#ISTE19 – Reflection after 2 days of learning

It’s Monday evening and we are at the mid point of the 2019 ISTE conference (International Society for Technology in Education). There are tens of thousands of educators and vendors in Philadelphia for this annual conference that brings together educators, coaches, school and division leaders from around the world.

As in years past, my favorite learning is more about the people I meet and the experiences we share than about the sessions. Yes, there are some great sessions – Ken Shelton’s Techquity session this morning stands out for me – but really it’s about the people. Reconnecting and hearing what folks are doing, struggling with and ready to try in their schools and teams and classrooms is powerful stuff!

One takeaway from this year’s ISTE is that there seems to be more of a focus on equity – the Digital Equity session I attended last year was so crowded and in a room so small (and there were not many choices of sessions about equity). Today and yesterday I had to choose between sessions to attend at the same time. There seem to be more sessions and yet there is more to be done. Much more to be done.

Too many educators are attending sessions about the “10 great new apps!” or “60 apps in 60 seconds to *buzzword*” when really we need to consider the work we are doing to ensure EVERY student has the learning experience they deserve.

Also… we need to be doing the work that ensures ALL educators see that as a possibility for each and every single one of their students. We need to examine what voices are being elevated and amplified. We need all educators to examine our own biases (we have them. Let’s start working on them) and widening our own lenses.

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