The ISTE Blues - Tech Learning

The ISTE Blues

Like most of us returning from ISTE, you are probably experiencing the emotional roller coaster ride that accompanies the flight or drive home.
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Data Overload

Like most of us returning from ISTE, you are probably experiencing the emotional roller coaster ride that accompanies the flight or drive home. The data overload from the content filled sessions, keynotes, poster and playground spaces, and endless conversations can be overwhelming. It is possible to keep the "ISTE's Over Blues" from setting in, but do not put it off for later, jump into your content while it's fresh and take charge! 

From the Middle

It doesn't matter what your role is in your organization, you have just spent four days gathering content that you need to share. Take the lead from the middle approach and decide how you can share what you have learned with your peers, administration, technology staff and any others that could benefit from what you have learned. This could also be an opportunity to use a new medium to share information with a presentation platform, blog site, or creative new app that you experienced at the conference. With the pace at which new technologies and classroom practices evolve, technology, curriculum, and professional development teams will appreciate the benefit of the information you provide. 

Stay in Touch

I have said a number of times that the best place to make connections at ISTE is standing in line waiting to purchase that delightful ice coffee or refreshing bottle of water. I do suggest we change the phrase "standing in line" to the "PLN line", because we ultimately exchange email addresses, Twitter and Instagram handles and district names for future collaboration, with educators from around the globe. Now that you have these new contacts, don't hesitate to reach out and continue the conversations and sharing of ideas that you started while waiting in that PLN line.

The power of social media can assist, so take advantage of the new account you just created in those power sessions and use the #ISTE2016 hashtag to share with your new friends. 

Bring ISTE Home

Coming together with 15,000 like minded educators is something magical that ISTE has

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managed to create for many years. What many ISTE members may not be aware of is the ISTE affiliate groups that exist in virtually every state in our country, as wells as international affiliates in Australia, Canada, Europe, India, The Philippines, and the United Kingdom. These affiliate groups are all a bit different and have a variety of benefits and professional development opportunities that happen year around. Joining a local affiliate is another way to continue to grow your PLN, attend events in your state and become involved with advocacy movements that can directly affect your classrooms and students. To find an affiliate in your area, check out the affiliate directory and continue making connections!

Small World

CC BY-SA 3.0

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Staying relevant in a world continually growing smaller is not an easy task and each new generation of students brings a fresh mindset that as educators we must be able to connect with. Attending events like ISTE, connecting with others through social media, and remaining outside of the four walls of our classrooms, cubicles and offices, will allow us to continue growing and remain the most important part of the classroom. See you in San Antonio! 

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Jon Castelhano is the Executive Director of Technology at Gilbert Public Schools in Gilbert, AZ, and serves as an advisor to the School CIO member community, a group of top tier IT professionals in schools across the country who understand and benefit from news and information not available elsewhere. Read more at



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ISTE Gems!

The connections made during the conference are invaluable, but there is still a benefit with sharing the little gems with others who didn't attend.

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Full STEM Ahead

The US Department of Education has provided data to show the increase in STEM related jobs by 2020 and said that "Only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career."

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It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the ISTE data overload, between the content-filled sessions, the keynotes, the poster and playground spaces, and the endless conversations.