ISTE 2013

It’s post-conference now, and I’m trying to to absorb all I learned. There’s almost too much to take in! I really came at it with (at least) three different hats on – librarian, technology integrationist, and TAG teacher. Here are some initial takeaways and what I’ll do about them:



Writing – I want to know more about McGonigal’s programming at the NYPL, where young people crowd sourced writing.

Ebooks – I’m more confused than ever about choices for ebooks! I spoke to Barnes and Noble and thought the Nook seemed like a real possibility, especially because they really help libraries with management. Then the news came out this morning that Barnes and Noble is shuttering Nook operations, just sticking with its black-and-white e-reader. That was what I was looking at yesterday, but gosh, this news doesn’t give me much faith in going that direction. I spoke to a couple of other vendors, including Follett Shelf (where we already house over 120 books for MNW students), but am still going over the options.


f_lavins. From Flickr, Creative Commons License. Found here.

Teaching technologyThis was picked up from following #iste13 tweet.




Makerspace! I saw Gary Stager’s name in the ISTE book and knew I had to go hear him. I follow him on Twitter and loves his message of authentic learning. This was no different – it was so fast-paced it was hard to keep up. But my favorite part of it was his message of makerspaces. I actually have joined the Ames Makerspace and am going to an event on Saturday. I loved Stagerś message that the ¨maker movement is that craft traditions are being honored and kicked up a notch.” The funny thing is I love the idea of makerspaces, but I don´t actually make that much. I guess I´ll learn!

Tech Integration

Gamification – I’m still mulling all this, and I’ll finish reading Jane McGonigal’s book, Reality is Broken. Wouldn’t Massive Multi-Thumb Wrestling be huge fun as an ice breaker in PD?

Claymation – Won’t this be so much fun? I’d love to do a collaborative unit at the elementary with the art, music, and guidance teachers using this tech. Remember, don’t use green Play-Doh with a green screen!


Storyboard That! – Found this on the vendor floor and know the guidance counselor will love it to have the students make writing prompts.


Professional Development

I had a great talk with Atomic Learning – they are updating the student and teacher tech assessments which needed it. But this was a reminder of all the fantastic resources they have here for tech teaching. I want to make a web page or site that has tools for teachers.

Cyber-Patriots: This is an organizations that schools bring in as an afterschool activity that give real-world skills (hacking, or as they call it, cyber security) to high school students.



One other thing that Atomic Learning has is a series of videos about programming. I’m adding programming to choices/requirements for junior high TAG students (still to be determined) and am looking for resources. Like look at this, for XML basics.


MOOCs! I’m already a big fan of MOOCs, being a perennial drop-out (but I am finishing this class this summer). This session really wasn’t for me, since I already know what they are and how they work. But of course, I always love knowing everyone else is learning about something I already am passionate about. I did check out the offerings from Udacity, EdX, and Coursera. I signed up for this course from EdX, starting this fall. (Plenty of time to drop out . . . ) I do think every teacher should take a MOOC, and am going to include that as an option for the TAG students this fall.



I’m so glad I had business cards printed up! I’m glad my husband and daughter could come and do a family vacation with me, though I wish my other kids could have been here, too. Because they were here and doing touristy-stuff, they needed my iPhone. And I forgot my camera! So no pictures. That stinks. But I was so glad I brought a Chromebook. It made tweeting so much easier than doing finger-typing on my phone or a tablet.

Okay, that just has to be enough! There is so much else I learned. What a great experience.

Goodbye, San Antonio!


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