A Canadian Educator’s Perspective of ISTE 2016 by Award winning TDSB educator and MindShare advisory board member Sandra Chow

This year, the annual ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference and expo was held in Denver, Colorado to 19500+ attendees and exhibitors. Attendees came from 73 different countries around the world, and Canada was definitely well represented in this year’s conference. Not only did we have many Canadians attending the conference as participants, but many influential Canadian educators were also presenters, including our very own Michelle Cordy from Thames Valley District School Board who delivered a powerful closing keynote inspiring educators to “Refuse to Leave, Refuse to Give Up” for the sake of the students in our classrooms.

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Among the hottest topics this year, according to the number of sessions at the conference were: Innovative Learning Environments, Communication and Collaboration, Online tools & Resources, Creativity and Productivity Tools and Project Based Learning. As Canadians, we should be proud of our progress in many of these areas with educators like Dr. Karen Addie, Michelle Armstrong, Dr. Alec Couros, George Couros, Andrew Dobbie, Sylvia Duckworth, Lise Galuga, Karen Lirenman, Melinda Lula, Kim Meldrum, and Margaret Westaway, sharing their knowledge at ISTE. I was thankful that I had the opportunity to share about all the great things happening in our schools at Toronto District School Board too!

This year was my second time at ISTE, and I have come to realize that the draw of attending ISTE is so much more than the high calibre and variety of sessions that those at #ISTE2016 and #notatiste16 can experience (See digital tote archive of sessions HERE courtesy of Mark Blair). The true treasure of being a participant at ISTE are the connections that you make with other educators around the world, along with the energy and inspiration that you gain from face to face conversations, at a time of year when many educators are usually “winding down”. My heart is smiling knowing that there are over 19500 educators beginning their summer brimming with ideas for the coming school year, and eager to make an impact in their schools for the betterment of our students.

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ISTE 2017 will be in San Antonio June 25-28. Oh Canada, I look forward to seeing how much more we can impact in education in the coming year!