The thought came to me somewhere amid the throng in the Georgia World Congress convention center in Atlanta last June, which I then promptly posted to Facebook (of course): “Has edtech become cool?!”
It certainly seemed that way at ISTE14, where more than 16,000 attendees packed the exhibit hall, session rooms, blogger cafes, and party spaces for the annual gathering of the edu-geeks. This was my tenth year attending what some old timers still refer to as NECC, and even now, a few weeks removed from the event, I still believe that this was the most exciting one.
In this issue, Tech&Learning advisors share their biggest takeaways from the conference. Jon Castelhano gains new insights on 1:1 trends and E-rate modernization. Michael Gorman welcomes the maker movement into the conversation. Chris Aviles praises the idea of Personal Learning Networks in the flesh. But I think Hank Thiele nails it when he writes, that “the ‘hot, new thing’ in education is not what makes the most difference in our classrooms. It’s the expertise and passion of our teachers, combined with the desire to know the needs of our students.”
In other words, it’s not so much about the stuff, but about the ways educators and students can use the stuff—our editorial mission in a nutshell. What were your takeaways from this year’s ISTE? Share them with us at techlearning.com as we start the countdown to next year in Philadelphia.
— Kevin Hogan