Bring Your Own Device, aka, “make sure it’s an iPad:” This is my #1 takeaway from the event. Despite budget challenges, districts are doing whatever is needed to make iPads available in the classroom, especially in the K-5 range. Educators cite the breakthroughs in student engagement, special needs learning, and classroom management as the top three reasons for the need of iPads in schools.
Creativity: Almost every single keynote at ISTE focused on the critical importance of creativity in education. Sir Ken Robinson, Dr. Yong Zhao and others spent a large amount of time focusing on how we all have to rethink the importance of creativity in the curriculum, the classroom, and teacher practice. In a nutshell: Creativity is mandatory, not optional.
Flipped Classroom: Educators across the US and Canada are quickly moving toward flipped classroom, a reversed teaching model where students go over the lectures at home, through interactive, teacher-created content (such as Khan Academy) and work on “homework” in the classroom. Class time is focused on allowing the educator to coach students, answer any questions and work though problems together. We’re hearing that this is dramatically more effective and engaging, putting new challenges on how schools think about digitizing lesson plans and teacher-generated content.
Digital Content Creation for and with iPads: There’s a strong desire to go beyond content consumption on the iPad to digital content creation with these devices. There was a good deal of interest in apps like Photoshop Touch for IOS, as well as a range of tools/apps that let student create really stunning content on the iPad.
Assessment Beyond Test Scores: Traditional forms of assessment include a method for assigning scores to determine letter grades but rarely reveal information about how students actually understand or apply their knowledge. Many conversations at ISTE centered around ways to measure student success and teacher effectiveness. The key question here is: How do we measure creativity or critical thinking? And as Sir Ken Robinson said in his Sunday night keynote, “We have a suffocating culture of Standardization.” Now is the time for change.
There are a lot of great things happening in today’s education space. For the latest education conversations and musing, please follow our Twitter handle @AdobeEDU.