ISTE 2016: Why I Swiped Right

By: Rayna Freedman

Being a single woman I am often discussing with friends about swiping right or swiping left on dating apps. Choosing to swipe right or left could be a hard decision or a quick impulse. For those of you who are wondering what swiping is, if you swipe right it means you are interested in the profile whereas swiping left means you want to move ahead without a second glance. As I walked the halls of the Denver Convention Center during #ISTE2016 I began to wonder what would it be like if my various experiences at ISTE were profiles. When would I swipe right? What would cause me to swipe left?  I decided to create some profiles for my experience at ISTE followed by my swipe decision.

Human Experience: ISTE is not just a conference. It is a time to build relationships, network, laugh, connect, and collaborate. SWIPE RIGHT

Vendor Mania: ISTE’s vendor area is full of people ready to talk to you about their products. Receiving a Hyperduino or BrainPOP goodies, watch Kahoot in action, or take your photo with a GoNoodle character makes the visit worth the trip. SWIPE RIGHT

Spotty Wi-Fi: Be prepared, as the Wi-Fi might not work especially when you need it the most. You might need a backup plan. SWIPE LEFT

Sessions Misunderstood: Some sessions were not described clearly and did not stick to their outlines. Sessions are not differentiated to meet the needs of the participants at times, which can cause people to think with their feet. SWIPE LEFT

Line Up: Lines to get into non-ticketed sessions grow 45 minutes before the starting time. Therefore when you run to the session from another, you find a closed sign and a lot of unhappy educators. If there is a session you really want to attend skip the one before it and get in line. SWIPE LEFT

Inspirational Speakers: Where else can you hear Alice Keeler, George Couros, and Pernille Ripp share their passions with an audience. I want to buy SnagIT to transform my classroom thanks to Alice’s motivation. I realize the importance and necessity to teach and empower students in a digital world through social media due to George’s moving talk. I am inspired to develop my students’ literacy skills in fun and engaging ways after listening to Pernille Ripp’s inspirational presentation. SWIPE RIGHT

Breakfast EDU: Get up early to network with educators at 6AM! Sounds fun! I never imagined a coffee shop being filled wall to wall with people who were excited to just talk and share ideas over coffee. People were passionate about what they were doing and really listened to others. SWIPE RIGHT

STEM playground: The joy of seeing amazing STEM opportunities for students was abundantly clear! I saw Fablevision’s Fab@MakerStudio where students could create cut outs and popups! I discovered things teachers were doing that I could bring back to my classroom and inspired others to try new things during my presentation. SWIPE RIGHT  

I realized I would swipe right far more than left at ISTE 2016. Anything that makes you leave feeling empowered, passionate about the work you do, invigorated for a new school year, and curious about learning is worth swiping right! What profiles could you create for your ISTE 2016 experience? What would you swipe? Tweet me @rlfreedm and let me know!

About the Author: Rayna Freedman is beginning her 17th year at the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, MA. She has taught grades 3-5 and is an ITS. She is working on her doctorate through Northeastern as she hopes to change the field of education some day. Rayna is a member of the MassCUE Board of Directors and has been presenting at the annual conference since 2010. She runs creativity workshops for the Reynold’s Center, is a BrainPOP certified educator, and advocate for teaching digital citizenship in the classroom. She served on the DESE Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards Panel and was the North Attleboro Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year in 2011.

For more articles by Ms. Freedman, she is published in Early Childhood Education Today 12th and 13th edition, Building Teachers: A Constructivist Approach to Introducing Education 2nd edition, and Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education 7th edition.



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