[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on June 29th of this year, was our #7 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2018 countdown!]
Creativity, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital competencies were just a few of the many trends at ISTE 2018.
This year’s conference was one of the largest, with packed sessions and presentations, and 18,540 attendees–a new attendee record.
It was nearly impossible to see and attend everything the conference had to offer, and many educators who couldn’t attend followed keynotes with the #ISTE18 hashtag (they also threw in a #NotAtISTE tag for good measure).
We’ve rounded up some of the biggest trends, news, and tools to help you organize your post-ISTE thoughts.
1. During the conference, ISTE opened enrollment for ISTE U, an online professional learning hub for teachers and leaders to build critical skills for teaching and learning in a digital world. Each course is built on solid instructional design principles. Ongoing instructional support is a critical component of ISTE U, and each course includes either a virtual coach or live facilitator. ISTE partnered with D2L to use the BrightSpace learning management system (LMS) to power ISTE U.
2. AI made a leap from theoretical classroom tool to a tool with real potential for learning. ISTE 2018 sessions explored practical classroom applications of AI, how AI can engage students, and how some aspects of the traditional classroom will be automated and changed by AI.
3. Digital equity was a big buzzword at ISTE, and sessions focused on the basics of why digital equity is important, how to prioritize it through district-vendor partnerships, how to have the conversation about digital equity with school community members, and how the definition of digital equity itself is changing as technology and learning evolves.
4. Mobile, free, and device-agnostic apps captured the attention of a number of ISTE attendees, who packed into a crowded room for an “app smackdown” in which five presenters shared 2-minute run-downs of their favorite classroom apps.
5. Osmo, which provides solutions to help schools use augmented reality and manipulatives, launched a new case and base for iPads. The new case and base work together for added hardware protection, which has been a teacher request. The base has a universal device slot that fits almost any iOS device, including iPad Pro 12.9”, making it convenient for BYOD classrooms.
6. Intelitek‘s CoderZ is a web-based learning environment program where students code virtual 3D robots. It’s self-directed and has three modes: beginner, intermediate, advanced. The split-screen format lets students enter code on one side and immediately test their code on the other.
7. FreshGrade‘s portfolio and assessment platform that showcases students’ learning artifacts—including videos, pictures, audio recordings, links, and documents. Teachers can also map learning objectives to assessments and activities to ensure lessons are focused.
8. Trinity3 focused on its whole immersion in the K-12 marketplace, offering sales, support and technical professionals to offer tailored services to each education customer.
9. NetSupport announced a strategic relationship with ClassLink to integrate Student Information System environments via ClassLink’s Roster Server with NetSupport’s classroom management solution, NetSupport School. The collaboration to integrate SIS environments into NetSupport School via ClassLink’s Roster Server means that schools are now empowered to work even more effectively.
10. Studytracks demonstrated how it takes school curriculum and puts it to music to drive engagement, retention, and achievement in and out of the
classroom. It is a tool to help students to study smarter, by enabling them to retain more information in a shorter amount of time. The more students engage with the app, the more they remember.
11. Curriculum Associates has enhanced i-Ready with four major upgrades in time for back-to-school 2018. The upgrades–including a newly-redesigned teacher experience, the addition of a new differentiated growth model, new and expanded K–5 reading and mathematics lessons, and an iPad-compatible student experience–will improve the teaching and learning process.
12. eSchool News and BrightBytes hosted a panel discussion that focused on using data and predictive analytics to improve student performance. Panelists talked about the research behind what schools need to use data effectively and talked about some of the practical implications and benefits coming from predictive analytics.
13. Google for Education announced 12 new updates to help teachers save time and spark creativity in their students. The new features and tools will enhance teachers’ ability to organize courses, increase collaboration with students, and unleash creativity in the classroom.
14. Vernier Software & Technology launched Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles activities module written for the mBot by MakeBlock. After constructing the robots using the detailed building instructions, students can program the robots using the free, Scratch-based mBlock software available for Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS. Younger students can use the free, game-based mBlock app with iOS and Android devices to learn the basics of programming.
15. Impero Software updated Impero Education Pro V7, which now includes a new mental health keyword library, google authentication, and improved scalability to support larger school districts, among other features.
16. To incorporate STEAM concepts into the classic paper airplane lesson, POWERUP Toys is launching a line of classroom kits, which are Project Lead the Way-certified and include access to a downloadable teacher’s guide and access to FlightDeck, an online lesson community through Workbench that helps teachers create and find opportunities for projects using POWERUP Toys kits.
