Thursday, June 29, 2017

My #ISTE17 Takeaways

Rachelle and myself
Traveling alone to ISTE this year gave me lots of time alone with my thoughts and my learning. Meeting up with my friend Rachelle Poth on the last day led to one of my greatest moments of reflection. When we talked about the things we had done during the week it was very different from each other. Rachelle presented multiple times (and I must say she's amazing at sharing her classroom stories) and I was there as an attendee only.
For me, that moment was a realization that ISTE meets needs in many different ways for many different personality types. It's easy to get lost in the crowd if that is what you want or to be in the middle of everything learning AND social. I was "all in" for learning this week and here are my takeaways to learning more about:

  • Google Applied Digital Skills- Yes, I did stand in a 30 minute line for a 30 minute session to learn more about Google's new Applied Digital Skills curriculum.
     A free, stand alone curriculum that can be found at Our school recently started looking at the scope and sequence of digital skills we want our students to have by the time they graduate from our school. What I love about this curriculum is that many of these skills could be mastered with these very relevant curriculum ideas that 13+ year old students would both enjoy doing and benefit from. 
  • Snapping, Gramming, and Scoping Your Way to Engagement-  
    Shaelynn, Steven, and myself
      Educators Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) and Shaelynn Farnsworth (@shfarnsworth) created an interactive learning opportunity that challenged me in how to reach students, teachers, families, and constituencies with the use of social media. I've often used social media to share the story of our school using the hashtag #ccslearns but I'll be honest, I think my assumed audience was almost always my professional learning network. I am currently reflecting on how I can use it more to reach broader in my own school community. Steven's sharing of data shows a window of opportunity to reach our families and share our stories in a platform that will be looked at. As most schools can attest, the percentage of emails sent and read by families is small. Why not meet them where they already are looking? And as I've heard often but don't know who said it, "someone is going to tell your story, shouldn't it be you?" 
  • Big news from Wonder Workshop: Challenge Cards- Dash and Dot are some of our favorite  robots to introduce robotics to preschool and elementary students. What a great opportunity to meet Charlotte this week- she's the creator of the new "Challenge Cards: K-5 Learn to Code Starter Pack" that hit the market in September. I had a little look at the cards and can't wait to add them to our curriculum. These cards "meet both CSTA and ISTE standards are aligned with's Computer Science Fundamentals series." (
    Charlotte of Wonder Workshop 
  • Creating Interactive Professional Development Opportunities- This idea has been growing in my head since Edcamp Gigcity but attending a session by Michele Eaton solidified in my head how I want to do this. I plan to introduce one tool every 2 months to our teachers (I'm working on curating those tools now) via an interactive introduction that they can access at any time. My hope is that in the two months the teachers will try the tool in their own classrooms.
Obviously there were tons of learning moments at ISTE for me both in and out of the conference center, it's like learning from a firehose, but these are the top things I am excited about!

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