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21 Hours at ISTE - Enough of a Good Thing

By: Amy Jenkins on July 1st, 2015

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21 Hours at ISTE - Enough of a Good Thing

Personalized Learning  |  Teachers  |  Curriculum Strategy & Adoption

iste 2015 - Education Elements blog pot


If you went to ISTE this year you are probably not reading this blog right now, as you are still there or, having already left, are now in active recovery and trying to shield yourself from all external stimuli.  ISTE is, in a word, overwhelming.  With over 14,000 educators, what seemed like as many industry experts and vendors (don’t worry, it wasn’t actually that many!) and more panels, workshops and speakers than we could possibly count, there is an incredible amount to take in.  And also an incredible number of things people might take away.  And since my 21 hours there only included around 5 sleeping I thought I’d share just a few observations.

  1. It is no longer enough to be digital; you now need to be differentiated Tweet: It is no longer enough to be digital; you now need to be differentiated http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm #ISTE2015 #DifferentiatedLearning (YES!  This is a good thing). Check out the expo floor and stop by booths like Ed Elements partners Lexia Learning (1110) to learn about blended learning vs. technology integration, Tweet: At #ISTE2015 ? Stop by @LexiaLearning booth (1110) to learn about #blendedlearning vs. #technologyintegration http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm Achieve3000 (2628) to learn about differentiated instruction or Dreambox Learning (412) to learn about using data to drive instructional choices.  Not there?  You can also check out a case study about Dreambox, Ed Elements and Middletown and the use of data here. Tweet: Check out a case study about @DreamBox_Learn, @EdElements & Middletown, and the use of data here. http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm #ISTE2015 #edchat

  2. There are teachers who cannot wait to do personalized learning even in districts that are not yet considering making the transformation.  In our session on how teaching practices change in a personalized learning classroom Tweet: In our session on how teaching practices change in a personalized learning classroom http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm  over 25% came from districts that are not starting to move towards personalized or were only at the beginning stages of thinking this through.  

  3. There are some incredibly smart and savvy district leaders thinking thoughtfully about how to make this as easy as possible for teachers, while making it as impactful as possible for students.  I had a great discussion with one such leader around the challenges of doing this right, going slow to go fast, and what types of outside help a district can bring in (hint, we can help!).

  4. Amy Creeden and Dana Guardarramas of Middletown are some of the best and most talented people out there. Tweet: .@CreedenAmy & Dana Guardarramas of Middletown, some of the best and most talented people at #ISTE2015  http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm  When over 75 people showed up to our session and came up with around 150 questions about supporting teachers in a blended learning environment they easily answered them all.  

  5. There is great interest of doing blended learning right.  We loved the questions people asked during our session (we skipped the instructions to make it a panel and instead made it an interactive workshop) and got excited about what they took away as lessons learned on our exit ticket padlet.  Want to see what you missed?  Check out the slides and resources here (including a link to our Blended Learning Rubric) Tweet: See what you missed from #iste2015 :Pedagogical Shifts in #PLearning: A Rubric 4 Self-Assessment. Check out the slides http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm 


My last take-away?  18,000 attendees is a LOT of attendees.  It is loud, noisy and overstimulating.  But that is 18,000 people who want to change education for our students. Tweet: At #ISTE2015, 18,000 people who want to change education for our students http://bit.ly/1GNv8Wm #edchat @edelements  So the other thing I would call it?  Amazing.


Amy Creeden leading one of small groups at our session



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About Amy Jenkins

Amy Jenkins is the chief operating officer of Education Elements. Following a meandering path of teaching in Oakland, running an after-school program, working at NewSchools Venture Fund and being a strategy consultant she is thrilled to now focus on supporting districts to in their efforts to become more dynamic, responsive and outcomes-oriented. Amy splits her time at work between coaching district leaders and ensuring the health and happiness of everyone at Education Elements through creating an environment where everyone can thrive and grow. On the weekends she can be found chasing her kids around.

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