Last week the PenPal Schools team traveled to Denver for the annual ISTE conference. ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) started forty years ago. It was founded by educators who believe in the power of technology to empower students to become collaborators. Instead of being passive, students can lead their learning according to their individual passions. We share this passion for education technology as a driving force to improve education so of course the event is an inspiring one! 16,000 like-minded educators gathered in the same cool city? Sign us up!
New ISTE Standard for Global Ed
We were especially pleased to see the focus on global education this year. Bringing a global focus to the classroom promotes intercultural understanding, empowers students to reflect on their own experiencesand achieves learning goals. All these aspects (and more!) were covered in detail during ISTE’s Global Education Conference on Sunday, June 26. For resources and notes for the day check out the blog Adventures with Technology by Lisa Butler, a social studies teacher from Hershey, PA. It was awesome meeting Lisa and all the others who presented during the poster sessions organized by Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon.
Where Should Students Learn More About?
Another highlight from ISTE was chatting with educators about where they’d most like their students to learn about. Expanding student’s worldviews is a big part of the PenPal experience and one of the five learning outcomes we provide. At ISTE we asked educators “If you could chose anywhere in the world for your students to learn about, where would it be and why?” Here are just a few answers:
Check out the #PenPalChat hashtag on Twitter for the full conversation!
Thanks, Kahoot!Finally, we had the pleasure of presenting at our friend Kahoot’s booth (thanks, Kahoot!). Like thousands of others we heart Kahoot! and are honored to be collaborating with them to help change the future of education through student engagement. Kahoot held classes and guest show-and-tells throughout the conference, creating a fun, energetic classroom vibe in the packed exhibit hall. Hanging with their team and talking with their ambassadors was one of the most energizing and inspiring parts of the week! We’re excited to share more about our collaboration in the coming months.
Aligning with ISTE Standards Between chatting with our users and meeting a lot of awesome new people we got to attend a few of the great sessions and workshops ISTE offers. One of the best was on ISTE’s standards for learning and teaching with technology.
PenPal Schools academic standards and ISTE standards touch on complementary goals. For example, our courses are built with a focus on learning outcomes closely align with US Common Core standards. ISTE focuses its standards on developing technologically literate, global learners. We have adopted the ISTE standards and are always working to improve on our delivery of them. Check out this blog post on learning outcomes for more info.
That’s a Wrap ISTE was one of the highlights of our year and a great start to the summer. We’re eagerly awaiting 2017, when all the action will happen next door in San Antonio, Texas! Thanks to all the educators who chatted with and to all those who joined PenPal Schools or helped spread the word! Didn’t get to attend or can’t wait until next year to chat again? Drop us a line on Twitter.