17. Epson introduced the PowerLite Pilot 3 Projector Connection and Control Box, a convenient wall-mounted A/V solution for Epson short-throw and ultra short-throw projectors. Designed to support an array of devices, the PowerLite Pilot 3 helps educators maximize cable management, control classroom projectors, and streamline source switching and volume control.
18. Crayola’s creatED gives districts art-infused teaching strategies and insights that deepen creative thinking in schools. The professional learning program builds creative capacity by helping teachers weave inquiry-based learning across the curriculum.
19. Cisco introduced Global Problem Solvers: The Series (GPS: The Series), a new animated series and supporting activities for middle schoolers. GPS: The Series engages students with a team of teens from around the globe who use technology to solve real-world problems. The goal is to inspire students to think like entrepreneurs, innovate like technologists, and act as social change agents while improving their problem-solving, critical-thinking, creativity, and management skills. The series engages teens from around the globe to solve real-world problems, emphasizing new, critical skills for students to learn at a young age, including social consciousness, entrepreneurship, bullying, physical safety, and animal welfare.
20. TechTerra Education helped educators get their vision for a makerspace rolling with this link to a makerspace planning doc, and the company also highlighted its hands-on STEM learning tools and curriculum.
21. ABCmouse told ISTE attendees that any teacher can sign up to use ABCmouse in the classroom for free at www.ABCmouse.com/teachers. It also is adding a new digital library experience in time for the 2018-2019 school year. The new library will have thousands of books–hundreds at each grade level from preschool through 2nd grade. In addition, teachers now have full access to the ABCmouse Mastering Math app, an adaptive math program that helps preschool through kindergarten children build a strong understanding of the most fundamental math concepts. ABCmouse also created hundreds of Common Core standards-based playlists that cover key foundational skills for kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.
22. 3DBear challenged ISTE attendees to build a martian colony in AR. In a scene right out of a Hollywood movie, educators had to determine what science they could teach to their students as they tried to save a U.S. astronaut stranded on Mars.
23. Capstone’s K–2 online resource PebbleGo released expanded Spanish materials. The new offering, contextually translated to maintain proper academic vocabulary and supported by natural voice audio, will begin to roll out later this fall. With more than 1,000 articles connected to K–2 curriculum topics, PebbleGo exposes students to the concept of research and credible sources to begin developing good digital citizenship skills at
an early age.
24. GreyED Solutions announced its acceptance into the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Emerging Private Sector Partners
Program, which launches this month. The partnership allows companies to benefit from opportunities to showcase their products and services, receive feedback and advice, and engage in thoughtful dialogue with educational leaders.
25. RoboKind, the creators of robots4autism and Milo, introduced Jett, the coding and programming robot, along with the robots4STEM curriculum
designed to teach all students, including those with disabilities, the skills they need to ignite a lasting interest in STEM. Jett is the younger sibling of RoboKind’s facially expressive robot Milo, and gives all students, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the opportunity to explore STEM, coding, and programming.
26. Lenovo demonstrated VR Classroom, which includes Tab 4 10 Plus, a Bretford Mobile Cart, a Ruckus R510 Access Point. It also offers educational experiences from Google Expeditions and The Wild Immersion with Jane Goodall. Students learn inside these immersive environments created to support nearly every subject. Teachers have access to 30-minute teacher-led webinars and how-to videos.
27. Parent communication app Bloomz took a major step towards becoming the all-in-one solution for schools’ and districts’ communication needs by adding student user accounts. Starting in August, teachers can invite students to sign up for a free Bloomz account and receive communication from their teachers and school administrators through the app.
28. Symbaloo released Symbaloo workspaces, and with this update, Symbaloo allows all teachers and students to collaborate through a suite of new features. Symbaloo saves teachers time by providing them a way to easily select, organize, and blend online resources.
29. TypingMaster Inc. introduced TypeTastic School Edition, which includes an entire K-12 keyboarding curriculum, as well as a suite of teacher tools. The expanded curriculum introduces students to more than 250 entertaining new keyboarding activities that cover touch-typing and fluency, numbers, and symbols.
30. KinderLab Robotics, creators of the KIBO robot kit, announced Free Throw, a throwing-arm attachment that lets the KIBO robot toss ping pong-sized balls. It encourages experiential learning of forces, motion, and energy in a playful and fun way.
31. Voyager Sopris continued to showcase its math and literacy solutions, which are research- and evidence-based and designed to increase student engagement and achievement.
32. Insight ADVANCE introduced a collection of updates to its award-winning observation, coaching, and evaluation software. The video-based suite of products is designed to improve educators’ professional growth through collaboration and feedback.
