I feel so blessed that I was able to attend my first ISTE Conference in San Antonio earlier this week! I had 4 focus areas that I was looking to grow in: badging, coaching, professional learning, and developing a student tech team. I was also looking forward to connecting with other educators to hear the work they are doing around tech integration.


I went to 2 sessions and multiple poster sessions on badging and some of my takeaways were that I need to promote and share with leadership more. I started a badging program for teachers in 2016-2017 and it went well, but it could have been better. After talking with various educators who use badging with professional learning, I realized that I need to reach out to site admin more so they know more about who's working on what. Candace Tickle from Lubbock ISD shared that she has badging parties where sites come together with admin to work on badges. She also gives out campus awards at monthly leadership meetings, an idea I really like.

I also need to promote badging from the start of the 2017-2018 school year. I'm considering creating a video that I can email out to teachers and also spending 10-15 minutes at each site sharing our badging program in person.


In a fabulous session with Fanny Passeport, I was able to dive into the ISTE standards for coaches and how I can put them into practice. I created a digital portfolio for the 2016-2017 school year that had the standards, but the ideas shared in this session were a great way to see how some of the things I was doing really aligned to the standards. Sadie Lewis led a great poster session sharing how she uses Connected Coaching to meet the needs of her teachers. I'm excited to better utilize Forms, Sheets, and data to be a better coach!

A theme that came up in the sessions and poster conversations around coaching dealt with keeping it student centered. I'm planning to do this by focusing coaching conversations on student outcomes as opposed to specific tech tools. 

Professional Learning

This was an area that I spent time talking to educators at poster sessions and it seems like many people are using more engaging ways to meet teachers' professional learning needs. This past year, I struggled with attendance at face to face learning sessions. They were hands-on in nature, but still the traditional hourlong afterschool session. Some ideas that came out during my various sessions and conversations were speed dating, appy-hour, and ignite sessions. I'm excited to begin integrating these at my sites.

Another recurring topic was the idea of flipped PD, and I learned from Kerry Abbott and Adrienne Smith that flipping their how-to videos led to an increase in quality classroom coaching. I'm excited to make more videos to free up face to face time to be more productive.

Student Tech Team

I went to some amazing poster sessions on starting a student tech team. Mari Venturino shared her Viking Tech Crew and I love that she made her students business cards. While listening to her, another attendee shared that he formed community partnerships with Best Buy and Chick-fil-A to work on customer service training with his tech squad. The SWAT Team from New Prospect Elementary School in Georgia creates tutorial videos on how to use various tools which is a great way to empower students as leaders in learning.


The highlight of attending a conference like this is always in the connections made. I was able to finally meet my Google Innovator Mentor Lisa Thumann. During a #sketchiste meet up in the Blogger's Cafe, I met Sylvia Duckworth and learned some great sketchnoting tips from Wanda Terral. I was able to present at the Schoology booth and interact with some amazing educators utilitzing Schoology. The Flipgrid Ambassadors dinner was a blast and I'm excited to continue spreading the #flipgridfever. Below are some of the amazing pictures with my PLN and PLF:

Is it too early to plan for #ISTE18?

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