Posted by: ACFE Inc | June 27, 2011

ISTE 2011: Unlocking Potential

I am so excited to be attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2011 Conference on “Unlocking Potential” over the next few days. But, I think even that sentence is misleading–ISTE is more than just a conference on educational technology. It has more than 700 sessions, from formal sessions to hands-on labs, poster presentations, workshops, themed lounges, playgrounds that allow educators to play and explore with innovative technologies for creativity and learning, inspirational keynotes. It’s professional learning and collaborative networking. It’s an exposition. It’s a hands-on opportunity to explore the technology infrastructure required to support a blended learning environment. It’s also exciting because so many schools are moving more toward figuring out how to incorporate technology into their classrooms every day, not to mention the use that technology has in terms of assistive devices. Many people may associate “assistive device” with a voice output device, but IDEA actually defines it much more broadly. The definitions section says that “the term ‘assistive technology device’ means any item, equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” (IDEA: 20 U.S.C. Part A, Section 602.) The Department of Education has already brought up the importance of technology in making education more accessible to children with disabilities. In fact, the Dept of Ed’s Office of Educational Technology will have a booth at the conference as well as make several presentations.

It’s a little overwhelming. But for me, there are a couple stops I have to make. I am really excited about all of the special focus playgrounds, but I definitely want to check out the Children’s Engineering Playground, hosted by ISTE’s SIGTE, which demonstrates a hands-on digital fabrication process that allows students to invent and fabricate 3D products. There’s the Games & Simulations Arcade, hosted by ISTE’s SIGGS, which not only features games for math, science, social studies, and more, but also tools to make your own games. And of course there’s the Programming & Robotics Playground, which showcases students themselves using technology to create games and demonstrate robotics.

But I am most excited to catch up with my friends at myi, who I first met through MomCongress. I’ve talked about the service before, but as a refresher it is a way for families and parents to create a sort-of personalized Internet for their home. It’s an app center for your home internet, and works directly through your home internet connection so all computers using your home network will be covered–laptops, desktops, Wiis, iPads, phones with wifi, etc. and I am so excited for it to launch in mid-July. Through the apps, you can create guides on how to best use the internet for school as well as play; you can share these guides, too. I would love to see all schools, public and private, consider this tool.

More to come after I check in at the conference!

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Responses

  1. […] Advocacy & Consulting for Education was excited about assistive technology. It’s also exciting because so many schools are moving more toward figuring out how to incorporate technology into their classrooms every day, not to mention the use that technology has in terms of assistive devices. Many people may associate “assistive device” with a voice output device, but IDEA actually defines it much more broadly. The definitions section says that “the term ‘assistive technology device’ means any item, equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” […]

  2. […] ISTE 2011: Unlocking Potential (acfeinc.wordpress.com) […]


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