3rd Day at ISTE | ISTE 参加三日目雑感

(Japanese follows English)

3rd Day at ISTE conference, run by , International Society for Technology in Education (a.k.a., ISTE). It’s been inspiring to meet so many educators who share the same vision of how transformational vision and mission will change education, rather than relying on technology to change education. Technologies are great enablers of visions and strategies set out by educators that interact with kids on daily basis, but without this belief, we may fall in trap of not having an aligned strategy and execution plans. The great thing about this conference is that, there have been lots of practical seminars, roundtables, and discussion on how to incorporate myriad of educational methods or tools in order to deliver more engaging and effective learning experiences to kids.

In addition, it is refreshing to attend a conference where there is a wide range of demographic, age, and gender representation. Tech conferences I used to attend definitely tend to skew demographics, but this time, I met people from all over the US (and some international folks) in wide age groups. They said that there were attendees from 71 countries, though I believe the majority in numbers was from the US. And there were teachers (public, charter, and private), administrators, technology consultants/coaches, vendors, startups, etc. This made discussion richer and more real, as I was able to hear so many real stories and discuss a way forward. This was one of the best conferences I attended in recent years!

Though the level of technology integration and adoption seem to vary by school, districts and state, the organization is supporting a way forward by having many guidelines like ISTE standards, digital citizenship guidelines, and many published books and materials. As the conference is run by the organization which is driving technology in classroom forward, there were lots of practical workshops, demos, and seminars. Unfortunately, the Education IT conference I attended in Tokyo was organized by a big trade show company, and it was far less practical and engaging from my perspective. The show in Tokyo had no soul and passion. The biggest difference is that there were no rooms for peer to peer discussions or practical workshops, which would help educators and practitioners to think how to incorporate hundreds of different options to help achieve their goals.

Lastly, I was impressed by generous support by big platform companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, SAS, Adobe, etc. They were many sponsored sessions where educators using these platforms shared their experiences, including pros and cons. And many of the community managers for these companies are former educators, so they could relate to the districts and teachers.

My head is almost spinning from juggling from hundreds of different options to attend and meeting with so many great people. But I would like to make the best of my 5 days by learning as much as possible from presenters and attendees!

ISTE という、教育Xテクノロジーのカンファレンスに来てはや3日目。テクノロジーが教育を変えるのではなく、教育を変える信念とミッションがあって、教育者がそのビジョンを子供たちのために実現する手段としてテクノロジーがあるという考えを共有できる人が沢山いらっしゃっるのが、さすが教育とテクノロジーのテーマを考え、実践し続けている団体の主宰するカンファレンスだなぁと感じます。あとテクノロジーだからといっても先生の多くは(半分以上に見える)女性で、以外と私でも年寄りと思わないくらい年齢の幅が広い!テックカンファレンスとはかなり雰囲気違います。
アメリカ全体だとまだまだマイノリティな地域もあるようですが、業界として、Digital Citizenship など様々なガイドラインを整備し、世界に発信していく(アメリカじゃないです)。国内にとどまらず世界の教育をテクノロジーの力も借りてどんどん良くしていこうという内容でまとまっているので、先日日本で参加した、展示がメイン、セミナーはセカンダリー、参加者同士の交流ゼロの、展示会の域を出ない教育ITカンファレンスとは全然違う魅力を感じます。
セミナーも多くがベンダーの人が話すスタイルが中心ではなく、実際に学校に導入している人たちが話すスタイルが主流。District という区分された学校の地域単位で、テクノロジーを導入するサポート体制や、継続的な教育体制や横連携のコミュニティが密で、本当に話が面白い。先生たちがオープンに失敗談や成功談を共有するポスターセッションやラウンドテーブルなど切りがない数のミートアップの連続。
 
あと、Micforosft、Google Education、Samsung、などのプラットフォーム企業のサポートが半端ないです。大抵元学校の先生だった人がコミュニティマネージャー的に様々な無料プログラムや使い方セミナーなど、先生たちにファンになってもらう為に戦ってます。SASも素晴らしいE-ラーニングのコンテンツを無料で提供してるとか、本当に新しい学びだらけで頭が混乱してます(笑)
 
流石にばてましたが、あと1日半、実体験話を沢山聞いて帰ってこようと思います!

Author: Emi

Future Citizens 代表。

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