Something was different about this year’s ISTE in San
Antonio, TX. I first felt it while walking the halls at the
Henry B. Gonzalez convention center, speaking with
vendors, and eavesdropping in the Bloggers Café. My
hunch was confirmed while reading blog reports and
retracing Twitter feeds from our T&L advisors and
Turns out that it was series of somethings (sic) that made this
year’s show distinct from the previous nine I have had the pleasure
to attend. I distilled it to three observations:
1. The Future is now. All of those sessions and conversations in the past about the future
of education technology? Those are over. No more deliberation about whether or not
computers (whatever they are) belong in the classroom. No more potentials of 21st
Century Learning. The future is now! The tools and techniques are here. It’s no longer
about whether or not to use them. It’s about how best to use them.
2. Educators are empowered. Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and Founder of 3Com, once
wrote, “Invention is a flower. Innovation is a weed.” (bit.ly/Vq7BTs). This year’s event
proves his rule. True edtech innovations sprout
from the weeds of the classroom, not from
software purchased by the superintendent’s
office. See Pinterest, Edmodo, and the 30,000
education apps on iTunes for examples.
3. These changes are urgent. Remember when
NCLB deadlines were planned for 2014? Have
you looked at a calendar lately? How are those
Common Core compliance specifications
coming along? For better or worse, the
disruption has begun. My bet is on better.
What will you change between now ISTE 2014?
— Kevin Hogan