The Ultimate EdTech Conference: 5 Tips to Make the Most of Attending ISTE 2017
In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends while finding effective solutions for challenges in education. One of the best ways to gain exposure to new ideas and resources that will dramatically enhance learning is to attend conferences. In the world of educational technology (edtech), there is no bigger conference for educators and education stakeholders than ISTE 2017.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference & Expo—held June 25–28 in San Antonio, Texas—is considered the most comprehensive edtech event for educators, administrators, and those interested in transforming learning through technology integration. The ISTE is a nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration amongst educators, sets the standards for edtech in schools, and provides professional learning opportunities and other resources designed to empower educators to make a difference in the lives of students through technology.
Highlights of ISTE 2017 include pre-conference learning academies, hands-on learning in the interactive “playground,” and the opportunity to both influence and learn to implement ISTE standards.
Keynote speakers include:
Jad Abumrad (host and creator of Public Radio’s “RadioLab”)
Jennie Magiera (chief innovation officer, Des Plaines Public Schools)
Reshma Saujani (founder and CEO, Girls Who Code)
ISTE 2017 provides the ultimate opportunity to interact with cutting-edge edtech products and solutions, and to network and collaborate with like-minded, innovative individuals who recognize the positive impact technology has on the progress and achievement of our students.
Will you be at ISTE 2017? Here are 5 tips to help you make the most of your time at the conference.
- Review the agenda and make a plan
Prior to your arrival, take time to review the conference schedule, presentation offerings, and list of exhibitors. With over 1,000 different sessions, it is impossible to see and do it all. Use the conference Program Guide to explore the different types of activities, and don't forget to sign up for any sessions that require pre-registration.
Identify which components or people are your highest priority in terms of knowledge acquisition and networking. If you work in educational leadership, check out the Leadership Strand to find sessions tailored to your responsibilities and needs.
Attending with colleagues? Divide and conquer! Create a shared Google Doc to keep your notes organized in one place.
Ready to mingle and get down to business? Other attendees and vendors will be as well! Bring a healthy stack of business cards or promotional items, and ensure your devices are fully charged—this is an edtech conference, after all! Lectures and exploratory opportunities are often interactive, and some are BYOD (bring your own device).
This may sound obvious, but don’t forget your phone, tablet, and computer chargers! Some conferences have phone charging stations, but those can fill up quickly. If you are someone who uses a phone throughout the day for notes, video, etc., you may want to consider purchasing a portable charger.
Give yourself plenty of time to visit the Expo
In addition to taking advantage of learning experiences in the conference sessions, be sure to dedicate time to fully explore the Expo, where you can learn about and try out new educational technology that is changing (and enhancing) learning as we know it. There are over 5,000 industry representatives expected, so spend a few moments looking at the exhibitor list and note the ones you want to be certain to stop by. In addition to presenting new research at the conference, Lexia Learning will bring innovative literacy solutions for enhancing student achievement to the Expo. Find us at Booth #3118 (just to the right of the side entrance).
Be engaged socially
Use the conference hashtag #ISTE17 to stay on top of the latest announcements and find out what other attendees are discovering. Don't forget to share your own experiences through your organization's social media accounts! You might even consider video streaming via Facebook Live to let your followers know you are committed to edtech integration.
Make follow-up easy
Between attending educational sessions, networking, and testing out new products, it may feel as if you are experiencing information overload during and after the conference. To keep track of new edtech solutions and relationships, consider downloading an app to help you store and organize business cards or scan promotional materials for easy access later on.
There are many different apps that digitally file and organize new contact information after a user snaps a quick photo of a business card, making follow-up simple after the fact.
For conference materials, take advantage of the Digital tote attached to your ISTE profile. Most sessions have corresponding digital materials, and the Digital tote allows you to save materials from each session with just a click.
Don't forget to visit Lexia at ISTE 2017!
You can visit our booth (#3118) anytime or learn more about third grade reading by attending our research team's Examining the Impact of Blended Learning on Third Grade Reading Skills presentation Monday, June 26, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., HBGCC 217A, Table 1.
For more information on ISTE 2017, including information on sessions, presenters and activities, visit the conference website. We look forward to seeing you there!
Featured White Paper:
To learn about the critical success factors to keep in mind if your district is in the process of exploring or implementing a blended learning approach, click the link to read the white paper, “Four Keys To Success Using Blended Learning Implementation Models,” by Lexia’s Chief Education Officer, Elizabeth Brooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP.