There’s no better time than your annual conference and expo, which regularly attracts thousands of educators, vendors and thought leaders, to announce big efforts that will help your stakeholders do more, better.
The International Society for Technology in Education’s leadership knows this all too well, having followed up last year’s rebranding efforts with an array of announcements at its 2014 conference and expo in Atlanta.
ISTE CEO Brian Lewis and Dr. Kecia Ray, chair of ISTE’s board and executive director of learning technology and library services for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee, shared the news with conference attendees during Saturday evening’s opening keynote address, as a prelude to actress and activist Ashley Judd’s compelling remarks. They also provided a bit more detail about these announcements and future plans in a media luncheon on Sunday, June 29.
“ISTE is really about three things: the ISTE Standards, this conference and our phenomenal ISTE community,” Lewis said. “Our new initiatives are part of our efforts to reach and connect with more folks in the community. Our interest is in meeting [members] where they are, through the resources that we have and the community that we can help them connect with.”
New for You
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the aforementioned announcements that Lewis and Ray hope will remind educators and other members that ISTE is here for them year-round:
- EdTekHub: This online content and resource portal provides news, tips and best practices that educators can use in their classrooms. Described as “the next generation of ISTE’s former print publication, Learning & Leading With Technology,” the EdTekHub includes, among things, feature articles to inform and inspire; spotlight stories on the effective use and integration of the ISTE Standards; profiles of ed tech leaders, students and schools; featured “cool tools”; opinion articles and industry news; and polls.
- entrsekt: Available quarterly in print and online, this magazine focuses on provocative education topics, profiles of education change agents, and new and unique perspectives on how to transform education. The inaugural issue, which was circulated to conference attendees following the opening keynote, covers such topics as personalized learning and Common Core. “Its tagline says it all: ‘Where learning, technology and community meet,’” Lewis said in the organization’s formal announcement of the magazine. “ISTE is about that nexus, that intersection, and entrsekt will explore the broad issues, change agents and challenges that cut across education transformation.”
- Lead & Transform: This initiative aims to provide a comprehensive roadmap and professional learning opportunities to guide education leaders through the systemwide transition to technology-rich and standards-ready learning environments. The movement “will provide school leaders with the tools and resources to leverage [their technology] investments and make a successful transition to digital learning that will result in increased student achievement and engagement,” ISTE Chief Innovation Officer Wendy Drexler said in a statement.
A key piece of Lead & Transform is a diagnostic tool that is based on ISTE’s 14 Essential Conditions for effective technology integration. The diagnostic survey, which takes roughly 35 to 40 minutes to complete, provides immediate feedback and gives users an opportunity to work with “ISTE experts on customized strategies to help leverage their strengths and identify opportunities for growth,” the organization explained.
The Lead & Transform resource portal, meanwhile, offers “tools and resources to support planning, implementation, and reflection and refinement of technology integration,” ISTE said.
“The biggest priority for ISTE going forward is to create a trajectory [for achieving] global reach,” Ray said during the luncheon. “We want to maintain that ‘I’ in ISTE. We also want to extend this conference beyond these few days. ISTE is really a 365[-day] community.”
Lewis expanded on this theme, noting that the community “is incredibly collegial. People are just waiting to help you because someone helped them get to where they are.”