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ISTE 2018: The Edmentum Team’s Top 3 Takeaways

ISTE 2018: The Edmentum Team’s Top 3 Takeaways

As always, the ISTE Conference & Expo was a whirlwind of learning, sharing, and connecting with educators. For our Edmentum team, it’s always a great reminder of why we do what we do (and why we love it!).

We know that educators work so hard every day to give all students the tools and support they need to experience success in the classroom and that educators are so innovative when technology is put to use in the process. It’s inspiring and humbling to see how our online programs fit as pieces of that incredibly complex puzzle. After being immersed for three days in those conversations, we’re back and reenergized to continue doing all that we can to live up to our #EducatorFirst commitment. Here are our top three takeaways from ISTE 2018 in Chicago:

Educators and students are breaking down barriers

Equity, access, and respect were frequent themes at ISTE 2018. It’s obvious that when educators step in to the classroom, they see ALL of the unique faces looking back at them. That attitude of inclusion is carried out in working not only with their students but also with one another, as well as in their daily lives. Throughout the conference, we saw great sessions on assistive technology, positive digital citizenship, unleashing creativity with makerspaces, and so much more. Luis Perez, a visually impaired artist and technical assistance specialist, may have summed it up best in his keynote speech: "We all have complex identities that should be valued and incorporated into education."

Partnerships allow us ALL to do more

At Edmentum, partnership is a priority—not only with the educators who use our programs but also with the outside agencies and companies that we work with. And, this year’s ISTE conference was a great opportunity for us to reconnect with so many of the organizations who have helped us create stronger programs for educators and students! With such broad exchanges as data-interoperability deep dives with other members of Project Unicorn, EdOptions Academy and Exact Path ISTE Seal of Alignment events, and presenting on personalized learning with Renaissance, we loved the opportunity to collaborate with our edtech industry network.

Every educator is fueled by passion

When walking around an ISTE conference, the energy is palpable. Everyone is excited to be there, everyone is enthusiastic about learning, and everyone is ready to tackle tough problems with creative approaches. It doesn’t take long to realize that this energy comes from pure passion. Educators have a demanding job that requires such an impressive level of commitment. It’s an incredible experience to see all of that passion in one place, and this year, our very own consultant Nyla Benjamin decided to capture some of it. She asked as many educators as she could: “What’s your education ‘why’?” The responses Nyla received were nothing short of inspirational!

That’s a wrap on ISTE 2018! We look forward to seeing you next year at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia!

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