ISTE2016 Reflection

We, as tech ed folks, have been saying for years that it isn’t about the technology. This is why I love ISTE. Even before arriving my friend, and former classmate, Michael Walker, was asking if if I was there. I was late for ISTE Unplugged. The folks at my new district didn’t even know it existed. They went on a tour of the convention center instead. It isn’t about just being at the convention and going to all kinds of great sessions, it’s about connecting, or reconnecting with people whom I have probably never met.

Anyway, for an introvert like me technology is about the way I can connect with people I probably never would have or could have before. As per usual I stifled my fanboy impulses. I did not go up to many folks and say hi randomly, but I did stretch a bit.

I waved to Alec Couros before his session.

Debbie Fucoloro, former #ETMOOC buddies, and I met and talked for a good half hour.

I sat up front and made my usually irreverent comments, its a defense mechanism, while Chris Lehmann was talking.
I actually took a selfie with Vicki Davis and tweeted to Peggy George, who could not be there. That may have been the weirdest thing. I overhear behind me someone asking to take selfies for Peggy because she couldn’t make it, so I take one without looking and tweet. Only to turn around to find out that the I actually know the person sitting behind me. Really, the whole thing is weird. I’m sitting in one of hundreds of sessions in a conference with 14,000 people and I actually know the person sitting behind me. ISTE is crazy like that. Of the ten of so sessions I went to, I recognized at least one person in about half.

That doesn’t even include the random people I met in hallways and after parties.
I stopped and said hi to Adam Bellow and nodded to Tom Whitby both of whom I had met in DC for edcampusa, which is trending as I write this, a few years ago.

Said hello in passing to Ben Grey

I met and chatted with Noah Geisel, because he liked my t-shirt. Turns out we follow each other on twitter already. Twitter is like that though for some people. I follow about 1,500 people, but many of them just because they follow me and are educators. Now though I notice Noah’s tweets more often because we did make that connection.

Without social media I would not have known about any of these people.

I guess what I’m trying to say is these folks aren’t all high powered CEO’s that are consistently written about in fancy magazines. They aren’t all national policy leaders. They aren’t even necessarily household names, but they are leaders who have developed their own voices and for the most part did their own publishing and marketing to ultimately reach an international audience.

While I’m sure most of them would love to bend the ear (or arm) of John King, our education secretary, their true goals are to teach those in front of them. Whether that be graduate students, teachers, students, or whatever, and use that experience as the basis of their own learning. Or to put it another way exactly what I try to do here on this blog.

With that out of the way here are my notes on the sessions I attended at #ISTE2016

“3d printing lessons plans You can use in your classroom right now”
Torrey Trust and Trevor Takayama

I didn’t stay for all of this session because I also wanted to go to another session at the same time. My big take away was that it helps a lot to actually build a prototype by hand first then design in 3d. I think I’m going to have students design and build mechanical calculators of something. Something like this only with positive and negative signs or maybe an abacus.

“Problem Based Learning extravaganza”
A panel with Adam Bellow, Shaelynn Farnsworth, Katrina Keene, and Nicholas Provenzano

My main take away: Start with a good general rubric, Rubistar was suggested, Then have students tell you what the various levels of understanding are. What I was doing last year was basically giving students step by step instructions. For example, if you put this this and this in then on this part you get 4 points, If you only put in three of those things you get 3 points. Etc… Then I was wondering why students weren’t actually doing any of the work. But if we set out a general rubric and then ask students to define as a class or as individuals what it means to show understanding then they are more likely to focus on the work.

Growing strong digital writers: Micro-writing for Macro-thinking”
Christopher Lehman, Maggie Roberts, and Kristin Ziemke.

Honestly I went to this one because I saw a tweet. I teach math to 7th graders so I don’t usually go to these obviously language arts based sessions. Then of course I found lots of stuff I could use.

One of the plans for next year is to give students a lot of scratch paper to work on during the day and then have them write a journal entry at the end of the period. Short quick writing with a point. There were a lot of good suggestions, but I think I might implement right away the idea that the journal prompt doesn’t have to be a paragraph on google docs. It can be a vine or snap or tweet as long as it is designed to not only impart the knowledge, but also to draw the reader’s interest.

