Jun 16 2023

ISTELive 23: What to Include on Your Conference Agenda

Don’t miss these sessions on artificial intelligence, esports and more for administrators, IT professionals and K–12 educators.

As digital transformation continues in K–12 schools, it brings changes to education at an accelerated pace. From modern classroom devices to artificial intelligence software and cybersecurity, today’s learning environments require a technology-forward mindset and leaders who understand how to implement the next great teaching and learning tools.

ISTELive 23, taking place June 25–28 in Philadelphia, is an opportune setting for K–12 admins, IT pros and educators to learn more about the newest ed tech. This year’s conference will give stakeholders insights into the newest products and tech capabilities. Experts will share their experiences and help leadership get a sense of where to invest, how to establish policies and what it takes to create a classroom of the future.

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The event kicks off with an opening keynote session featuring Joyce Abbott, the inspiration and name behind the ABC show Abbott Elementary. Abbott, an educator in the School District of Philadelphia’s Andrew Hamilton School, will be joined Sunday on the main stage by actor Tyler James Williams; ISTE CEO Richard Culatta; Sharif El-Mekki, CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development; Carmalita Seitz, director of ISTE Certification; and Principal Crystal Edwards of the School District of Philadelphia’s William D. Kelley School.

ISTELive’s four-day agenda is guaranteed to have something for everyone, no matter their position, experience or district. The comprehensive list of session possibilities can be overwhelming and, though many sessions will be recorded and offered online, choosing what to attend may give conferencegoers pause. Here are some of the top areas of focus at this year’s event and their must-see sessions:

Discover What’s New for K–12 in Artificial Intelligence and Automation

Although it’s been less than a year since the release of ChatGPT, the topic of artificial intelligence — specifically, generative AI — has taken over school districts. As AI technologies rapidly grow and evolve, many school leaders are racing to enact policies that will manage these tools.

At this year’s ISTE conference, many thought leaders and ed tech experts are sitting down to look at all sides of the AI debate. Here are some of the key sessions on the topic:

DIVE DEEPER: CoSN 2023 presenters share anecdotes and advice on ChatGPT.

Experience Esports with an Onsite Arena and Expert-Led Sessions

ISTELive 23 will feature an esports arena — look for the Esports Experience in the Grand Hall — and many sessions that focus on esports over the event’s four-day span. Whether Minecraft or Rocket League is more your players’ speed, attendees can choose from a wide variety of sessions, panels and demonstrations. Be sure to catch experts like Felisa Ford, co-creator of Minecraft: Education Edition’s “Good Trouble: Lessons in Social Justice” and EdTech K–12 IT influencer, and Julie Mavrogeorge, career and technical education coordinator for the Fresno Unified School District, in sessions such as:

Stay Up to Date on Digital Transformation and Leadership in Education

Current and aspiring leaders will have plenty of choices when it comes to sessions on digital transformation and K–12 leadership. Panels of experts — including consultant and K–12 IT influencer Ken Shelton; Sophia Mendoza, Instructional Technology Initiative director for the Los Angeles Unified School District; and consultant Sawsan Jaber (panelists in a June 28 session titled “Equity in Education: A Journey, Not a Destination”) — will present at ISTELive 23.

READ MORE: Strong lifecycle management plans for one-to-one devices enable equity.

ISTE has even built a recommended schedule for leaders. Among many big names in ed tech, it includes presenters like Nicholas Ferroni, educator at Union High School; Frankie Jackson, project director for CoSN and a former K–12 CTO; and Steven Isaacs, education program manager at Epic Games. This sample schedule includes a wide range of topics that tech leaders will want to learn about, including everything from disaster recovery to the National Educational Technology Plan.

Among other hot topics at this year’s event: cybersecurity, computer science and augmented and virtual reality. ISTELive 23 will even feature the ISTEverse, home to the VRcade, the ARcade, VR Wellness, the ISTEverse Arena and the Connections Theater.

To stay up to date on all the goings-on at this year’s ISTE conference, bookmark this page, and follow along on Twitter at @EdTech_K12 or with the hashtag #ISTELive.

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