There was a lot to see at ISTELive 23--here are some of the best edtech tools, resources, products, and services.

Top edtech at ISTELive 23


There was a lot to see at ISTELive 23--here are some of the best edtech tools, resources, products, and services

With more than 18,000 attendees, this year’s ISTELive 23 in Philadelphia had a little something for everyone, from AI and esports to security solutions and engaging visual displays.

Here’s a look at some of the top edtech the eSchool News editors saw at ISTELive 23:

Acer America and the Network of Academic and Scholastic Esports Federations (NASEF) announced their alliance to help schools launch or expand their student esports program. Through this alliance, NASEF and Acer America will provide the training, coaching modules and course certification for schools to structure, implement and maintain an esports program. Plus, Acer America, the premier hardware provider for NASEF, is paying the $499 esports coaching certification fee for eligible K-12 schools and universities initiating programs in the 2023-24 school year. The coaching certification for the award-winning NASEF platform prepares teams to participate in the program; having Acer America pay this fee could potentially save a school district thousands of dollars.

Airtame, creator of the hardware-enabled SaaS platform that allows seamless collaboration in schools, demonstrated its award-winning Airtame 2 and all-new collaboration features, which provide a seamless collaboration experience for educational institutions. Airtame also spotlighted its new partnership with Rise Vision, which enables standardized emergency alerts to be sent to entire school systems to streamline communication, response time, and safety.

Autodesk’s Tinkercad platform recently released a new feature called Sim Lab that allows students to experiment with their 3D designs in a simulated space—similar to a video game. Students can simulate the effects of gravity on their 3D model, add materials (like rubber, wood, plastic) to an object, and even build simple machines. Educators can also copy and tinker with more complex, pre-made designs so they don’t have to start from scratch. Sim Lab draws inspiration from children’s favorite video games, bringing the excitement of gaming into the design experience. 

Avantis Education, provider of virtual reality technology for K-12 schools, has partnered with the Washington-based EdGate to align its 400+ immersive, virtual reality lessons to U.S. state standards in science, social studies and English Language Arts. Avantis Education’s lessons are housed in the Eduverse, Avantis’ award-winning, built-for-education online platform. The Eduverse is accessible on any device, and is also the content hub for schools using ClassVR, Avantis Education’s award-winning all-in-one VR headsets. In addition to the more than 400 full lessons, the Eduverse provides access to thousands of pieces of immersive, educational VR and AR content to supplement instruction, all in a secure, teacher-controlled virtual environment.

BenQ, a provider of visual display solutions, demonstrated the award-winning BenQ Boards in action with live demonstrations done by teachers who are users. Also at the booth were BenQ’s new LH730 LED and LH820ST laser projectors, InstaShow WDC20E wireless presentation system (WPS), as well as its latest integration partnerships.

Capstone, an innovative learning company merging children’s content with easy-to-use edtech tools for K-5 classrooms, libraries and homes, discussed its licensing agreement with ISTE, which includes plans to publish a collection of children’s books promoting digital citizenship awareness and the positive and creative use of technology and digital tools. The first title debuting in the ISTE Young Innovators collection, Sonia’s Digital World (pub 8/1/23), is written by award-winning librarian Shannon McClintock Miller, an ISTE Making IT Happen Award recipient, Future Ready Librarians spokesperson, Follett thought leader, and AASL Leadership Luminary social media superstar. The picture book follows the characters on a virtual trail as they chat, create and play together, and make discoveries and connections with digital tools. Preview an advance copy of the book at bit.ly/SoniasDigitalWorldARC. The license includes world rights for print and digital books, with ISTE providing supplemental resources supported by the ISTE Standards, a framework for using technology to support learning.

ClassIn, a provider of hybrid, blended, and remote learning solutions, promoted the recent launch of its platform in the United States. The ClassIn platform has been purpose-built for education and based on nearly a decade of research, development, and in-market experience. Through its software and hardware solutions, ClassIn provides the digital infrastructure for the hybrid future of education by building classrooms in both the virtual and physical worlds. ClassIn is the only end-to-end education platform with a full suite of innovative tools and features, all designed with hybrid-first pedagogy at its core. It supports active learning, student flexibility, and various teaching and learning methods.

