ISTE Is What You Make It
I’ve attended ISTE every year from 2009, and I’ve always viewed the conference as the “Auto Show of Education.” That can be interpreted good…and bad. I enjoy being introduced to new products and strategies that might make their way positively into the classroom. You have be insightful to know when the product sucks, and when there’s real merit behind it.
As for meaningful conversations, I’m pretty objective, and seek out the meaningful conversations with people whose classroom strategies might make a difference in my education practice. The best part of every session (even Gary S. Stager, Ph.D. sessions) are moments after when you get beyond the pitch and can corner an educator to dig deeper into the things that work for students.
I won’t disagree that the level of “I’m being sold to,” can be a bit heavy handed at times, and as soon as I get into a session like that, I tend to move on.
But I actually think that commerce can have a good relationship with education, if it’s done right, is transparent, and first and foremost, helps kids learn.