Classroom Technology

Country’s Largest Ed-Tech Conference Is a Virtual Experience During COVID-19

By Alyson Klein — November 29, 2020 1 min read
pd remote SOC

Next week will kick off an International Society for Technology in Education conference like no other.

At the start of 2020, ISTE, the ed-tech community’s largest conference, was scheduled to be in person, in Anaheim, Calif. But then COVID-19 hit. ISTE announced this summer that it would still hold the event, but it would be later in the year, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5. And it would be all virtual.

Richard Culatta, the CEO of ISTE, said he and the group’s leadership team spent the spring and summer attending virtual conferences. And they found many of them were less than inspiring. So they decided their own conference would be an “immersive, interactive” event, with plenty of opportunities for networking or just catching up and exchanging ideas with other conference-goers.

If you read the session titles for ISTE 2020, you won’t see a lot of references to “COVID-19", “the pandemic”, or “hybrid learning.”

That is by design, Culatta said.

Almost all the sessions will tackle a particular topic. such as digital citizenship, through the lens of COVID-19.

Some of the sessions originally planned for this conference have been pushed off to next year’s event. Others were asked to retool for the current context. And still others were added to meet the demands of the moment. ISTE surveyed numerous districts and found that educators were most interested in learning how to do authentic assessment online, and build inclusivity for all types of learners. So it revamped the program to put a special emphasis on those topics.

For now, ISTE is hoping to hold its 2021 conference in San Antonio, in late June, as originally scheduled. But the event may include some sort of online component, Culatta said.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

7796 - Director of EAL (K-12) - August '21
Dubai, UAE
GEMS Education
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools

Read Next

Classroom Technology 'No Going Back' From Remote and Hybrid Learning, Districts Say
The slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, a staffing crunch, and demand from some parents mean remote live-streamed instruction is here to stay.
13 min read
Teresa Vazquez, a teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind., remotely teaches a Spanish 1 class to students at Monroe High School in Albany, Ga.
Teresa Vazquez, a teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind., remotely teaches a Spanish 1 class to students at Monroe High School in Albany, Ga.
Courtesy of Elevate K-12
Classroom Technology Why Remote Learning Would Have Been Perfect for Me
Virtual education would have spared her the pain of trying to fit in during some difficult middle school years, writes Alyson Klein.
4 min read
A childhood photo of Alyson Klein, just before the start of 6th grade.
A childhood photo of Alyson Klein, just before the start of 6th grade.
Courtesy of Alyson Klein
Classroom Technology Digital Games: Powerful Motivation Tool or Not So Much?
Students are far less likely than teachers to say digital games make learning more interesting.
8 min read
Image shows two boys playing online games.
E+/Getty
Classroom Technology We Love Virtual Learning: Students, Parents Explain Why
For a small number of students, the COVID-19 cloud has a thick silver lining.
7 min read
Image shows a smiling emoji in a rocket ship that is taking off and leaving other less happy emoticons down below it.
Gina Tomko/Education Week + alexsl/E+/Getty