George Lucas Educational Foundation

What I Learned at ISTE

What I Learned at ISTE

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ISTE, which I can best describe as the Consumers Electronics Show for Educators with Professional Development thrown in, is an overwhelming experience. But the biggest lesson I came away with from the conference is that it is still all about the one to one contact between teacher and student, at the most basic level. Gary Stager remarked "Any teacher that thinks they can be replaced by a YouTube video probably should be." IWhile we all would like to find the perfect curriculum that could be uploaded via The Matrix to every child, the bottom line is that teaching and learning are much more art than pure science. We teach children, not subjects, as Chris Lehmann pointed out. we have to change the framework to one of nurturing kids and helping them become the thoughtful, wise, compassionate and kind people they can be. While tech can bring more and more tools into our classrooms, the moments that matter most are those that are personal. For example, if a child can ask their favorite author a question via skype, the power is not in the tool, but in the connection that child has made to the work of another, prompting thinking and curiosity about the world. Making education personal and meaningful for kids is vitally important. Tech can help us achieve those goals, but none of it is a replacement for great teaching, which is great mentorship and understanding the dance between student and knowledge. If you went to ISTE, What did you learn? What was your most important take away? How can you use tech to help personalize learning in the classroom for your students? Come share!

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