DAILY INSIGHT: ISTE Takeaways for School Leaders

By Nancy Caramanico, CIO Advisor

Attending Conferences allow us to connect with ideas, emerging trends and often most importantly people who are energized about bringing those ideas and trends to life. They want to make a difference in the lives of the students they serve and believe that harnessing the power of today's technology and new media is one key means of 'unlocking the potential' inherent there.

The ISTE conference (International Society for Technology in Education) is the largest Educational Technology conference in existence. This year ISTE 2011 drew 22,000 people to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Attendees come from all over the world! What is most amazing about this conference is the enthusiasm and collegiality of the attendees. Walk in on day 1 and you can feel the energy. People are happy to learn but even often are excited about meeting people who share their passion for teaching and learning. It is a great gathering for finding out about emerging technologies and the best ways to incorporate them into today's classrooms. Often they are meeting people face to face for the first time that they have made connections with online via blogs, twitter, online forums and other venues. Attendees walk in with excitement and go home with new connections, new friends, news on emerging trends and the means to bring new ideas to life. The good news is that you don't have to attend the conference to get some valuable take aways. Much of it is stored online. School Leaders, Teachers and Tech Leaders can view the session recordings, read the blog posts and more. Take advantage of these online resources and take away some ideas to try. Use them as you envision the future of your classrooms.

In Chris Lehmann's Closing Keynote he inspired listeners to remember that the real power of technology is in its power to give agency to people, to our children, to educators. Technology innovation and tools help, change and can be powerful. However the real power of technology is the way it empowers people to create, to change, to make a difference. Technology can enable us to do more, be better, seek answers, share knowledge, and bring our voices to the world As we seek the best that technology has to offer, we can use it to empower the children and ourselves to make the world better place, and to unlock potential!

This is cross posted on TechConnects