Curriculum Associates, maker of i-Ready, discussed research on stretch growth, which demonstrates the amount of growth a student needs to be on the path to grade-level proficiency and fosters transparency around the work needed to get a student to grade level and promotes higher-expectation settings that students deserve. They also emphasized the importance of foundational literacy skills. A student’s foundational reading skills in the early elementary grades is a strong indicator of a student’s future overall reading ability. Without early identification of students’ literacy skills, the likelihood of educators putting students on a path for developing long-term literacy skills diminishes. 

Dell Technologies demonstrated a number of its programs designed to support digital inclusion and equity. AI for Workforce equips students with AI skills necessary to participate in the job market for a digital economy. We have partnered with Intel and the American Association of Community Colleges to equip students with key skills related to AI. Digital Literacy Skill Building Program, in partnership with ISTE, provides resources to develop digital literacy knowledge and skills, including opportunities for self-assessment of digital literacy skills, as well as resources to strengthen understanding for all learners. HBCU Career Program helps students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University cultivate technological skills and build a talent pipeline of Black professionals to fill the cyber workforce gap. The program is a joint effort by Dell, Proofpoint, Quanta Services and Trellix, in partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

Discovery Education celebrated the 18-year anniversary of the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), the longest-running professional learning network. As a global community of education professionals, the Discovery Educator Network connects members across school systems and across the country through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration. Trusted by educators since 2005, the DEN offers educators a thriving professional learning network. Members, known as DEN STAR Educators, are dedicated to preparing learners for tomorrow by using digital resources and DE to create innovative classrooms connected to today’s world. Members are educators from all roles and backgrounds, joined by a passion for continuous learning and a commitment to their students.  

DreamBox Learning, Inc. announced two new innovative math features, the Launchpad Assessment (Launchpad) and Growth Report, designed to provide educators with a deep understanding of student performance and track student growth. Launchpad leverages next-generation assessment methods in a low-stress environment to establish a detailed baseline for each student. The Growth Report equips educators and district administrators with a daily snapshot of students’ most recent performance at any time in the year. Combined with DreamBox’s highly efficacious curriculum, these new features provide the insight educators need to deliver a personalized and engaging student experience.

Ellipsis Education, a provider of computer science curriculum for K-12 education, launched the Curriculum Delivery Platform (CDP) that will provide everything educators need to teach computer science in one place. Ellipsis’ mission is to remove barriers to teaching computer science. Regardless of their level of subject-matter experience, educators can use Ellipsis to effectively teach computer science. Teachers can use the CDP to navigate 13 full-year courses, with detailed lesson plans, pacing guides, and standards maps. Every course includes four lesson types: unplugged, coding, digital citizenship, and STEM careers. Ellipsis also offers curriculum training and professional development workshops to encourage continuous learning.

Epson demonstrated the power of proprietary 3-chip 3LCD projection technology and flexible document camera solutions in the classroom and beyond, Easy to install and maintain with free software tools and simple, seamless integration into current classroom tech, products featured at ISTE included: the PowerLite 810E, Epson’s first extreme short-throw fixed lens lamp-free 3LCD laser display with 4K Enhancementfor classrooms, meeting rooms and more offers a new cooling system and revitalized platform with 5,000 lumens of brightness to deliver sharp, bright images up to 160-inches from only 14-inches away from the wall; the BrightLink 770Fi, supporting collaborative learning on nearly any flat surface, including existing whiteboards, with an ultra-short throw interactive laser display that allows educators to share big, bright images with students while retaining valuable whiteboard space when the projector is not in use; and the DC-30 Wireless Document Camera, a new model featuring 4K video resolution, a 13-megapixel camera and 10x optical zoom and 23x digital to make it easy to display books, experiments, 3D objects, and more with striking detail and clarity.

Google for Education announced a series of education-related announcements. These new additions ensure every student and educator can access tools that create more personal, collaborative, accessible, and safe -teaching and learning experiences. With the new Read Along integration within Classroom (in early access), educators can now assign reading activities, based on lexile level or grade level, and see auto-generated insights. Educators can measure students’ progress over time and see metrics on fluency, speed, and areas of struggle. In Meet, tile pairing will allow you to pair two people together so both are highlighted whenever one of them speaks, like a presenter and their sign language interpreter, for example. We’re also increasing the number of max attendees to 1000 and adding Q&A and polls to livestreams so you can connect and engage with more of your school community. And to save time while creating engaging video lessons, educators can select or edit suggested questions, auto-generated by AI based on video captions, to YouTube videos and assign them, all within Classroom.

