ISTE Conference part 1


I seriously underestimated the power of this conference.  I knew the energy flowing through the rooms would be tremendous, but the number of extremely motivated educators are dying to do more in their classrooms and with their students in stupendous.   All of my notes for the day are being kept in a Google Doc (which I would be happy to share), but for some reason I can’t figure out how to embed it here.  So, I am going to include some of the major things learned at each of my sessions.  After Wednesday, I will give additional comments about the conference and also any of the exhibits that interested me.

Using QR Codes in the Classroom (Names may not match what was in program exactly)
To preface, I have used QR codes so I didn’t get as much as others, but here are some important things I took away.  

  • for custom qr code creation
  • can create QR codes for variety of information
  • create QR codes in colors other than black
  • Can use QR codes to send to hotspots on websites
    • ask more questions related to specific parts of sites or images
    • might have to create own site to add more advanced features
  • Ways to use QR codes:
    • turn QR codes into art projects
    • answers to HW problems
    • links to video tutorials
    • send emails to teacher about status of work done (I did it!/I need help!)
  • There was also talk about Augmented Reality Codes (AR), but Stephen didn’t want to go into it.

Using Technology to Improve Staff Morale

  • While the presenter was amazing, there wasn’t much to really take away from this.  A lot of this is very common sense, but here are my thoughts
  • Setting the tone is critically to stopping the void from being filled with whining and negativity. (this was huge!)
  • need teachers to look at other teachers and say that they inspire them to work at the school
    • morale improvement doesn’t come from admin, but from masses
  • No reason to have fear of tech with so many resources available
  • Share tools in short bursts
  • Need to do a better job of telling the good stories as they happen.

I was actually supposed to see another session, but right before this I listened to Nicholas Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) talk about student blogging and he lured me into watching ISTE Family Feud for Web 2.0 tools.  Absolutely loved this!!  So funny to watch 6 Twitter stars battle over web tools and hand out nice prizes.  The site with all of the information is

  • Best sites for digital storytelling
    • animoto, voicethread, storybird, photostory, prezi
  • Best tool for digital collaboration
    • google, wikis, twitter, Edmodo, Skype
  • Best sites for organizing research
    • Noodle tools, Diigo, Google Tools, Livebinders, Evernote
  • Technology Innovation that has the greatest impact on student learning
    • Internet, computers, mobile devices, projector/ELMO, laptops
  • What is the best tool for social bookmarking
    • Diigo, Delicious, Stublupon, Google bookmarks, Facebook
  • Best tools for photo editing
    • Picnik, bighugelabs, picasa, photoshop, aviary, Flickr
  • Best tools for animation
    • GoAnimate!, Xtranormal, voki, scratch, animoto

How to be a tech-savvy administrator
Absolutely fantastic to listen/watch 6 administrators who love what they do and want others to love what they do.  There was a decent amount of talk about technology, but what I took away was more about being a great administrator which I think was more valuable.

  • Regular vs. tech savvy admin
    • no matter what, focus needs to be on what’s best for students
    • TSA–more efficient and effective in what they do.  Harness power of WWW.
    • Start with why instead of the tool
  • Tools for learning selection
    • stay focused on the vision and match resources to meet the needs
    • pick tools that are right for learners and teachers.  Not every tools works for every teacher.
  • Don’t use tools in isolation.
    • model the practices you want to see in the classroom
    • establish goals in how to use tech
    • don’t use every tool out there–pick 1 or 2 and find its use
  • Strategies to encourage reluctant teachers
    • Admin should go in to model in the classroom and even create lessons based around it to show effectiveness.
    • Tell teacher it’s ok to make mistakes and support them to improve
    • Take things off of the plate so not to overwhelm
  • What kind of tech are you looking for in obs?
    • is there student choice?
    • is there engagement
    • is there an objective for what tech is using for
    • is there an assessment of learning related to that tech
  • Bad tech leadership
    • throwing money to buy latest tech
    • wasting time on equipment that no one finds meaningful
    • not-understanding the needs of students and teachers
    • not creating partnership with teachers
  • Tools to help become a tech-savvy admin

Absolutely amazing day!!  My brain was so full, that I left early, but Tuesday is packed so I don’t feel so bad.


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