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ISTE Conference, June 23-26, 2013, San Antonio

At the Alamo
 Howdy y'all!  This was my first time going to the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, and it was amazing!  Mahalo KS for this great experience!  :)

They said there were over 20,0000 people, so imagine all of the madness!  Here are a couple of pics to show the scale of this thing.

Keynote Ballroom - You can't see the line behind us, but it was like Disneyland to get into the keynote.

Vendors - Sensory overload

There were so many sessions, and I haven't even begun to reflect on what I learned and what I hope to incorporate. But, I'll just talk about two sessions that I really liked.

Opening Keynote: The Epic Win - Jane McGonigal

I knew this lady had to be great even before I went because Claire said, "Oh my gosh, Kim, you are sooooo luckyyyy!!  You get to see Jaaaaanneeee!"  :)

Jane specializes in gaming in education.  She is brilliant.  I loved what she had to say. One of the key things I came away with was this:

In her research, she found that gamers experience the above positive emotions, and these can help to create what she calls "super-empowered, hopeful individuals" who are goal-oriented and feel that they can overcome their challenges.  I thought back on when I played games, and it's true, I felt many of these emotions. 

I would like it if KSDL could incorporate more game-oriented activities to engage learners of all ages.  The games and interactivity in the digital Pauahi book was a great step for our young keiki, and it would be awesome if we can build on that and create even more game-based activities through which our learners will have a meaningful experience and journey of discovery.

This is one of the games Jane created called Evoke.  From her blog:

EVOKE is an online game designed to teach collaboration, creativity, knowledge networking, entrepreneurship, courage, resourcefulness, sustainability, and vision.

Our goal: to empower young people all over the world, and especially in Africa, to start tackling the world’s toughest problems: poverty, hunger, sustainable energy, water security, conflict, disaster relief, health care, education, human rights.

EVOKE trailer (a new online game) from Alchemy on Vimeo.

Iron Chef ISTE

The other session that I surprisingly found myself pretty immersed in was this twist on the show, Iron Chef.  I love the show, so I thought I'd just pop in and check out the session.  I shamefully admit I wasn't intending to really do anything (you guys know how it is at conferences!), but somehow I found myself in this group and with these people who really wanted to do it, so I ended up sacrificing sessions to meet with my group and reading over scripts in the late evening.  Here's a photo of my groupmates:

Team GPath


  • Use our ingredients to create a tasty ed tech concoction
  • Step1 : Choose your challenge
  • Step 2: Form teams
  • Step 3: choose your ingredients
  • Step 4: start cooking
  • Step5: Present your concoctions
  • Rubric - judged on taste - all ingredients thoroughly addressed, originality - is it innovative  and scalable, presentation - wow factor; are you engaging the audience
Our Challenge

  • Corporate Dinner Challenge: You're developing a new app to help teachers solve a specific problem.  Pitch your idea.
  • Ingredients - Global competencies; 9-12 grade
  • Target audience: Venture capitalists looking to fund the company; also presenting it to teachers; wow factor is getting the teachers excited too; show it is a need and show it would be useful to teachers; not necessarily to make money
  • Problem: High school students and adults don't have the entrepreneurial skills needed for success. 
  • App: Create an app that helps teachers guide students in defining their passion, finding their inspiration, developing skill sets, and journey on a path to entrepreneurship. 
  • Global competency: Entrepreneurship

We didn't win, but I built relationships with these people, made connections, and one of the ladies I met is even taking our Ka Na‘i Aupuni course in July!  This is what we're trying to do in our programs guys!!  Let's do it!

The last thing I want to note is that I really admired the folks from the Young Educators Network (I joined them on Facebook), who said to themselves, there is a problem at these conferences where we all just sit in these lecture sessions and we all know that's not really the best way to learn, so let's do something out of the box and get people involved in this session and create dialogue and connections and all the rest of that good stuff education is supposed to do.  :)

Mahalo for reading!


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