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ISTE and ASCD Will Be Greater Together

By Nikole Blanchard 
December 21, 2022

As I reflect on the ISTE and ASCD merger announced in November, I’m reminded of an old Reeses’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial from the 1980s that my brother and I used to sing along with. I’m probably dating myself, but in the commercial chocolate collided with peanut butter, and the result was something amazing. “Two great tastes that taste great together!” was the magical result. 

Fast forward to 2000 when I was part of a college cohort piloting the use of laptops for student teaching. This is when a lightbulb went off and I understood the need for technology in education. A few years later, in 2004, I attended the NECC conference (a precursor to ISTELive) in New Orleans – I was completely mesmerized. As a new teacher, I left with so much joy and encouragement for using technology in the classroom. From that point forward, I stayed involved and connected with the people and programs I learned about at the conference. 

Since my early teaching days, ASCD was my go-to for all things curriculum. During my first year of teaching, I heard about ASCD from an experienced colleague. I quickly learned that not only were the methods and ideas shared practical, but they were all evidence-based. I recall the Whole Child Initiative that ASCD launched in 2007. The administration at my school led the process of analysis, reflection and growth of our community, and I remember feeling empowered to support students’ academic and personal growth. This is a feeling I’ve continued to experience as an ASCD member. 

Now, in 2023, ISTE and ASCD are coming together, just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! Two great organizations that will do great work together. I’m excited about the potential of this dynamic combination. 

The pandemic taught us that technology is a must in education – no longer an optional add-on. For 75 years, ASCD has worked with educators to support learning in the classroom. With ASCD focused on effective instruction and ISTE on technology innovation, the opportunities are endless. No longer will curriculum be in a silo separated from the technology that can transform learning. 

As we think about today's kindergarten students, we know that when they graduate in 2037, the world will look significantly different than it does today. How do we continue to prepare students and ensure their education is relevant? And where will educators longing for guidance to navigate this new challenge turn? The combination of ISTE and ASCD is one step in that direction. 

Nikole Blanchard is ISTE board president.