Tag Archives: ISTE

Guest Blogger: ISTE 2016, A CMLE Scholarship Report

ISTE photo 2The following post was submitted by CMLE scholarship recipient Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist at St. Cloud Area School District. You can also view the post on her blog

This blog post is my reflection for the CMLE scholarship I received to help cover part of my cost to attend ISTE 2016. I am sending a big THANK YOU to the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange (CMLE) for your support. 

The two questions I will reflect on include:

  • What were your favorite takeaways or new things learned?
  • As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?

BreakOut EDU

Who is ready for something different?! I am, and I am excited about BreakOut EDU. James and Mark created a box with locks that correspond to numerous lessons you can pick for your students to solve and break open the box. It has been really neat to see their journey and BreakOut EDU grow over the past year. If you were one of the lucky attendees who got to participate in the challenge, you got to experience their new BreakOut EDU bus. I was not one of those lucky people but have had the experience at a few Google Summits in classrooms.
The two games I got to experience were Time Warp (where players are lost in time and need to navigate the history of communication in order to return to the present) and Decoding the War (where the war is at its peak and the only way to get an idea of what’s going to happen next is for the team of codebreakers to decipher the encrypted messages from Germany). Check out their site for more games and information.

While participating in the game, I was part of a team of educators who all had the same goal, to solve the puzzles to break open the box. Each time I participated, my role in the game changed based on the other personalities in the room. One time, I was a leader in helping others figure out what to do. The next time I was a worker and was assigned a task to figure out with a small group of people.

I now look forward to leading my first BreakOut EDU in August at a workshop I am leading for Innovative Educator Consulting as a team building activity. The website shares that “Breakout EDU creates ultra-engaging learning games for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve.” Exactly what I am looking for!! I hope the participants are inspired, like I was, to bring this back to their schools.

I challenge you to try it and share your experience on social media with the team: http://twitter.com/breakoutEDU

Computer Science for All is an effort many are participating in…

Sunday afternoon I participated in the Computational Thinking Playground. As people walked towards the auditorium with the keynote, they passed the playground. Many stopped in to see what it was about. I was able to lead a few unplugged activities.

  • Happy Maps (Course 1)
  • Real Life Algorithms – Dice Race (Course 3)

Throughout the week at ISTE, we had a challenge for people to share how they are using Computer Science (CS) in their classrooms. You can see how people responded by checking out #wecancode on Twitter.

Tuesday morning there was a surprise appearance by R2-D2 and Hadi Partovi, founder of code.org, where he explained how important it is to expose all students to CS. Code.org would like educators to know:

  • “Anybody can learn” (whether you’re a student or teacher)
  • It’s about “computer science,” not “code,” and our focus is on schools
  • Computer science is foundational – for EVERY child
  • Improving diversity is core to our mission
  • This is a teacher-powered movement

Hadi showed how easy it is to get started in your first plugged activity by creating a game in the Star Wars hour of code course. My poster session took place right after the keynote finished and many people stopped by. My topic was on how kids can code and the many ways to approach it. However, many people were interested in Code.org since Hadi had just spoken about it. Since I am obviously a huge fan of code.org, I was happy to talk a lot about it and answer questions.

I was able to connect with many teachers that are implementing CS into their schools. My role at technology conferences has evolved over the past few years. At first, I would attend to consume information. Now I attend to share information, empower educators in their practice, and make connections that last beyond the conference.

**At my code.org workshop last week an attendee shared the following link: bit.ly/ISTE16tote. This document has each day of the conference broken down with resources for each session. Yikes!! This is a great tool. **



Free webinars: Creative technology use in K-12

A free, 3-part webcast series developed in partnership with
SLJ and ISTE Now, more than ever, school librarians are leading creative technology use in K–12, from maker activities and robotics to mobile devices. Led by top practitioners in the field, Creative Technology Use in K-12 is an exciting webcast series with up-to-the-minute information and practical takeaways on hot topics in ed tech.