33. Boxlight Corporation demonstrated its interactive technology solutions and announced it has completed the acquisition of Qwizdom, an education software company providing classroom presentation and engagement solutions. The combined emphasis on collaborative software that improves classroom learning results in a win-win partnership.
34. To provide increased support for PreK–6 teachers for every student at every learning level, Learning A-Z told attendees it is adding new instructional content and product features to its suite of literacy-focused solutions. The enhancements engage and motivate students in new ways and empower them with more choices tailored to their interests and abilities.
35. Scientific Learning Corp. is enhancing its flagship product, the neuroscience-based Fast ForWord program, to make it more adaptive, engaging, motivating, and easier to implement. Developed for K-5 students, it will feature major enhancements that deliver more personalized interventions and faster results for the nation’s most vulnerable students.
36. Hoonuit, which focuses on PK-12 student performance analytics and educator professional development, introduced integration of student achievement data with aligned professional development. To enable the success of educators in individualizing and maximizing performance of all learners, the company has embedded educator learning experiences directly within the data visualization workflows to drive usage and adoption of data.
37. Califone International released the Bluetooth Jackbox and two new series of headphones and headsets, which will feature newly enhanced CaliTuffTM cords. The 1216BKBT Bluetooth Jackbox offers a cost-efficient way to stream audio from a smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-enabled device to six separate headphones.
38. Steelcase Education’s Verb Active Media Table is specifically designed to support different learning modes in large active classrooms. Integrated whiteboard storage and displays promote analog content sharing and brainstorming, while the adjustable lift offers digital idea-sharing and clear sightlines throughout the classroom.
39. TechPilot Labs demonstrated ChromeTools, a cloud-based classroom management solution providing a variety of tools that allow teachers to monitor and keep students on-task when using Chromebooks in the classroom. Tools give teachers the ability to view thumbnail screens of the entire class, see detailed views of individual student screens, send a heads-up message for students to pay attention, and more.
40. Bretford is introducing additions and upgrades to its family of mobile device charging products at ISTE 2018. This growing product suite is designed to complement and empower schools’ evolving technology strategies. Bretford’s latest iteration of its TechGuard Connect® charging lockers offers expanded features including an integrated 5” touchscreen, with an easy-to-use interface, and RFID-powered check-in/check-out functionality. Check-In/Check-Out mode turns TechGuard Connect into a self-service kiosk, allowing users to check out available devices on a loaner-basis with existing RFID cards, use the mobile device for a set period of time, then check it back in, providing school districts with accountability and traceability of their managed devices.
41. Amplify announced its entrance into the digital supplemental market in reading and math with two new supplemental programs, Amplify Close Reading and Amplify Fractions. Amplify Close Reading takes the form of a digital graphic novel adventure, engaging students in a suspenseful story while helping them master close reading skills covered by ELA standards in grades 6-8. Amplify Fractions covers math standards in grades 3–6 and offers a new approach to learning fractions through a blend of adaptive learning and interactive storytelling.
42. Canon encouraged educators to evolve their workflows through a demonstration of Intelligent Grading Solution (IGS) IGS PRO, a test grading and analytics cloud-based software. The current IGS system provides educators with the flexibility to create and grade exams, and then generate detailed, analytical reports from an imageRUNNER ADVANCE system. Additional features include the ability to utilize a web-based portal, incorporate math questions on answer sheets, review exceptions and adjust test data accordingly, export grade data into popular learning management systems, and more.
43. Cengage announced the Cengage Unlimited Summer Sweepstakes, giving students the chance to win one of 10 free all-access subscriptions to Cengage Unlimited this Fall. Cengage Unlimited offers students complete access to more than 22,000 digital products across 70 disciplines and 675 courses. To enter, simply post an image, video, GIF or Boomerang to Twitter or Instagram, to show what you want an unlimited supply of – and include the Cengage Student social media handle (Twitter: @CengageLearning or Instagram: @cengagestudent) and hashtag #CengageUnlimited. A drawing will be held on August 1.
44. Blackboard demonstrated how its unique approach to K-12 education helps students learn in a safe, connected, and technologically savvy environment. The platform focuses on three foundational challenges districts face: maintaining a safe and secure space for academic achievement, engaging and informing the entire community, and advancing personalized, competency-based learning.
45. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt launched Into Learning, a series of fully integrated, next generation core curriculum solutions rooted in learning science that combine teacher support, data driven instructional practices and focused content architecture to accelerate growth for each and every learner. HMH’s three new programs—HMH Into Math, HMH Into Reading and HMH Into Literature—have been built from the ground up by expert author teams to empower educators as they help K-12 students reach their fullest potential as critical thinkers and engaged citizens. Implementation will be available in 2019.