Impero Software, a provider of online student safety, classroom management and secure remote access software, announced that it has incorporated AI and machine learning into its newly debuted “Impero Wellbeing” student safety software, dramatically elevating its capabilities of safeguarding learners. When installed on student devices, Impero Wellbeing actively and automatically monitors for harmful keywords – such as those having to do with self-harm, bullying, violence, drugs, weapons, pornography, or radicalization. If the software detects a student typing potentially dangerous keywords, it then records the incident by snapping a series of screenshots and flagging them in real-time for teacher and administrator review. The AI component is able to sort through the potentially thousands of flags and intelligently cut through false positives to give teachers immediate visibility to any concerning student behavior.

Kajeet, provider of wireless connectivity and device management for education, government, and commercial markets, unveiled its growing 5G EdTech portfolio. This collection of education connectivity solutions harnesses 5G technology to empower teachers and students with faster connectivity, enabling them to embrace the full potential of today’s digital learning. The comprehensive 5G Portfolio from Kajeet includes: the Kajeet 5G SmartSpot, an education-ready WiFi hotspot that helps bring digital equity to students and provides easy implementation for schools to prioritize digital education; the Kajeet SmartBus 5G, which offers a secure and reliable mobile router designed to seamlessly connect students to a portable and reliable WiFi hotspot on wheels that turns travel time into an extension of the classroom; and Kajeet 5G Fixed Wireless using the Kajeet Fixed 5G Internet Gateway router, which ensures a reliable and high-speed connection for homes, remote facilities, community centers, and outdoor locations for primary internet access.

LearnPlatform by Instructure discussed findings from its sixth EdTech Top 40 – the latest report on the usage of digital solutions, tools and resources in K-12 districts, schools and classrooms within the United States during the 2022-2023 school year. In addition to highlighting the top 40 education technology products with more than 4.1 million student and teacher interactions, the report provides insights on trends and categorical rankings. According to the report, K-12 institutions are accessing 1.7 percent more tools aggregated annually from the prior academic year. Furthermore, since first releasing data on the average individual interactions of edtech by teachers and students during this school year, the amount of unique digital solutions accessed by educators decreased by nearly 20 percent, while students interacted with 14 percent fewer unique tools, over the same time period. 

LEGO Education demonstrated how engaging hands-on learning helps students of all ages master STEM concepts. For instance, LEGO Education SPIKE Essential curriculum units are designed around playful narrative-based problem-solving with relatable themes that can develop young students into independent STEAM thinkers. LEGO Education SPIKE Essential includes 5 units that focus on national standards for both lower and upper elementary grades. Each unit is comprised of seven to eight 45-minute lessons, plus language arts and math extensions for each lesson.

LG Business Solutions USA launched a new Google-certified ChromeOS slot-in PC for LG Createboard, demonstrating how the operating system simplifies daily use, delivers in-demand features and adds flexibility to LG Createboard classrooms. The global technology leader also announced the launch of its new LG Educators and Education Advisory Board initiatives to design and promote best practices based on real-world successes and solicit industry input to help guide future product development.

Lightspeed Systems demonstrated Lightspeed Classroom Management, which helps teachers effectively manage classrooms in a 1:1 world. With real-time visibility of student activity and control over their device workspaces to limit distractions, teachers have more time to support student learning. Push out vetted URLs to all students, close distracting tabs, block inappropriate websites, and enable screen sharing for a collaborative, engaged, and interactive classroom.

Linewize, a division of Qoria, unveiled its Linewize Wellbeing Framework. Designed to help school districts identify priorities and progress to a more robust, community-based approach to student safety and wellbeing, the Linewize Wellbeing Framework is built on three key pillars: prevention, intervention, and education. Each pillar addresses an essential component of an effective safety and wellbeing strategy. The framework minimizes students’ exposure to known risks through prevention tactics and provides opportunities for strategic intervention to preempt any harmful escalation. Finally, it enhances community education and awareness for school staff, parents, and students to positively influence wellbeing outcomes from all sides.

