ISTE Debrief: Don’t Hide the Internet from Today’s Kids

If you didn’t make it to ISTE 2011, you missed a great time. There was more going on than any sane person could absorb in a month and all 30,000+ of us attendees tried to do it in four days. The seminars cover every topic from tech integration to how to use specific programs to general trends. I tried to attend a few of each to not only learn new material but to make sure what I’m teaching is as relevant this year as when I first taught it to my classes.

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Teachers are not lecturers. We are guides, even fellow-learners
  • Students learn by doing more than being taught. Encourage this
  • There are a lot of ‘right’ ways to learn
  • Students are problem-solvers. Let this happen
  • Technology is about offering options in learning styles
  • Technology offers different ways to teach different learners. Use it that way.
  • Work beyond the classroom because class is too short, kids aren’t engaged the entire five hours
  • Paperless classroom is possible. Figure it out.
  • Virtual presentations so kids hear from the experts in real time
  • Access online mentors and advisors
  • Don’t be afraid of social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs). Embrace them to make teaching more relevant
  • Every time there was a list of websites to encourage student learning, it included Khan Academy
  • Presenters seemed unclear of an effective way to assess learning in the Web 2.0 world. The sessions that tried to explain this usually fell back to rubrics as the best method–not very trending is it?
  • ISTE recommended setting aside two hours for the Exhibitor Hall. It should have been five.

Besides tech ed, I learned a lot about stuff I didn’t expect to, such as:

  • How to organize my receipts on my mobile phone
  • How to scan QR codes with my mobile phone
  • How to scan documents with my mobile phone
  • How to always sit by an outlet because my clunky old laptop kept dumping battery power
  • How to always sit by an outlet because I ran through all the battery in my brand new iPhone
  • How much I need an iPad—that 3-year old laptop is heavy! (and, they don’t make you unpack iPads at the airport)

This video sums it all up. Take four minutes. Enjoy:

Now watch this next video only if you attended. Recognize anything?


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

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