Thursday, July 4, 2013

ISTE 2013

For the second year in a row, I went to the ISTE conference. It an exercise in the overwhelming, that's for sure: hundreds of concurrent sessions, posters, playgrounds, a trade show that borders on the ridiculous, big name keynotes and almost 30000 educators gathered together.

The first day, I am like a deer in the headlights.  Then, my eyes just glaze over with information overload.  And finally, I step back and try to establish one or two key take-home ideas......generally over a glass of wine at the airport on the way home!

Here is what I learned:

  • Google is the technology leader in education right now.  Everything that can be done in the classroom can be done with a Google solution. 
  • I do not know how you can teach K-3 without an iPad.  It offers so much in terms of developing fundamental skills. 
  • LEGO Education is the newest mover-and-shaker in technology.  In response to such a big emphasis on tinkering, engineering, coding, and robotics in education, LEGO teamed up with MIT Media Lab and great things are happening. 
  • Scratch is also very very cool. 
  • Buzz words and phrases are everywhere. I found myself saying, "Well, that sounds great, but what the heck does it ACTUALLY mean?"  Hashtag-this and i-that, and solutions for everything. Connected, connecting and connectedness. 
  • Students should create not just consume. 
I geeked out and made a graphic of all the right "words" to use in ed-tech in 2013.   Here it is:

Crowd-sourcing design

I decided to crowd-source a design for my company logo.  It is not like I really need a logo, but the opportunity to have multiple designers submit and compete for an idea that represents "me" and "my work" was intriguing.  The enjoyment I got out of the exercise was worth the $300 alone.  Using 99designs.com, I ended up with over 120 designs from about 20 different designers in just four days.

The result?

Here is the winning design......