Posted in ISTE, Uncategorized

ISTE 17 Reflection

ISTE 17 Reflection

This time last year, I was leaving my first ISTE excited, overwhelmed, and afraid that I had missed some session or poster that would positively rock my world.  Today, leaving my second ISTE, I can appreciate the week knowing that the conference provided me with an incredible experience.

Here are my three biggest takeaways from #ISTE17:

Power of Poster Sessions

Kim Calderon - Poster Sessions

At ISTE, they have poster sessions that take place throughout the entire week. These posters are an incredible opportunity because (as stated by Kim Calderon) “It’s like 50 sessions in 2 hours.” If you are curious how these poster sessions work, just think high school science fair on steroids.

These educators have posters (and/or monitors) to display their ideas, projects, or research in order to inspire other educators.  Then, other educators wander throughout the the space, stopping to take pictures, scan QR codes, or talk to the presenters.  The coolest part of this is the ability to talk individually about the processes that the poster presenter went through as they implemented their ideas.  Not only does that help the inquisitive educator learn something new, it also helps provide the poster presenter with other ideas.

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Mari Rocking Her Poster Session!

Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino – ISTE Emerging Leader 2017) had this to say about doing a poster session, “I loved the opportunity to present a poster session at ISTE17. It’s a unique experience to be able to present to small groups of people, and answer individual questions about the topic. Not only did I share with attendees, but also I learned a lot of great ideas from then!”

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Connecting With Awesome Educators

Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) encouraging me to learn how to code

An incredible aspect of ISTE is the sheer number of educators that descend on a convention and share all their tips, tricks, and ideas.  This year’s ISTE had nearly 20,000 educators from 8,000 different schools from around the world.  Many of these people may have been previously connected from their Professional Learning Network (PLN), or from past conferences.  But the opportunity to meet Face-To-Face (F2F), provides another level of collaboration and sharing.  This could include the various booths where educators would congregate, such as the Google For Education Booth or the EdTechTeam Booth (two of the booths I spent quite a bit of time at this year).

Kern Kelley - Collab

For example, while hanging around the EdTechTeam booth, I started talking to Kern Kelley (@kernkelley)about a new student help desk program he helped me to establish this year.  Through our conversation, we were able to develop another level of collaboration for our students in the coming year!

Another common area where teachers would connect could simply be in the hallways, lounges, and restaurants, (or Riverwalk since we were in San Antonio) as educators strike up conversation with those with whom they came into contact.  It’s amazing the similar interests/visions/goals/expertise that others have to offer and the fact that they are so willing to be a resource for other educators.


#COL16 Innovator Academy Members at ISTE17

Impassioned Keynote

1st Day QuestionTuesday morning’s keynote can be described in one word… “Epic-Emotional-Awesomeness.” (I know, that is more than one word, but the hyphens makes it one word still, right??)  This should not be any surprise because the speaker was Jennie Magiera.  While her resume is impressive, her ability to share a story that captives and resonates moved the crowd into action.

Her keynote centered on the idea of telling the untold stories that surround us everyday.  She encouraged us to find our own identity as an educator and through that we must make sure we are working to help our students find their own identity as well.  Everyday we must seek to meet every student’s need, provide them a safe place to learn/grow, and challenge them to be the best versions of themselves.

Here is a more thoughts on the Keynote by Jennie: ISTE 17 Keynote Blog

ISTE Final Thoughts

So as we finalize our reflections of ISTE, or the past school year, we must consider the lessons we have learned.  How have we been challenged by these experiences?  What must we personally do different in order to be the best versions of ourselves?  How can we connect with other educators more consistently in order to challenge and encourage us?  And most importantly, what can we do this next year to empower students to write a new story about themselves that will be the defining moment to their future success?

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ISTE (@ISTEConnects)
Posted in Uncategorized

ISTE 17 Keynote – Jennie Magiera


Jennie Magiera Keynote

Tuesday morning’s keynote can be described in one word… “Epic-Emotional-Awesomeness.” (I know, that is more than one word, but the hyphens makes it one word still, right??) This should not be any surprise because the speaker was Jennie Magiera (@MsMagiera). While her resume is impressive, her ability to share a story that captives and resonates moved the crowd into action.

Amazing Keynote
Natalia Castillo (@NataliaCas0319)


Untold Stories

Tell the untold story of your school, educators, and most importantly the students. All of us are more than a single story, and it is our job as educators to help students to see their unlimited potential that the student (or educator for that matter) may have allowed to be stymied by their fear of their TOLD story. We must help students to see they can overcome that TOLD story in order find their UNTOLD story!

Untold Story

Opportunities For A New Identity

Jenny recounted the story of her mother’s experience as a young child (having been an immigrant from Korea), and the powerful, life-changing question her teacher asked her, “what do you want to be called this year?” As students enter our classroom each year, they carry baggage of past experiences and choices, many of those negative. Yet, we must provide (and encourage) students to understand those past decisions do not have to continue defining them.

So what if you were a failing student in the past, or a someone with a checkered past? You can choose differently today, and I’m here to be your support.

1st Day Question
Austin Houp (@coachhoup24)

Stop And Listen

When facing resistance, anger, etc. from parents, colleagues, or others it is important to find out the reasoning for their anger. As humans, we constantly find ourselves looking to get our agenda or desires advanced without regard for others. So when we face frustration from others, we generally ignore or push away those individuals in order to complete our goals. Yet, as stated by Magiera, if we would stop and LISTEN to those complaints and frustrations, we provide an outlet. Not only do we find out the true issues, we also learn more about those individuals.

Through this exercise of listening, we build bridges that can empower others to greater heights and soften their resistance to our ideas. While they (or we) may not get their way, it creates an environment of compromise and collaboration that seeks to meet everyone’s needs.

Find Out Their Anger
Austin Houp (@coachhoup24)

Be You!

Many, if not most, of us got into education due to the positive experience of a past teacher of ours. This drives us to be that same influence to our future students. While this is noble and a worthwhile ambition, it also inhibits our ability to be awesome. I could provide multiple teachers who helped define the educator I am today, however, Jennie reminded us that it is imperative that we should be the best version of ourselves. “Who Am I As An Educator?”

Do not try to be a carbon copy of your past teachers, except in terms of positively impacting students. Instead, be the Mr.-Mrs.-Ms.-Coach ________ that you are called to be.

Me Then You?
Linda Acocelli (@LAcocelli)

Who We Are

Finally Jennie acknowledged a truth that many educators live by but rarely recognize. We as professionals, have wrapped our identity into our profession. Every success and heartbreak of our students drives us to new heights, both in school and post-graduation. We can not help but talk about the things happening in our classrooms, the new ideas we are excited about trying out, and the success of our students and schools.

Who I am
Austin Houp (@coachhoup24)

Keynote Reflections

What about Jennie’s keynote spoke the most to you and your current journey?  What are you going to do differently due to this message?  How are you going to tell the untold stories before you in the coming year?