“Use Technology to Enhance Assessment of Student Learning”
with Andrew Miller.

He has a million tools, but I liked the philosophy. Assessment has to tell a story.
And His 5 pillars of assessment.

Andrew Miller 5 pillars

My favorite quote was, “An assessment is not summative or formative until you decide. Oh everyone failed well that is formative and i will reteach.”

He also recommends
Themespark by educourage
Makes rubrics from standards.

From this point on it seemed my theme would be digital citizenship.

First a keynote by George Couros
“From Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership, Empowering Learners Through social Media”

A very moving talk on some of the best and worst of digital citizenship.

The gist of the talk. Instead of teaching students to be afraid of the Internet maybe it would be better if we taught them to harness its power.

Some of my favorite quotes.

If you are not literate in social media today’s tech you are illiterate
Students are learning the fears of adults not the possibility of the future.
Rules for internet behaviors: Anything you can say to students you can say online.
Went to library as a kid and looked at national geographic when i got caught no one canceled the subscription or, kicked me out of the library they had a talk with me.

This photo I saw on facebook kind of sums it up

Internet 1998 don't meet people from the internet dont get into cars with strangers. 2016 literally use the internet to call strangers and get into their car

1998: Don’t get in strangers’ cars Don’t meet people from the internet. 2016 Literally summon strangers from the internet to get in their car. 



Rethinking Digital Citizenship with Dean Shareski

The world is changing. Digital citizenship s more than just not doing bad things. he had us draw a 4 pane window with Personal at the top, Professional at the bottom, Visitor on the left, and Resident on the right. Then add the tools you use on the internet left right, up down, based on how you use them. For example for many people LinkedIn would be near the bottom left because they create a resume online mostly for folks who aren’t really digital natives, but perhaps want to be hip. I don’t have a good picture of his slide, though I’m sure it is online.

Chris Lehmann and
“Building School 2.0 How to Create the Schools We need”
It’s also a book.
I liked the participation. Most interactive sessions these days include some sort of shoulder or partner talk, but Chris also asked us to summarize the answer in a tweet. It’s probably not new, but the first time I’ve seen it, so I thought it was particularly engaging. The tag was #school20iste but that seems to have been hijacked by marketers. You can find my tweets here.  and the top tweets.

“Empower every teacher Districtwide with Action Research Personalized PD” Jarod Bormann and Jill Kelly.

I was impressed with this approach to personalizing PD for all teachers. The basic step for personalization for teachers is:

  1. Teacher researches topic – Not just a tool, but concept driven
  2. Teacher integrates new concept into classroom – With help and support of coach
  3. Teacher reflects on integration – again with help of coach
  4. Teacher presents findings to district and world

Kind of an action research model with support of coaches. A couple of caveats in their system. Each level should be marked with a ceremony and a token that is substantial enough that teachers would like to display it. they use nice flags in their district. The timeline is open, six months, a year, two years, whatever the teacher needs. Monthly two hour meetings with reflection and flag ceremonies, but those are limited to 20 minutes or so, most of the time is spent doing personalized PD in a central area so the coaches can visit. Those who have chosen not to do research can attend tech tool sessions.

“Developing Student Upstanders: Empowering Youth as Leaders of Digital Citizenship Initiatives” Alec Couros.

We live in a participatory culture. The old rules of digital citizenship 1.0, when we were seldom connected, don’t apply. Tools like Snapchat are popular because they give the illusion of transience.

We can probably use more sites like a sharing site without likes.

As we share more parents ask for more. the fear of predators goes down, but the risk of catfishers goes up. For some reason Alec, Dean Shareski, Adam Levine and I’m sure many others have their many photos online taken and used by catfishers. That is people who try to romantically lure people into some sort of scam.

The world of the romance scammer is full of interesting tools from simple photoshopping to innovative ways of splicing live video feeds. Something I’m afraid is going to be a big concern in the future.

It used to be everyone knew the old adage, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” today people forget that because they can see a few pictures.

by Peter Steiner and published by The New Yorker on July 5, 1993

And that is it for #ISTE2016. I suppose I could write a good post on each session, but well I’m lazy. You should look up these presenters on your own and learn from the source.