Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Experiencing Curiosity, Play, and Joy in Learning @ ISTE20 LIVE

IT'S HERE!!!! 

ISTE20 LIVE is here and it is incredible.

Every year for the past 30 years, I have packed up my laptop, suitcase, and dreams to travel to a distant city for a week at the end of June and beginning of July.  This was to attend the ISTE conference.  I have visited Nashville, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Antonio, Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, and a few other metropolitan areas that slip my mind.  It was an annual pilgrimage.

At first, this gathering was named NECC (National Educational Computer Conference).  (There is a long and complicated story about NECC. We won't get into it here.)  In 2008 (I think), they added ISTE to the name and it became the ISTE Conference. This past year they decided to name it ISTE20. Only problem was that ISTE20 was one of the COVID-19 casualties. Instead of meeting in a hotel or conference center at the end of June, ISTE is meeting virtually for the week after Thanksgiving.

I must admit that I went to ISTE to see old friends and make new ones. I really didn't attend a lot of sessions.  This year is a whole new experience because we can't bump into old friends and have a coffee with them. We are using a webinar platform that ISTE created.  This is its first run.  There are a few rough spots, but their amazing staff is doing a good job of supporting the presenters.

Curiosity, Play, and Joy

This year, I was graciously invited by Barbara Bray to join her and Kerry Gallaher in a Celebration of Learning. This wasn't your run-of-the-mill presentation. It was a Party filled with Dancing, Magic, and Interaction.

Would you believe that we had 330 educators attend our presentation?  It was INCREDIBLE.

Barb began by inviting our guests to find a JOYFUL picture on their phone and share it on Padlet.  Would you believe that this yielded over 180 pictures?


I explored Curiosity.  It began as I engaged in some mysterious magic.   I shared a card with dancing spots.  There were 3 on this side, 4 on that side, 1 on the other side, and 6 on the other. Having sparked their curiosity, I began talking about Provoking Curiosity in learners. The BIG WIN was when I asked them to share how they Sparked Curiosity in their students.  I asked them to type their ideas in the chat room but NOT click the send button. I gave them 90 seconds to share their ideas and then they all clicked the button simultaneously.  We experienced a barrage of over 100 ideas. For your interest, I have collected these ideas and they will be shared in a later post on Dr. Z Reflects. 


Kerry Galagher connected Play with Student Identity.  She shared how students often used Play to connect with others and establish their own identities. Kerry integrated Pear Deck into our celebration. Pear Deck is a presentation add-on that enables students to answer questions, take polls, share ideas, and even draw pictures on the slideshow their teacher is using.  I had known about Pear Deck for years, but I had never used it.  I will surely use it next semester in my classes. 


Barbara ended our celebration with dancing Joy.  You may not know this, but Barb is an experienced Choreographer. She showed this through a short video where she shared half a dozen dance moves. Then she invited our 330 viewers into breakout rooms to meet other educators and practice their moves.  At the end, she invited them to move from their breakout rooms to our Danceathon. It was WONDERFUL!!

This session was like none I have ever experienced and I was excited to be part of it.

Hopefully, when we do this at next year's ISTE, we will be able to all stand in the same room and dance with each other!!

See you then,


BTW, ISTE20 LIVE is still going.  It will continue until Saturday (I will give 2 presentations on Saturday).  If you are already enrolled, maybe I will see you there. If not,  Register now - it will be worth your time.

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