d like you to learn about the candidates through their videos and other materials, and then vote for those you’d like to have serve on the board of directors.

Laurie Conzemius has spent over 30 years teaching in the classroom, as a teacher librarian and as a tech integration specialist in the Minnesota school districts of Park Rapids and Sartell. A recent ISTE Making IT Happen Award recipient, Laurie strives to support educators as they infuse technology into their teaching and learning. Conzemius is a past president of the ISTE affiliate ITEM (formerly MEMO) and ed tech presenter. She is serving her second term on the ISTE Board of Directors.

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