Day 1 of ISTE 2012

Finally arrived at sunny San Diego! The convention center is in Downtown San Diego, close to Gaslamp Quarter and PETCO Park. I wish ISTE conferences were always held here!

For the first day, ISTE 2012 welcomed their attendees with their Conference Kick Off and Member Celebration, and opening keynote. 

Before I attended the two presentations, I registered myself and received a bag that included a L&L Magazine, Sunday’s issue of ISTE Daily Leader, and resources from tiered conference sponsors and media partners (and a pen!). 

The opening keynote consisted of mostly discussion among a panel of people in the educational technology field. The discussion was moderated by Sir Kim Robinson, the author of the best-selling book, The Element. The panel consisted of Peggy Johnson, Marc Prensky, and Mayim Bialik.

I didn’t really enjoy the opening keynote because the moderator and the panel constantly  plugged their newly published books or their companies they work for. For example, Peggy Johnson kept bringing up her company, Qualcomm, bragging how the company played a great role in advancing mobile device technology. Marc Prensky and Sir Ken Robinson plugged their new books that just came out. But the worst would be Mayim Bialik, the actress from Blossom and CBS’s sitcom Big Bang Theory, who also has a PhD in neuroscience! She mentioned Texas Instruments, the company that paid her to come to the conference, several times throughout the keynote. 

However, I still did learn a few things from the keynote. Here is what I found out: 

  • Peggy Johnson stated that students have many opportunities to access mobile devices daily, but is surprised how schools do not provide the same opportunity to access mobile devices for learning. She also stated the number of mobile devices on earth will be greater than the world population this year. 
  • Mark Prensky believes teachers need to expand their students’ horizon helping them find and follow their passion.  Passion will ultimately lead to achievement. To expand their students’ horizon, teachers need to listen and respect their students. 
  • Mayim Bialik explained how one teacher in her past led her to the path of neuroscience, which she did not imagine herself doing because she was a young female. She stressed the importance of teachers who strive to improve female student engagement in STEM.

I am happy to find out that Microsoft is at the conference, showcasing their cloud-based products as well as a sneak preview of Windows 8! Their Microsoft Experience Center will present their educational programs, software, and tools that can enhance any learning environment.

Lego Education is also here and will be providing hands-on MINDSTORMS Robotics workshops that instructs teachers to enhance their elementary classroom through robotics. 

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