#ISTE18: Student hackers, tours, and edtech startups oh my!!!

As you know..probably because I dedicated an entire post to it here, LOL I am at #ISTE18 in Chicago this week. I attended ISTE as a first timer last year and was determined to return this year as a veteran sure of my session focus and ready to learn all I can. Clearly the International Society for Technology in Education anticipated my triumphant return and decided to bring an ENTIRELY NEW level of innovation this year. Just when I thought I had seen all there was to see at ISTE and understood how the conference works they added new features that not only require I explore them but that demonstrate their commitment to advancing meaningful technology use in education. Check them out below!

  1. Student Hackathon
    • With all of the talk about students coding in the classroom and the need to teach code as a job skill for future careers that we haven’t even conceived of yet, ISTE has decided to demonstrate their commitment to STUDENT LEARNING with an on site hackathon at the conference. Students will hack away Monday and Tuesday. They present their work Wednesday morning. Look for more about this in the coming days!
  2. Virtual EdTech PitchFest
    • Each year ISTE hosts an EdTech PitchFest. EdTech startups from around the country compete for top prize which includes stuff like a corporate ISTE membership and a half page ad in their magazine. THIS YEAR the PitchFest is ENTIRELY VIRTUAL!! We get to vote for the companies we love the most AND each person gets to leave feedback for the companies after watching their 1 minute pitches AND voters get an opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win FREE #ISTE19 registration! It is a win ALL THE WAY AROUND. Check out the pitches here¬†VOTING OPENS at 5pm on Sunday and closes at 6pm on Tuesday!! Remember to leave feedback if you can too!
  3. Guided Tours
    • Check out my Instagram (@drkiacoaches) to see ISTE volunteers guiding new attendees through the conference space! Where were they when I needed them last year? LOL
  4. Ongoing Professional Development
    • ISTE has decided to offer ongoing professional development opportunities for educators who want to extend their learning past the conference. On my radar is the Digital Leadership Summit and the No Fear Coding Lab. Check out their PD offerings here. Be sure to sign up soon because the early bird rate will expire.

Remember to lead is to constantly learn, and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will. ISTE is more than just another conference, it is a real investment in your professional learning. If you are #notatISTE18 I will share as many resources as I can and if you are at the conference this year, hopefully you do the same! We are all growing together. -Dr. Kia