The big events, keynotes, and 5 major trends at ISTE 2016

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
June 27th, 2016

iste 2016

Are you heading to Denver? Here’s a quick look at what you’ll experience

Educators preparing to travel to Denver for ISTE 2016 can expect thought-provoking keynotes, interactive learning opportunities and more than 900 sessions at this year’s conference.

The annual event offers networking and professional development opportunities for educators from every discipline, education leaders, ed-tech coordinators, library and media specialists, and more. And while sessions and events run the full gamut of ed-tech topics, there are a handful of major themes that crop up again and again.

Playgrounds will feature hands-on learning opportunities that let attendees see, touch, hear and feel classroom solutions. Playground themes include Computational Thinking & Computer Science and Maker playgrounds on Sunday afternoon. Creativity, Digital StoryTelling, Early Learning, Ed Tech Coaches, and Games & Virtual Environments.

You’ll find after-hours discussions taking place around ISTE Campfires, where conference-goers will share ideas, make connections, and learn from one another.

Check out room 707, where you can experience flexible learning concepts demonstrations with moveable and modular furniture.

Leadership Central offers a chance for attendees to connect with other education leaders to exchange ideas and form professional networks.

The opening keynote on June 26 will be given by Michio Kaku, Ph.D., a futurist and theoretical physicist who has popularized science for all audiences. The Ivy League scholar’s presentations include fascinating subjects like the science of dreams (how our prefrontal cortexes disengage, which suppresses the fact-checking component of our consciousness), what makes a super genius, the evolution of intelligence, and the two greatest scientific mysteries.

Ruha Benjamin, an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, specializes in the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, biotechnology, race-ethnicity and gender, health, and biopolitics. Benjamin will deliver her keynote on June 28.

The closing keynote on June 29 comes from Michelle Cordy, a third grade teacher in London, Ontario, in the Thames Valley District, who calls herself “a teacher on an urgent quest.” Armed with 1:1 tablets for her students, she is actively engaged in hacking her own classroom — which she defines as devising ingenious solutions and overcoming obstacles — and sharing the results with her professional colleagues.

Next page: 5 trends and related sessions at ISTE 2016