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06
ISTE2017, San Antonio Part 1
July 6, 2017


INT: HENRY B. GONZALES CONVENTION CENTRE.

Hoards of conference attendees swarm the floors of this massive building.  Decals and signs are omnipresent.  Make no mistake, this is ISTE2017, and the organizers want you to know it…

(Okay, ditching the artsy screen-play version…)

My first impression of ISTE2017 was that the conference planners knew what they were doing; the location was perfect for the 20,000+ attendees from all 50 states, and over 72 different countries.  Henry B. Gonzalez had recently been renovated (source: every single Uber driver I had) and is situated right along San Antonio’s famous River Walk, directly across from The Alamo.  Yes, *that* Alamo.

One thing that I would find out soon enough was that careful planning of the day’s workshop needed to be done, because it could take you upwards of 10 minutes to walk from one area to the next (more, if you were to run into crowds lined up, or, say, a flash mob).

ISTE2017 was FIVE days of learning and connecting.  The PLN that I had been cultivating online for years was now in the same room as me.  Edu-famous folks such as Sylvia Duckworth, Alice Keeler, Jennie Magiera were there in person, as well as the technology designers and developers.  I sat next to one of the creators of Explain Everything as he put the finishing touches on his workshop presentation.

Because the event was so massive, I will write several parts to this blog, so as not to overwhelm.  

Picture of Table at Global Education Conference

Part 1: Global Education Network, Sunday, June 25.

Global Education Network was the first workshop I attended.  Set up in a massive ballroom with too many round tables to count, I practically needed opera glasses to see the speaker.  Good thing this is ISTE - projectors made the pint-size speakers far more visible.  

What is Global Education Network?

“The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity.”

LINK

You can read more about what this organization is in the link provided above.  The workshop was about connecting educators and exploring cultural awareness and other salient global educational matters.  We talked about using educational technology (edtech) tools for collaboration and creation, and we spent some time in breakout groups talking to each other about what initiatives are going on in classrooms.

At my table were two educators from Tennessee and Kansas.  The teacher from Tennessee worked in a private K-12 school.  We were really at two different extremes - I work in a publicly-funded adult non-credit ELT program, and his school charged tuition upwards of $30,000 per year (although it was scaled according to need).

The educator from Kansas runs one of the biggest GEGs (Google Education Groups).  Take a look at it - it’s called Kansas GEG.  If you are interested in edtech initiatives, ask to join.  They have members worldwide.

At the end of this workshop, I realized that many of the modules, themes, tasks that we do in adult ELT, are more effective if delivered in a project-based language classroom driven by real-world problems. I have been a big proponent of PBL (PROJECT-BASED LEARNING, not the other one).  Connect to this group to find out more about the resources offered.  There is a major online conference scheduled for November 13-16.  It’s online.  Register here - it would be an excellent higher level CLB listening activity connected to a relevant module.  LINK

 

2 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

On Friday, July 7, 2017, Susan Stitt said
Sounds like some major enriching educational experiences happened. Looking forward to hearing more.

 


On Thursday, July 6, 2017, Toni Lynn Cassidy said
Jen Artan! Good read. Thanks for the online conference link.

Happy that you got to see the ALAMO:)

 



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