Over the summer, I attended the 2016 ISTE Conference and Expo in Denver, CO. Sponsored by the International Society of Technology in Education, it is the largest EdTech conference in the world, at 20,000 attendees and exhibitors. It was four packed days of exciting ideas, teaching methods, and tech playgrounds. You can read about my experiences and learning here: #ISTE2016
As I soaked in ideas in countless sessions, explored new tech tools in the playgrounds, and found inspiration the Ignite! talks, I was most struck by one overarching concept: How Can We Teach What is New to Us? Every minute, a new tech tool is developing – and often the students know about it before we do. How do we push aside the fear of something new, and allow the students to show us how to better our teaching with new tech tools?
A perfect example is the #ISTE2016 Minecraft Playground. Picture a large conference space with colorful lights, energizing music, delicious snacks, and hundreds of laptop stations. Teachers poured in, eager to try out the new Minecraft for education. Many had never seen the square world – but their students had. It was an exciting opportunity to try out the game, share how our students envision Minecraft in the classroom, and discuss how we can learn from our students.