It's hard to believe that I am back in my office this morning and that ISTE 2017 is just a memory. There is a bit of a letdown that must be overcome, following four days filled with engaging sessions and conversations surrounding how we can continue to improve our classrooms and schools to ensure that our students are well-equipped for what they will face when they leave our doors. After being submerged in a sea of over 20,000 passionate educators for an extended period, there is no way to leave ISTE without a sense of hope for what is possible. The harder part is taking this overwhelming sense of optimism and translating it into quantifiable actions that will lead to real change.
My biggest takeaway from this whirlwind experience was a reminder about the importance of personal connections. At a time when there seems to be more concern about the emotional and physical health of students than at any previous period in history, we need to provide safe places where kids can find their way and find their passions. Jennie Magiera's amazing keynote on Tuesday highlighted multiple examples of how caring educators can both enlighten and empower students.
There is a lot more to talk about from both Jennie's Keynote and ISTE 2017. Thanks to all of my educational colleagues from around the globe for another heaping dose of inspiration!
cross-posted at www.patrickmlarkin.com
Patrick Larkin is the Assistant Superintendent for Learning of Burlington Public Schools in Burlington, MA and the former principal of Burlington High. He blogs about education at www.patrickmlarkin.com.