Lumio, a digital learning tool, announced its integration with Canva for Education. This new integration allows teachers to seamlessly add Canva designs to Lumio, merging the power of Canva’s visual communication platform with Lumio’s ability to add interactivity for engaging, dynamic lessons. The integration offers educators’ free access to export and upload Canva lessons, presentations, and other materials into Lumio to create interactive lessons with game-based activities, formative assessments, and more. Educators will also be able to access libraries from both Canva and Lumio to explore thousands of high-quality, ready-made templates and infographics.

McGraw Hill and Verizon announced several exciting updates to their augmented reality (AR) mobile app, McGraw Hill AR. The free, award-winning app, originally launched in June of 2022, is getting updated with expanded subject offerings as well as a new collaborative feature to foster group learning, both in and out of the physical classroom setting. Downloaded more than 115,000 times in its first year, the McGraw Hill AR app offers short, three-to-five-minute interactive activities aimed at helping engage students in new and impactful ways. Corresponding professionally developed lesson plans are exclusively available to K-12 educators nationwide through Verizon Innovative Learning HQ: a next-gen online education portal that provides free access to immersive extended reality (XR) educational experiences for K-12 students.

Microsoft announced its collaboration with New York City Public Schools, PowerSchool, and Kahoot!; highlighted additional AI-powered experiences; and introduced a new AI course built for educators. Microsoft is collaborating with New York City Public Schools to support their exploration of the development of generative AI tools tailored for their own use and to help ensure they can lead the way in the responsible, safe, and innovative use of AI by implementing appropriate safety and security measures. This has already included the launch of a chatbot that uses Microsoft AI technology to be the first point of contact with employees and families calling the IT Help Desk to offer faster, personalized support. Microsoft also announced new AI powered experiences to enhance Reading Progress, allowing educators to save time. With Passage generation in Reading Progress, educators can now generate a passage directly in Reading Progress, allowing them to leverage insights to personalize it based on the needs of their class and individual students. 

MIND Education previewed InsightMath, the company’s soon-to-be launched neuroscience-based K-6 curriculum. InsightMath transforms student learning by teaching math the way the brain learns so all students are equipped to succeed. The company also discussed how co-creating the curriculum with a team of teachers, students, and families supports equity. 

OverDrive Education announced a new, free monthly service that supplies professional digital book selection to schools where staffing and time are in short supply. With the new “Sora Bookshelf Service,” educators can create a customized service plan based on preferences and budget to efficiently add in-demand ebooks, audiobooks, read-alongs and more each month to their Sora student reading platform. The Sora app serves more than 60,000 schools worldwide with the industry’s best ebook and audiobook catalog and award-winning user experience.

PowerSchool, a provider of K-12 education technology solutions in North America, announced its integration with Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to use OpenAI’s large language models within PowerSchool Performance Matters and PowerSchool LearningNav, part of PowerSchool’s Personalized Learning Cloud. The implementation of generative AI within these products will dramatically improve educators’ ability to deliver personalized learning to students at scale by enabling the application of personalized assessments and learning pathways based on individual student needs and learning goals. K-12 educators will also benefit from access to OpenAI technology within a secure, private platform with the same stringent privacy, ethics, and security standards that govern all PowerSchool products.

Promethean exhibited its newly released OPS-A computing module and ActivPanel LX. OPS-A, one of the first Google EDLA-certified devices designed for use with an interactive display, was built specifically to be paired with the ActivPanel LX, Promethean’s new panel providing exceptional ease of use, flexibility, quality, and longevity. As a Google EDLA-certified Android device, the OPS-A allows users of the ActivPanel LX to access the Google Play Store right from their panel. Many of the most popular Google apps are preloaded onto the device, including YouTube, Google Chrome, and Google Meet. Having Google Drive on the panel also makes it easy to store content in the cloud, synchronize across devices, and share files. This certification requires security updates to be released every 90 days, so Promethean customers will benefit from superior protection of their data as well.

Renaissance’s tech infrastructure has undergone strategic growth and development over several years, ensuring that its interconnected solutions never detract from teachers’ limited time and energy to facilitate classroom instruction. Renaissance shared how its new brand identity, See Every Student, illustrates how its teacher-led instructional ecosystem unlocks personalized teaching for the whole learner and frees teachers to see every child as the unique individuals they are. The Renaissance instructional ecosystem of products provides educators with a complete picture of student performance, including accurate assessment, engaging instruction and practice, and actionable insights.

