11 Ways to Find Your Tribe at ISTE 2016

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) prides itself on being the premier community for teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, library media specialists, teacher educators, and education policy makers worldwide to share resources and ideas. The 2016 ISTE Conference and Expo, June 26–29 in Denver, Colorado, is a great opportunity to connect with your tribe—other professionals who care deeply about providing students with the highest quality education technology and closing the education gap in math and other subjects. We’ve put together 11 tips for making the most of this opportunity to be part of a global community of EdTech enthusiasts. As one attendee at ISTE 2015 put it, “How often do 17,000 educators passionate about educational technology get to come together from around the world to talk about what they love!”

How often do 17,000 educators passionate about educational technology get to come together from around the world to talk about what they love!

—ISTE 2015 conference attendee

Six Ways to Build Your Network Before You Go to ISTE 2016

Some of the resources you can use to build your online community before going to the ISTE 2016 conference include:

1. Join the ISTE Commons. This open network, available to both ISTE members and nonmembers connects the EdTech community through online discussions and forums. Join and share resources with colleagues from around the world—some of whom you’ll meet in-person in Denver!

2. Connect with the ISTE Community. Catch up on the latest announcements and events, and find out what ISTE members are chatting about on their blogs and Twitter—all in one place!

3. Become an advocate. Check out the ISTE Advocacy Network for the latest information about digital-age learning policy and tools to help promote change in your community. Join the ISTE active network for access to state and federal EdTech policies, practical resources to support advocacy efforts, and opportunities to connect with other ISTE advocates.

4. Get socially active! Check out ISTE on Facebook to keep up with the latest conference news. Follow @ISTEConnects on Twitter and join the conversations using the #ISTE2016 hashtag.

5. Read the ISTE Blog. Find out how educators around the world are using EdTech to facilitate global learning, close the STEM learning gap, create responsible citizens in the digital age, and much more! Get a jump-start on figuring out what you’re interested in learning about at the conference, and who shares your interests.

6. Check out #WhyEdTech. Share your story, through video and words, about using technology in your classroom, and read other inspiring stories from educators around the world!

Five Ways to Find Your Tribe at ISTE 2016

1. Hands-on playgrounds. See, touch, and hear the EdTech learning solutions that other educators are using in their classrooms! The fun starts on Sunday afternoon in the Computational Thinking & Computer Science and Maker playgrounds. Other playgrounds throughout the week focus on Creativity, Digital Storytelling, Early Learning, EdTech Coaches, and Games & Virtual Environments.

2. Gather ’round the ISTE campfire. Join the organized but informal after-hours conversation groups to share ideas and make connections in an open, participant-driven environment.

3. Download the ISTE mobile app. Build your conference schedule, play the mobile networking game, and discover all that ISTE 2016 has to offer with this handy mobile app (available at iTunes and Google Play).

4. Volunteer with other attendees. Join the Volunteer Champion program and help attendees to navigate their way through the convention center. Ten hours of work buys you a refund on the ISTE 2016 registration fee.

5. Chillax and make new friends! Chillax and make new friends! There are plenty of “oasis spaces” throughout the convention center where you can take a break from the stimulation of ISTE 2016. If you like, strike up a one-on-one conversation with another attendee to compare notes about the morning’s workshops.

Heading to ISTE? Be sure to check out DreamBox Learning’s Vice President of Learning, Tim Hudson, and Highlander Institute’s Laura Jackson featured on the panel discussion, Formative Assessment: the ripple effect of useful feedback.