Inspired and Engaged at ISTE

Education experts share their insights from the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference

ISTE 2017 is in the books! After five days of keynotes, sessions, exhibitors, free stuff, and much more, our annual celebration of education and technology has come to an end.

Danielle Stebel, Pear Deck’s amazing marketing manager, reached out to Rachael Mann, Founder of Teach Like Ted, Peter Henrie, COO & Founder of Amplified IT, Ed Kemnitzer, Executive Assistant for Technology Integration of Curriculum Support & Development, Massapequa Public Schools, and Chris Craft, Ph.D. and Director of Partnerships for the EdTechTeam. Each of these experts generously responded with their thoughts and reactions to the 2017 ISTE experience.


Left to right, experts Rachael Mann, Ed Kemnitzer, Peter Henrie and Chris Craft share insights from ISTE.

What did you see at ISTE that surprised you?

“I attend a ton of conferences and one thing that really stands out to me is the high level of comradery amongst attendees. Large conferences sometimes create a very compartmentalized vibe where people stick with the folks from their own states or organizations, but ISTE has such a spirit of community and everyone welcomes each other to join in. I believe this is largely due to the online connections built via ISTE communities and meeting virtually using the organization and conference hashtags. This really shows the power of technology to create a global community in education.”
 — Rachael Mann, Founder of Teach Like Ted, @RLMann4

Which talk or topic were you most excited to see, why?

“I was most excited to see Jennie Magiera (@MsMagiera), Teachers are wizards! keynote. I’ve seen Jennie present many times and am in awe of her way to tell entertaining and relatable stories with such powerful meanings. Jennie opened up about her personal challenges to a massive audience and made the keynote room feel like a small group. It was masterful.” 
— Peter Henrie, COO & Founder of Amplified IT, @AmplifiedIT

In what ways is technology changing the classroom experience for students?

“Anytime, anywhere access to information and learning has dramatically heightened the trajectory of student learning. Putting technology into students’ hands has enabled us to expand learning opportunities, flip instruction, and provide a platform for students where there is no last page. Providing access to tools like Pear Deck, teachers can employ avenues for formative assessment which provides important data which informs future instruction.”
 — Ed Kemnitzer, Executive Assistant for Technology Integration of Curriculum Support & Development, Massapequa Public Schools, @kemnitzer3

“Technology enables students to connect in ways we have never seen before. The teacher is no longer the only expert in the classroom. I have had the opportunity to be a guest speaker virtually with classes around the classroom and was just invited to be a virtual guest speaker for a classroom in Saudi Arabia. How cool is that! Technology gives us access to information, experts, and even viewpoints that would not be possible otherwise. As educators, we are preparing students for the world that ultimately, they will create. Technology is the toolkit that empowers this awesome task.”
— Rachael Mann

What was the best question you were asked at ISTE?

“The best question I was asked at ISTE was, ‘where do you recommend I go while I’m here?’ This question is so rich because it reveals the disposition of heart towards learning and underscores the incredible value in relationship. I love to be asked this question and I love to ask it as well, because I get to hear from others what they are excited to recommend and it gives me the chance to recommend learning opportunities through sessions and partners that I find particularly interesting and valuable. From now on, at every conference I go to, I am going to ask a variety of people, Where do you recommend I go while I’m here?”
 — Chris Craft, PHD and Director of Partnerships for the EdTechTeam @crafty184

“What is the best way to engage the voices of the community using technology?” 
— Ed Kemnitzer

“How do we promote student voice when we do not feel empowered to use our own voice as educators?” That is a question that we all need to make note of and plan professional learning that addresses more than content- we need to train our teachers and reinforce how to deliver content, how to connect and engage with what we say and how we say it, and how to use our voice as educators, inside and outside of the classroom. Presentation literacy is a game changer for all.
 — Rachael Mann


Want to see even more moments from ISTE 17? Head to our Facebook page to see the full album! Thanks again to everyone who came by the Pear Deck booth. We always enjoy meeting thought leaders and fellow educators from across the country, and we can’t wait for 2018!

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