ISTE 2016: Things to Remember After the Conference

The ISTE Conference is one of the events that educators look forward to every year. It creates a venue for professional learning to those who are engaged in the academics all over the world. This includes technology coordinators, superintendents, media specialists, and administrators. The event is jam-packed with sessions and hands-on learning activities that aim to help the participants gain new knowledge and strategies to maximize learning of their students. Here are some of the most memorable lessons that the conference was able to impart to those who attended:

Society greatly affects the technology being produced, not just the other way around.

One of the keynote speakers at ISTE 2016 was Ruha Benjamin, an assistant professor from Princeton University. She has spent most of her career giving answers to many philosophical questions related to education. According to Benjamin, the experience of humans should not simply be a result of technology design. Rather, we should be in full control of deciding the type of world that we want to live in.

In order to achieve the first idea mentioned above, passion must be incited among students at an early age.

Ruha Benjamin encourages educators to actively look for students with a strong potential instead of waiting for them to come out of their own. Christopher Emdin, a professor at Columbia University, has followed suit by spearheading the launch of a pilot program that teaches science through the use of hip-hop. Students need to break away from the idea that they need to lose their identity to be able to acquire a particular set of skills. Educators should be able to give importance to the knowledge their students are able to bring to the table.

Everyone is born to be great.

This was the main message of Michio Kaku’s opening keynote address during ISTE 2016. He emphasized that every student has a great potential, which is just waiting to be unleashed, especially in the field of science. He then gave tips on how teachers will be able to achieve this in the classroom. First, they must introduce the students to a role model that they can emulate. The role model should be able to let the students see clearly that it is possible for them to generate groundbreaking thoughts that may be useful to this world. The educators must also create venues for the students to become inspired by a particular field such as by organizing field trips.

School leaders must not be afraid to try new approaches in teaching the students.

The founder of the Science Leadership Academy, Chris Lehmann, points out that school leaders must be open to implementing modern learning methods in their respective areas. Modern learning is characterized as authentic, empowering, and caring. Leaders must realize that if traditional methods are no longer working, they must learn to step out of their comfort zones and search for a new method that will greatly benefit their students.

Did you attend the ISTE 2016? What were your thoughts on this year’s conference? Don’t forget to share your insights!


Image credit: ISTE Conference

Maria Dublin
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Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.