Preparing for the Ultimate EdTech Conference: 5 Tips for Attending ISTE 2019
::: Visit Lexia at booth #1208 :::
What’s next in the world of educational technology? For educators, administrators, and education stakeholders, there’s one place to find out: the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. The ISTE is a nonprofit organization committed to working with the global education community to spark innovative uses for technology in learning. Held annually, the ISTE conference is recognized as the most comprehensive education technology conference in the world.
Are you planning to attend? The ISTE 2019 conference will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this year! From June 23 to 26, you’ll have the chance to connect with colleagues, thought leaders, and education companies from around the world. With hundreds of sessions, a massive expo hall, and cutting-edge keynote speakers, it’s no wonder the annual conference attracts attendees from across the US and the world!
With so much to do, how can you make the most of your conference experience? Read on for a list of our top five tips for attending the ISTE 2019 conference:
1. Choose a focus
Educators already know how important it is to identify their learning objectives ahead of time—and preparing to attend the ISTE conference is no different. Before you go, look over the program and decide what topics most interest you. If you could only accomplish one thing at the ISTE 2019 conference, what would it be? Your priority might be finding edtech products to engage reluctant readers, connecting with like-minded thought leaders in the education space, or ramping up your school’s STEM program. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your choice of sessions, use your stated priority as a tie-breaker.
The ISTE conference caters to a variety of learning styles by offering four different session formats:
Listen and learn: These sessions may include traditional lectures, panels, research papers, or snapshot micro-presentations of a specific edtech solution.
Explore and create: Be prepared for some audience participation during these interactive lectures and demonstration-style poster presentations.
Engage and connect: If you’re ready to learn hands-on, check out sessions that include workshops, BYOD (bring-your-own-device) engagement, a learning academy, and even an interactive playground!
Participate and share: Networking opportunities abound at these social events, meetings, and other hosted activities.
Whether you’re an introvert who prefers to listen and learn or a kinesthetic learner who needs to engage and connect, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to choose sessions that work for you. If all of these formats appeal—and especially if this is your first conference—consider planning out your day so you can enjoy a mix of several session types. After actively engaging and connecting at an “unconference” session, you might want to sit back and take in a listen-and-learn panel. However you choose to structure your day, make sure to check the sessions you’re interested in for pre-registration requirements and any necessary devices, software, or apps.
3. Don't forget the Expo
The sessions at this year's conference have a great deal to offer, but you’ll want to build in plenty of time for the Expo, too! After all, when else will you have the chance to try out cutting-edge products and see the latest in educational technology? Before you attend, check out this Exhibitor Guide for a list of companies that will present their latest products, give demonstrations, and discuss the newest advancements in edtech. You can filter the guide for specific product categories, such as educational assessment, web products, or curriculum and instructional tools. Be sure to leave time to walk around freely—you might just find an edtech solution you never expected! And while you’re at the Expo Hall, stop by and see us: Lexia Learning will be at Booth #1208.
As you’re experiencing everything that ISTE 2019 has to offer, you’ll want to share what you’re seeing on your organization’s social media accounts. This is where a little extra preparation can go a long way. Before you attend, look up the presenters and exhibitors you’re interested in seeing and make a note of their online platforms. Use a simple spreadsheet or an app on your phone or tablet to list their Twitter handles, LinkedIn or Google+ profiles, YouTube channels, or Facebook pages for easy access. This way, you can tag the presenter or their company when you're posting about an exciting demonstration or an interesting lecture.
As you share your conference experiences online, remember to tag all your posts with #ISTE19. Not only will using and following the hashtag help you stay up to date with conference activities, it will also create an online record of your experience! For a taste of what you can expect, take a look at what conference attendees shared last year on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube by searching for #ISTE18.
5. Bring it home
After the conference, look over the materials and contacts you collected in person and online. No doubt some parts of your conference experience felt like a whirlwind, so take a moment to write down some detailed notes while your memory is still fresh. If you attended with colleagues, consider using Google Docs to collaboratively compile a list of products, contacts, and experiences you want to discuss further. If you’re the sole representative from your school or organization, put together a list of things you want to tell your co-workers.
Finally, stay connected to the ISTE conference after you return home by reaching out to the people you met and following up on exciting edtech ideas. The ISTE 2019 conference is sure to introduce you to new thought leaders, technology products, and innovative education techniques—but it’s up to you to keep the momentum going. For more information on the International Society for Technology in Education or the ISTE Conference 2019, visit the conference website. See you there!
Visit Lexia Learning at ISTE 2019
While you’re at the conference, don’t forget to stop by the Lexia Learning booth (#1208). Talk with Lexia representatives and fellow teachers to learn how Lexia empowers literacy educators and helps students of all abilities close the achievement gap through personalized literacy instruction and adaptive assessment. We look forward to meeting you!
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