ISTE Leader of the Year Chris Lehmann, principal of
the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia,
talks about ISTE past, present, and future with
T&L Editorial Director Kevin Hogan.
T&L: Remember your first one?
CL: My first ISTE was seven years ago, right
around when SLA was just getting off the
ground. Twitter was just beginning to hit and
bloggers were this weird other group that
people were just starting to pay attention to.
We were here to learn as fast as we can.
T&L: How have those things you have
learned at ISTE affected your work with
CL: It’s not so much that things have changed.
It’s more like an evolution. We started with a
profound pedagogy and we understood that
using modern tools would help us manifest
that pedagogy in really powerful ways. And
we’ve really never gotten away from that.
Obviously, the tools evolved along with the
pedagogy but one of amazing things we’ve
done here is that I don’t think we’ve ever taken
a 90 degree turn. The ideas we started with
are still the same ideas we have.
T&L: What’s in store for you and for ISTE
in the next seven years?
CL: We are about to embark on our next
huge project, which is launching our second
campus in the fall here in Philadelphia.
We’re working towards the idea of starting
a middle school sometime in 2014. We have
found overwhelming interest in inquirybased,
project-based modern education
here in Philadelphia. I believe we can build a
network of such schools that leverage these
new technologies so that while each school
can be its own rich unique community which
is an incredible opportunity. So I’m hopeful
that in seven years time we won’t be just one
great school with 500 kids in it but a network
of similarly minded folks do this same sort of
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