The world has changed dramatically since the ISTE conference last welcomed attendees in-person, in Philadelphia in 2019. During the three-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic, schools improved tech use during the switch to remote learning; educators everywhere developed their tech muscles; and parents and teachers forged a whole new relationship.
And the ISTE conference has changed, too.
We’ve changed the conference name to ISTELive. We’ve added virtual and hybrid options. And we’ve created a game to engage attendees both virtually and at the live event. Read on to learn what’s new when we reunite for ISTELive 22 in New Orleans, June 26-29.
Choose live, hybrid or virtual!
In 2020 the ISTE conference was postponed and went virtual after it became clear that the pandemic had rendered an in-person event unsafe. The team at ISTE developed a virtual platform that incorporated easy ways for attendees to connect with each other — a hallmark of the live event — as well as ways to choose between watching live or accessing recordings within a day of the livesteamed sessions.
That ushered in a new era. Now attendees can choose to attend in-person, hybrid or virtually.
Those who choose to attend the conference in NOLA will have access to sessions on site, as well as 100+ sessions livestreated from virtual presenters around the globe. And they’ll get access to 800+ recordings from both the live and virtual events.
Those who attend in New Orleans will have the option of going to sessions in-person or watching livestreams from a lobby, a hotel room or anyplace with an internet connection.
Those who can’t make it to NOLA, can choose from two virtual options.
ISTE Year-Round PD Package offers access to all the ITELive 22 virtual-only sessions, plus more than 100 livestreamed sessions. They’ll also get the 800+ recorded sessions.
In addition, this package includes a pass to Creative Constructor Lab Virtual (plus recordings); a pass to ISTEU Summer Learning Academy; ISTE basic membership; and an ISTE ebook.
The ISTELive 22 Lite Virtual Pass grants access to 100+ virtual-only sessions, 100+ livestreamed sessions from NOLA and access to 200+ archived sessions from the virtual and live events.
When you go to the program page, you can filter sessions by those presented in-person or those presented virtually. You can also filter by the package you registered for to bring up all the sessions you are eligible to attend.
Poster sessions will have a virtual presence
Poster sessions offer great opportunities to talk directly with educators and students about projects, lessons or initiatives — from robotics competitions to setting up global collaborations or creating school makerspaces.
In the past, attendees had to be physically present. Now each poster can be found on the virtual platform, where presenters will upload a video, artifacts and resources. Some presenters will be in New Orleans available to answer questions at a specific time while others will present via livestream. All of them will be archived on a page where resources and contact info can be accessed for six months.
Play the ISTE Game in person or virtually
Those who attended ISTE20 Live and ISTELive 21 will remember the hugely popular ISTE Game. Every attendee joined one of eight teams, each with an adorable mascot (unicorn, octopus, dragon, honey bee, owl, etc.)
Teams and individuals earned points by completing challenges, like creating a sketchnote of a favorite session or posting a reflection on social media. They could also earn points by finding Easter Eggs “hidden” around the platform. There were prizes, a leaderboard and a whole lot of competitive spirit and excitement.
That game will continue to be part of the virtual platform and, for the first time, it will be offered IRL!
Attendees in NOLA can hunt for eggs too! They’ll be hidden around the convention center, with new ones being added daily. Find eggs and complete challenges for a chance to win prizes and gain adoration from your peers.
New immersive VR experiences
Virtual reality has been around for years but it's only now taking off in classrooms, as the technology continues to rapidly improve.
See for yourself at the immersive VR playground on Wednesday, June 29. Set up in stations, the playground will have a place for beginners to learn how to use headsets before moving on to try out storytelling apps.
“It’s all about stepping into others’ shoes,” said Camilla Gagliolo, senior director of events content. “The idea is to come in and experience VR and see how it might impact teaching and learning.”
In the past, VR headsets brought you to a place where you could be in a different place. The latest applications allow users to experience their environment, Gagliolo said.
For example, one application takes users to the International Space Station where they can grab tools floating in space and manipulate them.
“You are using your entire body to engage with the content,” Gagliolo explained. “You can sit in a canoe and work your way through the rainforest and meet with others who come through. There are sports applications where you can learn how to swing a bat.”
Explore emerging tech
For over 40 years, ISTE has highlighted emerging tools and how they can be used to improve teaching and learning. This year ISTELive will spotlight emerging technology trends, like the impact of Web3 on eduction; how Tiktok is increasingly becoming a viable tool for education; and micro-PD, which involves learning in short bite-sized chunks instead of long traditional group PD session.
Some of this forward-focused programming will be presented on the Mainstage and other sessions will be presented as Ignites.
Get local flavor at the LACUE Stage
Discover more about the region from several area museum representatives, learn about STEM projects in New Orleans and hear from two principals about their schools recovered from the impact of last year’s hurricane. This special stage is where you’ll connect with the local education community.
Watch esports live
From informal after-school clubs to highly organized and competitive high school leagues, esports continue to spread rapidly in schools around the world.
Esports attract many kids who otherwise wouldn’t be involved in school activities while at the same time promoting interest in STEM subjects.
Esports programming debuted during ISTE20 Live. And now it’s coming to New Orleans where attendees can hear from students and educators and then watch gameplay on the mainstage.
The gameplay will continue in an open area where attendees can meet students, coaches, administrators to ask questions and find out how to set up a program.
Check out these sessions:
- ESportU Presents: Culturally Relevant Computing Technologies for Living Learning Communities
- The Esports Playbook: Empowering Every Learner Through Inclusive Gaming
- School Community Engagement — An Esports primer
- Thunderstruck: Building belonging and success through Esports
- ESportsU Presents: Connecting Esports Lifestyles to Career Development
- Shape a Culture of Inclusion Through Esports in Education
Diana Fingal is ISTE's director of editorial content.