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. debuted its new Interactive Display (model name: WAC). The Interactive Display is the first Samsung interactive solution built on the Android Operating System, enabling an intuitive user interface for educators to enrich the classroom experience right out of the box. Available in 65-, 75- and 86-inch models, the Samsung Interactive Display is an all-in-one collaboration hub that instantly re-energizes classrooms through simple and seamless connectivity. Educators can engage with students by wirelessly connecting their own devices to the board regardless of OS or device manufacturer. This makes it easy to share and interact with content between the display and individual devices, creating an immersive classroom environment where every student feels included. Educators also can customize their home screen bar to quickly access intelligent apps and built-in tools, such as a calculator, timer and screen recorder, to inject new creativity into lesson delivery.

Skriware discussed Skriware’s 3D printing and robotics lab, SkriLab, and the importance of supporting teachers and engaging students in STEAM education. Skriware’s goal is to help students develop their interdisciplinary skills through the process of designing, building, and programming 3D printable smart toys. Students can fully explore the possibilities of 3D printing technology, develop STEAM-related skills, and satisfy their natural curiosities in science, engineering, and robotics.  

SMART Technologies showcased the MX Series, which allows multiple users to freely write, erase, and gesture at the same time, across platforms and applications.. SMART also announced that its newest interactive display solutions will feature Google EDLA Certification, with options for Google EDLA Certification across its existing lineup available soon. These solutions include a new generation of iQ-powered interactive displays for education, coming in 2024, and an appliance-based solution designed to be paired with SMART displays purchased as early as 2015, available this fall. 

SmartPass demonstrated its student movement solution that features digital hall passes, student IDs, flex time scheduling, automated attendance, and more. SmartPass’ one-touch technology makes managing hall passes easier and less stressful thanks to built-in options like wait-in-line, encounter prevention, and room restrictions. 

Sphero, provider of programmable robots, STEM content and curriculum, and edtech tools, demonstrated the award-winning Sphero Blueprint Build Kit and Class Pack, an approachable and scalable engineering learning solution for middle and high school students. Sphero also demonstrated BOLT and littleBits, and provided more information will be available about Season 4 of the Sphero Global Challenge – Sphero Goes Incognito.

StickTogether displayed Puzzle Face, a multi-use group activity that allows students to create an infinite number of faces from one 300-piece puzzle. Activities like this can increase collaboration and community-building in today’s classrooms and beyond.

Swivl, a future-ready edtech company with a suite of reflective tools, launched Engageable, a real-time attention management tool with embedded mindfulness. Engageable helps users take on the attentional resistance of developing new interests in a more mindful and measured way. In the classroom, when a user starts the Pulse timer, they are prompted to take a deep breath and constructively recommit their attention in short intervals, tracking the ensuing time spent by activity. This helps build awareness of attention and how they are developing interests. Then, Engageable provides options to Recharge whenever stress or anxiety gets in the way, or to Record actions and reflections when it makes sense.

VEX Robotics demonstrated its robotics solutions to emphasize how robotics is not only the future, but is also the present. By working with programming, sensors, and automation, students develop critical computational thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century’s workforce and in everyday life. Beyond science and engineering principles, VEX Robotics solutions encourage creativity, teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving among groups.

ViewSonic Corp., a global provider of visual solutions, brought esports and education together. Designed and engineered for esports competitions and gamers of all levels, ViewSonic gaming monitors deliver the speed, power, and visuals that gamers need to win.

Wacom showcased a range of its tablet and stylus options, which are used by professors and students at thousands of colleges and universities around the world, in a variety of majors and subjects, to bring creativity into the classroom while developing the real-world skills employers expect. Whether you’re a student or a professor in an art or CTE program, these resources will help you create richer learning experiences, find your creative voice, prepare for successful careers, and keep you up-to-date on the latest in digital pen technology.

zSpace, a provider of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) solutions for education, announced the expansion of computer science and cybersecurity content on the Inspire AR/VR Laptop. As part of this exciting development, zSpace has partnered with SurfWisely, an innovative educational software company, to introduce a new application that will join the existing offerings by Mastery Coding and BlocksCAD3D. This collaboration aims to provide a comprehensive computer science offering to the existing and extensive range of K-12 STEM and CTE learning experiences already being used in over 3,700 schools and districts.

Related:
At ISTELive 23, balancing humanity with AI

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