When forward-thinking educators gather to put their hands on the latest technologies and plan the future of learning, great things happen for students.
" "There's something about talking about technologies and possibilities within technologies that I think can get people in that space where they turn to each other and say, 'Let's see what we can make happen,' " " said teacher trainer Rushton Hurley.
In the daily sprint to cover enough ground in the classroom and meet districtwide learning objectives, it can be difficult to find the time and foster the right conditions for true innovation. Educators need an environment where their passion collides with new ideas, allowing creativity to take root.
Here are five reasons to join us in Philadelphia this June for ISTE 2015:
1. Collaborate with educators from around the world.
You're constantly facing new challenges, and sometimes the help you need can't be found within your district, city or even across the country. Sometimes the solution lies in a classroom on the other side of the world.
Educators travel from all over the globe to share their ideas at the ISTE Conference & Expo. Last year we had 67 countries represented, including a delegation from the American School of Bombay. You never know when the next person you meet might open up a new world of possibilities for your students.
" "I think it widens our world," " said district tech integration specialist Donna Teuber. " "If we are set in our ways a little bit in our schools or our district, we're able to come out and really share what we're doing — and also learn from others." "
2. Explore the topics that are revolutionizing education.
Rapid developments in technology have left many educators feeling like they're standing on shifting sands. New opportunities to enrich learning pop up every day, prompting teachers to redesign the classroom experience and administrators to rethink traditional education models. But with so much to learn and discover, it's hard to find time to dig into the pedagogy behind all of these digital age learning technologies.
Once a year, educators get the opportunity to explore all of these new tools and strategies in one place. It's a chance to put your hands on the most exciting new technologies, from augmented reality to 3D printing , and learn directly from the pioneers who are innovating their use in the classroom. You might get a new perspective on how tinkering empowers students from the maker movement's biggest influencer, or find out how one nationally recognized teacher gets kids hooked on STEM without a big budget.
3. Discover strategies you can use right away.
A conference is only as good as the information and resources you take back with you. So how do attendees feel about ISTE's conference? Consider that:
- 88% said they received immediately applicable info about the latest ed tech strategies.
- 80% left with tangible resources for implementing what they learned.
- 73% said it's the most valuable conference they've attended because of the content and session quality.
" "No matter what background or grade level or subject area you come from, you can always find something here," " said elementary school tech coordinator Kyle Calderwood.
4. Bridge the gap between new and experienced educators.
New and experienced educators both have a lot to bring to the table. New teachers enter the profession brimming with fresh ideas, innovative learning strategies and invigorating energy. Experienced teachers offer a valuable perspective on what works in the classroom, what doesn't and how to navigate the existing system to create change.
" "Whether it's technology or pedagogy or literacy instruction or writing workshop conferencing — no matter what it is you're talking about, I think there's something younger educators and more experienced educators can offer to one another," " said second grade teacher Erin Klein.
" "Being at a conference like ISTE I think really helps to bridge that because there is such a variety of people with a wealth of knowledge." "
5. Make education history in historic Philadelphia.
You never know what momentous moments you might experience at our conference. In 2013, gaming expert Jane McGonigal led us in the world's largest massively multiplayer thumb wrestling game. In 2014, we saw record-breaking attendance and dominated the Twittersphere, with our hashtag trending fourth worldwide.
We're not sure yet what milestones we'll hit this year, but we do know we'll be doing it in one of the most historic cities in the United States. Take a look at what principal Chris Lehmann has to say about attending ISTE 2015 in Philly: