LIVE @ ISTE 2024: Exclusive Coverage

iste 2016

The big events, keynotes, and 5 major trends at 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


Gamifying Your Student Tech Team [poster]
Are you trying to figure out how to manage your student tech team? Come see how the Greensburg Junior High Pirate Tech Team uses 3DGameLab to manage training, communication and motivation. Also see the work of Pirate Tech Team members.

Monday, June 27, 2:00–4:00 pm
CCC Lobby D, Table 14

Mission Google Classroom: Gamification and GAFE
Expore how teachers can use Google Classroom, along with a variety of GAFE and online tools, as a launch pad for student-centered learning. Teachers will discover how to engage students in a gamified math learning experience including XP, badging and public sharing through Google Sites.

Tuesday, June 28, 4:00–5:00 pm
CCC Mile High Ballroom 4C

Snapshot: Monthly Challenges and Badges to Engage Teacher Learners
Learn how you can incorporate challenges and badges to improve professional learning engagement. We’ll share how we evolved from little involvement to great participation from staff.

 Wednesday, June 29, 8:30–9:30 am
CCC Mile High Ballroom 4C, Table 1

Implementing Digital Badges at Scale: Recognizing Assets & Opening Doors
Aurora Public Schools implemented digital badges based on Colorado Academic Standards to credential students in 21st century skills and built an ecosystem in the greater community to value the badges. This panel of stakeholders will share experiences in making opportunities available to over 40,000 students and answer audience questions.

Wednesday, June 29, 1:15–2:15 pm
CCC 607

Engagement Through Gamificiation: Getting Students to Do Anything You Want
Hoping to get students reading and writing more, we designed an engaging and competitive game that encouraged innovation, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, in which students could voluntarily participate. The results were astounding. We’ll show you how we designed, created and implemented an award-winning gamification program.

Wednesday, June 29, 1:15–2:15 pm
CCC 203

Maker movement

What do you want to create today?
The creative process is constantly occurring. Modern tools give students new ways to produce products and share with large audiences.  The maker movement is one way to support creativity in learning, but there are other ways to incorporate this essential skill.  Hear from educators who are building creative student cultures.

Monday, June 27, 12:45–1:45 pm
CCC 401

MAKE Today and Tomorrow: Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace
Are makerspaces a fad or the future of hands-on education? We’ll discuss how we transformed two classrooms into cutting-edge makerspaces in a summer without major remodeling or expense. Learn principles for creating flexible, dynamic and evolving spaces designed to be relevant now and in the future.

Monday, June 27, 12:45–1:45 pm
CCC 707

The Power to Invent: Embedding the Maker Movement in K-12 Education
South Fayette Township School District transformed traditional education by embedding a vertically aligned computational thinking initiative and the design thinking process as seen through the maker movement. We’ll provide an overview to help others develop a similar pathway for the maker movement in education.

Wednesday, June 29, 8:30–9:30 am
CCC 401

Mindsets and Classroom Management for Making and Inventing in Every Classroom
Constructivist methods empower making and creativity, but how do you manage your classroom? How do you engage learners? How can you create a culture of innovation? Experts in this movement will share practical answers and advice to these questions and more. Easily manage your makerspace, genius hour or passion projects.

Wednesday, June 29, 10:15–11:15 am
CCC 113

Snapshot: The Under $500 Makerspace: Tools and Toys to Get You Started
Making is more than 3D printing. It’s a state of mind. I’ll show you how to create a makerspace with less than $500.

Wednesday, June 29, 1:15–2:15 pm
CCC 505, Table 2

(See also: 5 tips for creating a makerspace for less than the cost of an iPad)

Girls and STEM

Snapshot: Girls in STEM: Creating Inclusive Makerspaces With More Than Just Pink Tools
We’ll discuss how you can incorporate computer science and maker programming to create opportunities for girls to build on their engineering skills and get them thinking about STEM careers.

