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ISTE 2013: Mobile devices, flipped learning, gaming, and more

ISTE 2013 kicks off on June 23 in San Antonio, and this year’s conference promises informative and interactive sessions on mobile devices, digital learning tools and strategies, the future of learning, and more.

Three keynote speakers promise to engage attendees and spark discussion about ed-tech trends and learning successes.

Opening Keynote
June 23, 5:30 p.m.
Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal is today’s leading speaker on gamification—the application of game-design to real-life challenges. She has created games for the World Bank, Olympic Games, American Heart Association, New York Public Library and many others. Her book, Reality Is Broken: How Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, is the definitive modern work on gamification.

McGonigal is a specialist and designer in the field of alternate reality games. Players of the games she designs face various challenges, from surviving peak oil to establishing a local sustainable business. Through persistence, energy, collaboration, creativity, sense of purpose and hard work, gamification restores to contemporary life the kind of heroism and communal striving that most of us struggle so hard to find.
McGonigal is an advisor and affiliate researcher with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto, California, where she has served for four years as the director of game research and development. Her recent projects include a Games for Healthcare initiative with IFTF and the White House as well as Paths out of Poverty, a crowdsourcing game that IFTF created for the Rockerfeller Foundation.

Tuesday Keynote
June 25, 8:30 a.m.
Steven Johnson

McGonical face Steven Johnson is one of the foremost thought leaders in today’s interdisciplinary, collaborative and open-minded approach to innovation. His writings have influenced everything from cutting-edge ideas in urban planning to the battle against 21st century terrorism. Johnson was chosen by Prospect magazine as one of the Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future. He unites a deep understanding of scientific progress with a sharp sensitivity to contemporary online trends. Together, those traits give him an unmatched insight into how ideas emerge and spread and how they affect the world today.

In addition to his latest book, Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age, Johnson has developed a rich catalog of work on progress and innovation. Some of his other titles include Everything Bad Is Good for You, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software and Where Good Ideas Come From. Johnson has also co-created three influential websites: the pioneering online magazine FEED, the Webby Award winning community site and the hyperlocal media site He is a contributing editor to Wired magazine, has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Nation and appeared on The Charlie Rose Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Closing Keynote
June 26, 2:30 p.m.
Adam Bellow

McGonical face Adam Bellow is the founder and president of eduTecher and eduClipper, free web tools for helping students and teachers discover the best resources to enhance learning in and out of the classroom. He is a dedicated educator who is passionate about changing the world of teaching and learning. He works with educational leaders, teachers and students from around the United States to help them successfully infuse technology into the classroom. ISTE recognized Bellow in 2011 as the Outstanding Young Educator of the Year and in 2012 as an Emerging Leader. He was a finalist for the 2010 Totally Wired Teacher of the Year Award. His areas of expertise include web tools, digital literacy, educational technology best practices, interactive whiteboard integration, social media and education-based motivational speaking.

Bellow began his career in education as an assistant English teacher at a high school for students with learning disabilities. After six years in the classroom, he accepted a position as a technology training specialist for a school district. He currently serves as senior director of educational technology for the College Board where he supports 18 schools across the Northeastern United States.

Bellow recently co-authored the book Untangling the Web, which takes an in-depth look at essential web tools for the classroom. He created the Change the World charity movement in 2012 and has worked to help educators make a difference in the lives of students around the world. Bellow has spoken at many conferences including #140edu and TEDxNYED. He is the proud father of Hunter and Reid.

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