Another ISTE (don’t call it NECC) is in the books, which means it’s time for my annual assessment of edtech’s largest industry get-together and its effect (or lack thereof) on America’s schools. As usual, there were plenty of new announcements (if not new technology), lots of parties around Denver—always a good thing, IMHO—including our very own 30th-anniversary bash, and an abundance of swag. By my count, I gained no less than 20 gigabytes of USB flash-drive memory.
At the continued risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I do have one bone of contention: not enough students in attendance. For an industry that is supposed to be all “about the kids,” there was an absolute dearth of them. I did have the opportunity to meet some extremely talented 3D animators from suburban Denver’s Smoky Hill High School at a luncheon event sponsored by HP. Check out their work here: www.digital-evolutions.org/. And I’m sure there were other student showcases somewhere, but they were certainly not front and center. Vendors, take a hint from your colleagues who exhibit at BETT, the UK’s largest edtech event: Have students give the demos!
I’ll leave the more substantive analysis to our T&L advisers, who seemed to be everywhere at the show—giving lectures, attending tweet-ups, and engaging their fellow educators, by far the most valuable thing about this show. Also be sure to go online to techlearning.com’s video vault and follow managing editor Christine Weiser as she reports from the show floor (www.techlearning.com/article/30870). See everyone next year in Philly!