The Chalk Blog

The ISTE Hot List

5 Ideas for BOLD Change in the Tech-Infused Classroom
happy woman on computer

The yearly celebration of all things edtech, known as the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) conference was a success!  With nearly 20,000 attendees and 10,000 exhibitors taking part in the annual pilgrimage, there was more than enough to keep this girl busy for 4 full, exhausting days. Although, not too busy for a famous Philly cheesesteak (or two)!  While I wasn’t able to bring cheesesteaks back for everyone, I did bring some piping hot takeaways and fresh resources straight from the ISTE griddle just for you!  

Take a look at our ISTE 2019 Hot List, which provides a taste of what the ed tech experts had to say about the future of technology integration.

1. Student-Led, Authentic Learning 

The role of teacher is evolving from “keeper of the content” to “facilitator of learning.” Educators are no longer the focal point in the classroom, but rather act as guides supporting students through the acquisition of knowledge, helping them discover their passions and applying what they’ve learned in authentic situations. You’ll find a treasure trove of resources on the Opening Paths website, including examples, steps for developing your own experiences, and templates to help you along the way. 

2. Teaching Beyond the Walls of the Classroom 

One of the biggest takeaways from the sessions and exhibitors at ISTE is that the future of learning must extend beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom. There is no reason why students can’t collaborate with a classroom in Honduras to learn more about culture or work with experts in Hawaii to understand volcanic activity. Technology makes connections within a school and all around the world so easy! Here are a few of our favorite discoveries in the global connection space: 

  • Empatico-- Connect with a partner class through the free Empatico platform. This site provides classrooms to partner with and even supplies great lessons to collaborate on.   
  • Global Read Aloud (GRA)-- Join over a million students participating in the annual Global Read Aloud program. All teachers have to do is read the selected book and let GRA connect you with others around the world. 
  • Global Oneness Project-- This site houses a rich library of multimedia stories, including award-winning films, photo essays, and articles. Accompanying curriculum and discussion guides are also available. All for free!

3. Computer Science is for Everyone! 

students problem solving

A new discipline is cropping up in districts all across the country and it’s not just for high schoolers. With the recent Computer Science for All initiative, educational leaders are working to empower all students, from kindergarten on up, to learn the computational thinking skills needed to be future-ready citizens.  

  • National K-12 Standards & Frameworks-- View the list of guiding standards and frameworks to assist in the development of CS programming.  
  • Computer Science for All in San Francisco-- This site offers a comprehensive list of resources organized by grade level and topic that teachers can use to get started with CS instruction. 
  • CS Unplugged-- Here you’ll find engaging “tech-free” challenges and puzzles that teach the computational thinking process-- identify a problem, break it into steps, design a solution (algorithm) and evaluate its effectiveness.  

4. Personalized Professional Learning  

personalized mentor

Teachers have spoken and administrators are listening!  The tired “sit and get” workshop model for educator professional development is being replaced with relevant, teacher-led learning. As districts are encouraging more voice and choice for students, teachers are demanding the same.   

5. Be Bold! Bold educators activate change. 

The theme of this year’s ISTE conference challenges teachers to take on the innovator’s mindset and try something new! One attendee summed up the challenge nicely with the words, “Nobody’s going to teach them if we don’t teach them. And we can’t teach them if we don’t know.” So grab these words of inspiration and the ISTE Hot List full of resources we’ve provided to begin your BOLD journey toward activating real change for your students! 


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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, 21st Century Learning

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