Shifting Roles @ ISTE – From Learner to Facilitator

I used to go to NECC/ISTE eager to learn and grow. I remember being fascinated by the potential of virtual learning environments (1993), the revolution that would be unleashed by the Internet (1994), the advent and power of connection (2007), and the explosive growth of small mobile devices (2010). While some of these have had greater impact on teaching and learning, each represented a shift.

This year, the shift seems to be towards the Maker Movement. I am guessing everywhere you look and see, every conversation that you eavesdrop on, someone will be either sharing their experiences or looking for answers, guidance, and resources so that they too can jump on this bandwagon, to stake a claim.

In the past, when I attended NECC/ISTE, I used to be one of those who were looking for the next big idea and gathering resources. I would engage others in conversations so that I can learn, grow, and implement the ideas with the teachers, administrators, and students.

This year, instead of learning, I will be leading. A look at my schedule is completely different than what it used to be. This year I will be:

  • Sharing at the Independent School Educators Network table in the Community Network Fair Saturday afternoon.
  • Co-hosting the Independent School Educators Network social gathering Saturday evening
  • Presenting my Poster Session on Creating a Maker Mindset that will share my personal journey into Making, Maker Ed, and the Maker Movement on Monday afternoon
  • Co-hosting the Independent School Educators Network Birds of a Feather/Annual Meeting on Monday afternoon.
  • Acting as the Master of Ceremonies for the screening of Emily Pollitin’s new film, If You Build It on Monday early evening. This includes moderating a question and answer session after the film.
  • Organizing the Maker and Agile Learning Spaces Playground which will run from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

As can be determined, this is an extremely full schedule. You can also note that instead of searching and learning about the next big idea, I have been immersed and will be leading several opportunities for folks to share my experience and lessons learned. I am excited to share while at the conference.

Here we come, Atlanta.

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