Join us for exciting presentations:

Webcast 1: Getting Started with Robotics
Get on board with one of the hottest trends in education and immediately engage learners of all ages with robotics. Learn how to integrate programming real-life objects in the library.

Webcast 2: Using Technology to Engage the Reluctant Reader
Learn how to use online tools to instill a love of literature in new and reluctant readers. From virtual book clubs to the creative use of Instagram and Pinterest, help students find the right book, share it with their peers, and expand their writing skills.

Webcast 3: Reading on Mobile Devices: Challenges and Opportunities
Learn the latest on using mobile devices with students. Gain insights and practical tips on everything from the finer points of 1:1 integration to the best apps, all toward enhancing multiple literacies among students and teachers alike.


Can’t make it on the live dates? No problem!
Register now and you will get an email reminder from School Library Journal post-live event when the webcast is archived and available for on-demand viewing at your convenience!

ISTE 2015: CMLE Scholarship

21413The following post was submitted by CMLE scholarship recipient Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist at St. Cloud Area School District.

Powerful Connections

Edurockstars. Attending ISTE 2015 was a great experience. I was able to connect with many people in my Personal Learning Network (PLN) in person, I refer to these people as Edurockstars. I greatly value the relationship I have formed with other teachers in similar positions. I often reach out via Twitter and Google+, when I need to bounce ideas off of others or have questions. Now, after attending ISTE, I have the personal connection that was made at the conference. An added bonus, was meeting the companies and sometimes person, yes singular, who create the wonderful tools I use on a daily basis. One day of the conference, while walking down the hall I saw the creators of Padlet, Kaizena and EDusight. I pointed out their shirts to my friend and they heard me say their names, they stopped and asked if we use the tools and told us they created them. So neat! This was one of many experiences I had talking with companies and creators. It a great experience because I was able to tell them about the features I love to use, and things I would like to see added or changed. I guess I will have to wait and see if anything comes of it.

I also had the privilege of presenting at ISTE. This was my first large national conference presentation. It was an interesting experience for me to present in front of people from all of the world. My birds-of-a-feather session turned into a lecture at the last minute and the ignite I participated in was held in the vendor hall on a stage. Both were in settings I have never presented in before and I feel went well. I look forward to more opportunities for presenting.

We’ve Learned

photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9aStaff Changes and Additions

  • Pam and Paul Beckermann have moved to the Elk River Area School District as District Digital Learning Specialists. They were at Dassel-Cokato Middle and High Schools.
  • Justin Larson is the new Dassel-Cokato High School Media and Digital Learning Specialist.
  • CSB/SJU Libraries added a new Metadata Librarian, Violet Fox.
  • Robin Suhsen retirement– branch librarian at Princeton Area Library
  • Rachel Thomas is the new Patron Services Supervisor at Great River Regional Library
  • Julie Schmitz was hired as the new Associate Director of Human Resources at Great River Regional Library
  • Cindy Stamness retired after 35 years at Mora Schools.

Awards and Kudos

  • Doug Johnson and Laurie Conzemius recently won a Making IT Happen award from the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE). Doug Johnson is director of media and technology at Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools and Laurie Conzemius, recently retired after 30+ years as a teacher, media specialist, and district curriculum integration specialist in the Park Rapids and Sartell districts.


Schools in the News

Sad News

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/ (William Ivan), licensed under CC0 1.0

Seven Takeaways from ISTE 2014

ISTE2014logoIf you were lucky enough to attend the ISTE 2014 event in Atlanta this year you probably already know what a ground breaking year it was. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones, SmartBrief put together a list of the top seven takeaways. From discussions about BYOD to “all-in-one” solutions ISTE 2014 covered it all.

ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education and works to engage educators and education leaders in learning and teaching through the innovative and effective uses of technology in PK-12 and teacher education.

ISTE 2015 has already been scheduled so start making your case why you should attend!