ISTE 2015

At the beginning…

At the first ISTE attended (four years ago), I filled in my day from start to end with sessions to attend. I closely perused the app and the paper copy of the program, asterisked those I wanted to attend, read the twitter feed and blog recommendations, joined queues at the conference centre, sometimes missed out due to the queue and then found an alternative session to attend. It was a very passive attendance where I soaked up knowledge, advice and resources like a sponge.

Conference days were filled, active and busy. Sometimes I would bump into online colleagues and spend time with them. On the last day I was walking  from one building to another when a pirate approached me to see what videoconferencing was about and the programs that could be offered over video conferencing. That introduced me to a whole new dimension – playgrounds, where I could actively play, interact with experts and mentors and get customized learning.

iste 2015

Fast forward to 2015

2015 ISTE was just as busy but in some ways less planned, where I ensured that I attended some sessions of favourite presenters and attended as many playgrounds and poster sessions as possible. It was a  time to ‘give back’ or ‘pay forward’ to others through my involvement with the Global Education Conference, ISTE Global PLN and Skype in the Classroom.

The Bloggers Cafe

The Bloggers Cafe

ISTE global pln poster session

ISTE global pln poster session

The Highlights

Julie Lindsay and Pernille Ripp who won the Global PLN award

Julie Lindsay and Pernille Ripp who won the Global PLN award

Networking: Being on the leadership of the global ISTE PLN, newly formed in 2014, meant a portion of the time was spent in meetings, poster sessions and a birds of a feather session. The network adds a powerful dimension to an educator and such opportunities provide time to broaden the network further on a global basis.  So much can be learnt by sharing with others, engaging in conversations, ensuring ongoing contact  and learning continue to take place once home and back in the classroom. It was great to catch up with Flat Connections, Global Classroom, Master Skype Educators and many other online colleagues.

Skype in the Classroom poster session

Skype in the Classroom poster session

The playgrounds and poster sessions: These included the mobile learning playground, the interactive videoconferencing and the early years playground. It was fun to be actively part of the iste global pln and Skype: Collaborating and Connecting Beyond Classroom Walls poster sessions. There was a lot to be learnt from the interactions with interested persons who stopped to chat and ask questions. It is always great to see what individuals and groups are doing with their classsrooms in the poster sessions.

Interactive videoconferencing playground

Interactive videoconferencing playground

Playing Mystery Skype

Playing Mystery Skype


The social opportunities provided outside of formal hours  – catching up with, and meeting flat connections and global classroom  colleagues for a meal or coffee or in the bloggers cafe to share further conversations.

The Global Education Summit on the Sunday

This is always a highlight listening to the ignite type sessions, participating in the round table discussions and furthering the learning and professional network. A great online document of crowdsourced materials can be found at Global Education  Day documents

Global Collaboration Birds of a Feather session

Julie Lindsay organised a successful BOF session and encouraged us to meet each other by writing 3 words that reflect on who we are on a screen or paper, then walking around the room viewing the other participants outcomes. Meet some of the participants by perusing the crowd sourced padlet.

Student involvement

Increasing evidence of student attendance and participation. Students could be found in the playgrounds and poster sessions and they shared their learning with passion. There were so many ideas to be gained eg in the robotics and coding playground, students helped me make a bracelet that featured the computer coding for the initials of my name. The robotics featured and actual examples of student robots in action drew crowds of people to watch.

A coded bracelet

A coded bracelet

Was this a first! In our global PLN Birds of a Feather session, we had a year 11 student who was interested in connecting globally. She had helped in the poster session, been given a conference tag and a program and continued to attend conference sessions that were of high interest to her. Thanks @varietygirl1 for bringing your experiences and ideas!

Personal Involvement – life was busy with global PLN and global education involvment, presentations involving poster sessions and a group presentation on ‘Magic of Mystery Skype‘.

The Buzz Words

  • Maker spaces
  • Passion Projects
  • Connected learning – a lot more talk about global collaboration and connections.
  • Games Based Learning
  • Coding


Some great resources that I have kept to look at later.

What resources have you seen being shared from ISTE2015 that should be taken note of? What were your highlights or if you did not go, what questions do you have.


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