ISTE and the Excitement it Generates
I have never been to the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) convention. I always think about it, but work and summer projects for the district always seem to take precedence. I do enjoy the tweets and blogs from the convention. Mostly people go to get inspired or look for that “silver bullet.” I have noticed a theme creeping in this year. “Why are things staying the same?” Interesting. From sessions about diversity in EdTech to using technology to influence community/scholastic mindsets, I believe everyone has hit that inevitable burnout.
Remember when everyone needed a website? Everyone needed to blog, tweet, pin, etc. Well, on the whole, we all do it now. So what’s next? Well, it’s called being creative. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. You need a product, not a service. Services are great, but products move. I think this is why the MakerSpace movement it such a boom. Products. It might just be a 3D printed phone case, but it is a tangible representation of the student’s idea and the promise of ideas to come.
Interestingly though, as usual, these things only affect a small percentage of students. Talent is a word that people love and hate. The talent to do various activities is a definitely limited club. We love to think that coding, 3D print design, digital graphics, digital music, etc. is something everyone can engage in. They definitely can engage in it, but only a few will excel and succeed. There is a silver lining though. There IS something for everyone. I think we need to drill down inside each area and find other sections for each and every student to be productive in. There are so many connected avenues to each and every career on this planet that are never expounded upon for the sake of presenting alternative paths for the student.
I think once we start to open the door to the multitude of jobs/careers that exist and their ability to be enhanced by the modern technology that students love, then things won’t stay the same. Most likely, the creation of these new tracks may insight a rebellion against the “I hate school” movement. The excitement generated by multitudes of students engaging learning and technology to further enhance their future may be just the prescription education in America needs right now.