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It's an ISTE Thing: Create the Best Learning Experiences for Students

By Martha Bongiorno
June 12, 2023
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"It's an ISTE thing." We may all come from different places, but our shared mission is clear: Create the best possible learning experiences for our students.

At ISTELive, we come together as a diverse community with a common goal, knowing that we are stronger when we collaborate and learn from one another. Let's maximize our conference experience to ensure that we walk away with new connections, fresh ideas and a renewed spark for next school year!

Here are my top 10 ways to make the most out of ISTELive 23 in Philly:

1. Connect across borders

ISTELive brings together educators from all around the world! Take this opportunity to connect with professionals from different backgrounds, regions, grade levels and cultures. Engage in conversations that challenge your perspectives and broaden your horizons. It's an "ISTE thing" to embrace diversity and learn from each other.

2. Learn from the best

ISTELive offers over 900 sessions presented by educators just like you, industry experts and the best in the edtech field. Find sessions that align to your priorities and goals. Discover new approaches, techniques and tools that can enhance your teaching practice. It's an "ISTE thing" to seek out growth opportunities.

3. Collaborate for impact

Look for opportunities to collaborate with fellow educators during ISTELive. Join collaborative sessions, participate in social activities like the Opening Reception or edtech karaoke and engage in discussions that focus on solving common educational challenges. It's an "ISTE thing" to leverage the power of collaboration.

4. Embrace the power of play

ISTELive's playful environment encourages exploration and creativity. Try out hands-on activities, visit the playgrounds, participate in esports and immerse yourself in interactive experiences. Explore the ISTEVerse or the new Discovery Museum. Embrace the joy of learning and take risks by trying something new. It's an "ISTE thing" to playfully innovate.


5. Share your story

Every one of us has a unique story to tell. Take the opportunities to share your experiences, successes and challenges. Take a moment to ask your questions or seek clarification. It’s an "ISTE thing" to inspire others with your journey.

6. Amplify your voice

Leverage social media to share your key takeaways, favorite moments and thought-provoking reflections using #ISTELive. Connect with the wider education community and continue the conversation beyond ISTELive. Create a QR code for your socials and add it as your phone background.  It's an "ISTE thing" to reflect and build your PLN.

7. Embrace the unexpected

Sometimes, the most valuable experiences happen unexpectedly. Be open to serendipitous encounters, chance conversations and impromptu sessions. Embrace the unknown, and you might discover hidden gems that reshape your perspective. If you ever have to choose between a session or a spontaneous conversation, choose the conversation. It's an "ISTE thing" to embrace the magic of the unexpected.

8. Cultivate lifelong learning

ISTELive is just the beginning of your professional development journey! Decide how you’re going to curate the resources, strategies and tools shared during the conference. Consider using a shared Google Doc or OneNote Notebook to bring back ideas to your school or district. Commit to continued learning and growth even after the event concludes. It's an "ISTE thing" to be a lifelong learner.

9. Prioritize self-care

ISTELive is a whirlwind of inspiration and ideas, but amid the excitement, don't forget to take care of yourself. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Pack energizing snacks to keep you fueled and focused. Wear sensible shoes that will support you during long days of exploration. And most importantly, listen to your body and take mental breaks whenever you need them. Remember, it's an "ISTE thing" to make self-care a priority.

10. Leave inspired

As ISTELive 23 comes to a close, allow the experiences and connections from the conference to inspire you to take action, implement new ideas and drive positive change in your classrooms and communities. It's an "ISTE thing" to leave with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

Embrace the opportunities, forge new connections and walk away from ISTELive empowered to make a lasting impact in the world of education. Together, we have the power to shape the future of learning, inspire generations and create a brighter tomorrow. Let ISTELive be the catalyst that propels you toward endless possibilities and a fulfilling journey in education.

Get ready to shine and make a difference like never before! “It’s an ISTE thing!”

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Martha Bongiorno is a student voice activist. She serves as a school librarian in Metro Atlanta. She supports students and educators by pushing boundaries of traditional education to empower learners as thinkers and creators to make positive change in their communities. With her unique perspective from the heart of the school, she explores how the tapestry of learning is interwoven with literacy, technology, creativity and student agency. Martha participates in the larger educational community as an ISTE Ambassador and Certified Educator, Adobe Creative Leader, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Master Trainer, a Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador since 2016, and Wakelet Ambassador.