What I Learnt From ISTE – A Brief Overview

Whilst I intend to post in a lot more detail about what I learnt at ISTE2013 in San Antonio, I am going to start with a brief overview that I am also sharing with my staff about the main “takeaways” I had from this experience.

So where to now…


Lots and lots of resources to check out!



  • First and foremost the must see video from the conference is the final speaker, Adam Bellow and his keynote entitled You’re Invited to Change the World. It was a very moving and inspirational keynote and I feel very privileged to have been in the room to witness it and to meet Adam throughout the conference. If you weren’t there though it is well worth the watch.
  • The Ignite Sessions that happened before the opening keynote were fantastic – 10 speakers with only 5 minutes each to present their ideas. It was fast paced and full of great ideas!
  • ISTE also have a great YouTube playlist that showcases a wide range of presentations on topics from iPads, Digital Image, BYOD, Storytelling and much more. I know I will be going back here to view some things I wanted to see but just couldn’t get to.


DSCF9714Keynote 1 Jane McGonigal

Her website can be found here

Her Twitter account is here

See some of the games she has worked on here

TED Talks

Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world


DSCF9764Keynote 2 Stephen Johnson

His website can be found here

His Twitter account is here

TED Talks

Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

Steven Johnson: The Web as a city


DSCF9904Keynote 3 Adam Bellow

Adam’s Keynote from the Google Glass POV

Adam Bellow’s Educational Tech Commandments

His eduTecher website can be found here

His Twitter account is here




My earliest email newsletters from Kathy date back to the early 2000’s and she was one of the first education technology gurus that I followed. That is why it was such a thrill to meet her at ISTE and to see that, all these years on, she is still sharing fantastic resources to a wide audience.

Kathy Schrock’s iPads4Teaching resources

Kathy’s Website http://www.schrockguide.net/

Another website with resources for iPads

The One iPad Classroom by Jennifer Bond


Other People’s ISTE Resources

While I haven’t necessarily had the time to go through all these resources myself – here is a whole host of resources tweeted out by other educators during the conference that cover a wide range of topics. A miscellaneous treasure trove of resources just waiting to be explored!








I Don’t Want To Be A SeaWorld Educator


On my day off in San Antonio, while I was attending ISTE,  I was really looking forward to visiting SeaWorld. I had seen my husband’s photos from his visit the previous year to San Francisco and I couldn’t wait to experience the amazing orcas. Through the power of the internet, I had spent time researching how I was going to get to SeaWorld and what I was going to do to make the best of my time there and I was very excited to be going there.

After a long bus ride, which was made rather pleasant by the great free WiFi on the bus, I was finally at SeaWorld.

I excitedly made my way to the huge Shamu Stadium with many, many other people and followed my husband’s advice of not sitting anywhere in the splash zone if I wanted the camera to keep on working for the rest of my trip!

The show began and it was truly amazing to watch these beautiful creatures move so gracefully through the air and water. I loved watching them swim close to the glass so I could observe so clearly how they were moving.

But this was where my admiration of SeaWorld ended. What was really disappointing for me, and for the whole premise of SeaWorld was that this show was purely about watching these amazing animals perform tricks. There were absolutely no learning opportunities available, no explanation of why the animals might exhibit these behaviours in the wild or how they had trained them to “perform” these tricks.

The saddest testament to this is that when I returned to my school and was sharing my overseas experiences with my students, I wasn’t actually able to answer any of their questions about these creatures. I had experienced their show (twice in the one day in fact!) and didn’t actually know anything about them outside of the knowledge I brought with me.

I worry that educational technologies and education in general could go down this path though. That we are so in awe of the amazing things we can do, that we forget to go deeper and actually develop a greater understanding of what we are actually learning about and acquire the skills that allow us to continue to develop our learning. I would hate to see my students only learning amazing tricks that allow them to put on a show – I would much rather see the deeper, richer learning that only comes once the gloss is stripped away and the messier undertaking of real learning takes place.

I definitely don’t want to be a SeaWorld educator!