Oh the Fun! And Other Takeaways from ISTE 2017

As a professional with over 15-years of experience, let me just say that the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2017 conference is the best conference that I have been privileged to attend over the span of my professional career as a speech-language pathologist and child development specialist.

Over the years, I have become accustomed to the static nature of most conferences in that the instructional design supported by the majority of organizers often appears to be a one-dimensional in the method of delivery.  For instance, a typical session at a conference will consist of a guest lecturer on a platform, likely using PowerPoint, sharing his or her insights with the audience. The lecture may last for the period of an hour with the audience being able to ask related questions at the end of the lecture. Notably, this is a commonly employed method for delivering information to individuals attending professional conferences for continuing education courses.   

Well, let me tell you, that was not the case with ISTE 2017. The dynamic approach utilized to engage audience members on multiple levels was spectacular! To engage audience members, the ISTE organization offered highly interactive courses that included Interactive Lectures, Learning Playgrounds, Poster Sessions, Hosted Activities, Educational Forums, Workshops, Learning Academies, Bring Your Own Device Classes (BYOD), Professional Learning Networks, and Social Meet-Ups.  

Course content consisted of topics addressing Digital Storytelling, Presenting without PowerPoint, Must-Have Google Add-Ons and Features, Using Lego Builds to Create Comics about the New 7 Wonders, Using your iPad as a Creation Device, Bright Ideas for Online and Blending Learning, Closely Reading with ThingLink, 360 Video VR Immersion: Taking Google Cardboard to the Next Level, The Google You Might Not Know About, Augmented Reality Books, and so much more! 

I mean, even Apple got in on the action by announcing Pharrell Williams new book Happy: A Modern Method for Writing, Recording, and Producing Music soon to be available to the public on Tuniversity. Not only was Apple present, but there was an array of representation from Google, Adobe Systems, American College of Education, Bitsbox, BrainPOP, Cornell University College of Engineering, Edmodo, Flocabulary, Girls Who Code, Kahoot!, LEGO Education, Osmo, Seesaw, and Super Duper Publications to name a few of the exhibitors. 

As a speech-language pathologist and child development specialist, I have purposed to provide my clients and their families with accessible and developmentally appropriate resources for addressing speech and language disorders in both children and adults. Over the next year, I will be sharing insights gained from this transformative learning experience with all of my followers on Facebook, Twitter (@shantea15), and LinkedIn. Please stay tuned regularly as I introduce various apps that might be helpful to you and your family.

God Bless,

Dr. Darnell