By Anu Jokinen, Math Enthusiast
The world’s largest edtech conference—hosted by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)—brought more than 20,000 educators to San Antonio, Texas last week.
An amazing array of topics included the paper-to-digital shift in today’s classroom, using data to enrich teaching and learning, and closing the gender gap in technology. In addition, homework, desks, bullying, and helping students find their voice were topics of discussion.
We heard from keynote speaker Jad Abumrad, host and creator of public radio’s Radiolab, who brought Radiolab to life as he shared insights on taking risks, embracing and learning from failure, and persevering to achieve even your loftiest goals. He reminded educators that the journey students take during the educational process is as important as the end goal. We also heard from Jennie Magiera, chief information officer at Des Plaines Public Schools and author of Courageous Edventures, who shared the “Untold Story of Limitless Potential” and spoke of teachers as wizards who show their magic every day.
The conference came to a close with an inspiring keynote speech from the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani. Her non-profit organization started with a mission to help close the gender gap in technology by teaching girls how to code through after-school and summer immersion programs. In her presentation, she reminded us that many “innovations will be left on the sidelines” if we do not teach our girls to code. Innovation, however, does require making mistakes. She challenged educators to help change the culture in their schools and communities by encouraging female students to embrace risk and rejection. Just imagine the types of real-world problems that can be solved when we help our girls focus on showing progress rather than perfection.
ISTE was especially meaningful for us this year as we unveiled Renaissance Flow 360®.
Renaissance Flow 360 helps educators bridge the gap from assessment and planning to instruction and practice, reducing the time spent grading assignments, collecting data, searching for instructional resources, and creating lesson plans. Fundamental to the program is the Renaissance Growth Alliance™, a collaboration that brings together in-class instruction with Renaissance’s assessment and learning analytics to facilitate a seamless personalized learning journey for all students. In addition, Renaissance Flow 360 and Renaissance-U® were recognized as ISTE 2017 Best of Show winners!
And who doesn’t love kids singing in a rap video? Get students excited about learning in the digital age with the ISTE Standards for Students Music Video which teaches students seven ways they can be lifelong learners in this century. Students will love this fun and creative rap produced by Flocabulary, so keep it handy for the next school year!
We’re already looking forward to ISTE 2018, June 24–27 in Chicago, Illinois! If you were able to attend ISTE this year, what were your key takeaways? If you weren’t able to make it, what are some of the insights that you have about education and technology? Let us know in the comments below, post on our Facebook, or tweet us at @RenLearnUS!
Want to learn more about Renaissance Flow 360? See how it can help you create and nurture student growth in your classroom.
Anu has always been passionate about helping students reach their potential in math—first as an Algebra I tutor for peers during high school and then later as the Director of Education at Sylvan Learning Center. In addition to her work at Renaissance, she has worked with nonprofit organizations to improve the learning environments of students in need.