Educators Flock to Hot-lanta: The EdSurge Guide to ISTE 2014

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Educators Flock to Hot-lanta: The EdSurge Guide to ISTE 2014

What we’re excited to see at this edtech extravaganza

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Jun 18, 2014

Educators Flock to Hot-lanta: The EdSurge Guide to ISTE 2014

At the end of the month, teachers, administrators and vendors will be flocking to the Peach State for the annual International Society for Technology in Education (more commonly known as ISTE) conference, taking place from June 28th to July 1st. And in lieu of a few setbacks (including a reshuffling of keynotes and some disturbing details about an occurrence at last’s year event), this year’s Atlanta conference should prove a ripe ground for honest conversations about the world of edtech.

Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a handy cheatsheet of workshops and talks where you’ll find the EdSurge team. Four of us will be there in full-force--and ready to chat data, tablets, and more.

An Extra Special Announcement--Join Us on Monday

On Monday, June 30, EdSurge and nonprofit Digital Promise will jointly announce a new initiative that will celebrate the successful edtech work of teachers, administrators and edtech organizations. We can’t give too much away, but it should prove to be quite “rewarding.” Want to find out about mystery announcement? Head over to Digital Promise’s “Future-Ready Schools Campaign and Teacher Microcredentials” Session, 10:45 AM-11:45 AM (GWCC B303/304).

Now, when it comes to ISTE’s collection of 900 sessions, covering five main themes (digital age teaching and learning, leadership, professional learning, technology infrastructure, and research), we’ve got a few favorites that we’ll be hitting up throughout the conference.

Friday, June 27

8:00 AM The Hack Education Unconference: For the eighth year in a row, and as a part of the ISTE: Unplugged series, Steve Hargadon and edublogger Audrey Watters will host this “unconference”, an event where the participants determine what is talked about (though the theme revolves around “teaching and learning”). There is no formal sign-up or prep, but a word of caution: be ready for a long event, as it runs from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Saturday, June 28

2:00 PM Global Education Day at ISTE: Take the opportunity to network with international edtech educators and stakeholders at this 3-hour event, hosted by Chicago educator Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon.

4:00 PM ConnectED Private Sector Showcase & Back-to-School Webinar: Looks like Betsy Corcoran’s article on ConnectED prodded companies to step up and deliver on their promises to educators. SETDA will host this session where ten participating companies that have committed resources to ConnectEd (including Adobe, Apple, and Verizon) will share information about where they are in that process. Worth checking out.

Sunday, June 29

11:00 AM 101 Free Tech Tools for Teachers: FREE. Can’t get much better than that. Also, ISTE’s 2013 Teacher of the Year Nicholas Provenzano recommends attending this session.

11:00 AM Tech Commandments II: The Revenge: Come listen and learn from Adam Bellow, former educator, current CEO of eduClipper, and last year’s closing keynoter at ISTE 2013.

12:45 PM Our District’s 1:1 Laptop Program: A 10-year Retrospective. Yes, you read that right--TEN years.

Monday, June 30

10:30 AM ISTE Pitchfest Final Round: Come watch four edtech companies duke it out for the ultimate pitch glory. Each company will have five minutes to present and two to three minutes to answer questions from the judges (one of whom will be our very own Katrina Stevens!).

10:45 AM Future-Ready Schools Campaign and Teacher Microcredentials: Digital Promise talks teacher badging and conducts a badge design activity. (Plus, there’s that big announcement with EdSurge!)

2:15 PM EdTekTalks: If larger keynotes aren’t your thing, check out these short TED-like talks. The five mini-keynoters include makers like MAKE Magazine’s Dale Dougherty and IDC Media Invention Lab’s Guy Hoffman.

5:30 PM Twitter 101: Build Your Personal Learning Network: Susan Bearden (#edtechchat moderator) and Jerry Blumengarten (#edchat moderator) are two Twitter titans in the education world. Learn their tips and tricks, create your own social media PLN and take to the Twittersphere.

Tuesday, July 1

10:15 AM Internet Access at Home: A frank conversation about how three school organizations have addressed WiFi equity issues both in school and at home.

1:15 PM The Emergence of the Self-Directed Digital Learner: Recommended by ISTE’s Games and Simulations Network, Julia Evans from Project Tomorrow will cover personalizing learning both in and out of school from the latest Speak Up national findings.

What sessions are you attending?

Have any particular workshops, keynotes, or sessions that you're excited about? Let us know in the comments section below.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article reported that the ConnectED session would be hosted by both the Dept. of Ed. and SETDA. That point has since been corrected; only SETDA will host the session.

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