The Big Buzz at ISTE this Year — Another “R”?


I may (or may not) remember ISTE 2010 for receiving the first copies of my new book, A Gardener’s Approach to Learning. I gave copies to some of the educators I’ve worked with repeatedly over the years. Here, Jeff Whipple, New Brunswick, Canada, receives the first copy. Doug Peterson blogged about the book here, after reading it on the plane home.

It seems like each year we come away from this international conference realizing some new big buzz, some new technology or application to wrap our technology integration attention around. It’s been digital story telling, blogging, podcasts, Twitter, and others going back — probably to The Print Shop.

This year interactive white boards (IWB) had a big presence. But their prominence owed to two related factors. Many schools, ripe with stimulus money, invested in their classrooms by installing projectors and IWBs. It was an obvious choice, from a perspective of supporting teachers, (though not so much from the view point of transforming teaching and learning — I’m not getting into that in this blog post). Secondly, with the sell of who-knows-how-many IWBs, Smart, Promethean, and others were able to impose a heavy visual presence on the conference.

But that doesn’t make a buzz.

Apple’s iPad also made its presence felt with far more lit of faces than I would have ever imagined. I carried mine with me everywhere and will report on that experience later.  But just about everyone I talked to felt that the jury is still out on how much transformative impact this device will have on teaching and learning.

All in all, I think that Chris Lehmann said it best in his ..ISTE reflections.

..This year, to me, it felt like there was a deepening at work. People weren’t running around as much for what’s new. Many of the people I talked to were looking to figure out how to make sense of what they already had learned.

I felt drawn to sessions and conversations that seemed to be taking me to where we need to go with what we’ve got. There seemed to be two kinds of conversations going on in the presentation rooms and in the halls. There was training, and then there was professional development. There were those who pursued new tools and their mastery. And then there were those who wished to walk away from the presentations and conversations with new insights, better understandings, new stories, more philosophical backing, and a richer and more practical vision of contemporary education.

I think that both areas were exceedingly covered by ISTE 2010.

After re-reading this post several times, it occurs to me that there was one word that kept popping up in conversations.  ..and it is fitting that I share this on July 4th, the celebrated date of my countries signing of its Declaration of Independence.

The word was Revolution.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.