Monday, June 27, 4:15–5:15 pm
CCC 304, Table 1

Girls & STEM: Making it Happen
Are there ways to interest more girls in STEM? We’ll explore research, resources and best practices to involve girls of all ages in STEM learning. Hands-on projects and tools from the maker movement can engage girls (and all learners) in STEM activities that matter.

Wednesday, June 29, 8:30–9:30 am
CCC 302

Snapshot 2 of 2: Girls + robots = STEM Success
Robots deeply engage students in STEM. Sadly, girls often lose interest in STEM before higher grades where robotics are used. Teach your elementary students to build and understand their robots and inspire their imaginations early. We’ll demonstrate how girls can engage and be innovators, creating confidence and success!

Wednesday, June 29, 10:15–11:15 am
CCC 505, Table 2

Use App Inventor to Engage Girls in Computer Science and Their Communities
Learn about MIT’s App Inventor, a visual programming language available for free online. Technovation, a global technology entrepreneurship program for young women, will demonstrate ways your students can use App Inventor to develop their own mobile apps to address local community problems.

Wednesday, June 29, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
CCC Mile High Ballroom 3A


Stump the MinecraftEdu Presenters: Minecraft Across the Curriculum
Join a panel of presenters who have used MinecraftEdu in a variety of instructional settings. Come ask how it could be used in your subject area and grade level. No silly ideas or dumb questions! Put us on the spot.

Monday, June 27, 11:00 am–12:00 pm
CCC 607

Games and Virtual Environments Maker Playground
The Games & Simulations and Virtual Environments Networks will provide a scaffolded experience for participants to experiment, play and learn how games and virtual environments are part of the Maker Movement. The focus will be on escape rooms, ARGs, game jams and building in Minecraft and virtual environments.

Tuesday, June 28, 2:00–5:30 pm
CCC Concourse E

Minecraft as a vehicle for learning: placing learners in the driver’s seat
Have you heard about Minecraft and game-based learning? Not totally convinced of the educational value, how it supports student outcomes and how it aligns with state standards? Join us for a lively discussion around the value of immersive games like Minecraft in the classroom.

Tuesday, June 28, 2:15–3:15 pm
CCC 401

Augmented Reality: Engaging a Minecraft Generation
We will discuss how new augmented reality (AR) tools give educators and students the power to create meaningful learning experiences, build interactive experiences to show and share knowledge with a global audience, understand complex concepts and retain information longer. Learn how to enhance your curriculum to appeal to the Minecraft generation.

Wednesday, June 29, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
CCC 502

Professional development for the 21st century

What Does a 21st Century Administrator Look Like?
Learn the art of 21st century leadership. With changing technologies, administrators must use skills such as paperless workflows and social media to increase productivity, build capacity and assemble PLNs.

 Tuesday, June 28, 12:30–1:30 pm
CCC 601

Snapshot: Twitter Chats for Professional Development
Twitter chats can help you build your personal learning network and connect with educators around the world! Learn how to participate in these real-time Twitter conversations to improve your professional practice, find inspiration and share ideas with other educators.

Monday, June 27, 8:30–9:30 am
CCC 304, Table 2

Snapshot: Google Classroom for Professional Leaders
Administrators can use Google Classroom to model digital learning, communication and collaboration. Learn how to streamline school tasks, eliminate the necessity for email attachments and paper shuffling and organize resources for specific initiatives and trainings while modeling its use for teachers.

Wednesday, June 29, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
CCC Mile High Ballroom 4C, Table 1

For more, search through ISTE 2016 sessions here, and follow along on social media via the hashtag #ISTE2016.

Sign up for our K-12 newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

New Resource Center
Explore the latest information we’ve curated to help educators understand and embrace the ever-evolving science of reading.
Get Free Access Today!

"*" indicates required fields

Email Newsletters:

By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

eSchool News uses cookies to improve your experience. Visit our Privacy Policy for more information.