In addition to having AR and VR as the theme for the conference, there were lots of edtech company announcements that happened during ISTE. One was the new collaboration of CoSpacesEDU and Merge Cube! Their big announcement: in the near future students will be able to create their own Augmented Reality spaces in CoSpaces and view them through Merge Cube!?! What!?! I’m still blown away by this idea and so excited to try it out with my students. I feel like this is the next step in moving our students from AR/VR consumers to creators. And how perfect to announce during ISTE?
Speaking of CoSpacesEDU, while at ISTE I was asked to present and share the awesome things our students at Hall Fletcher Elementary School have been creating in CoSpaces. Any chance I have to share our students’ stories and projects, I jump for! This was an awesome opportunity to show off the creativity and critical thinking that our students have been doing not only to teachers but also to students. The students in the picture below are from California and I talked them into presenting after me. What a great group of smart girls! They were nervous to present but I told them, if I could do it I knew they could! I sat in the front row and cheered them on! They did awesome!
In addition to CoSpaces, I also had the opportunity to sit in on Jamie Donally’s AR and VR sessions. Man, I’m glad I did! I have been following Jamie on Twitter for the past year and have participated in a couple of her #ARVRinEDU Twitter Chats. (If you haven’t checked out this hashtag or participated in a chat, you should! You will learn a ton in a short amount of time!) She is amazing! I found myself during her session, not only taking tons of notes in my Google Keep, but also emailing and tweeting colleagues about the awesome tools that they could implement in their classroom. She shared a ton of apps including Rumi, Figment AR app, Morphi, and StoryFab.
I honestly feel the best part of ISTE are the amazing educators you meet. During Jamie’s session, I met an awesome teacher from Kansas who was just starting up a MakerSpace and had been using AR and VR in her media center for a couple of years. It was awesome to share ideas with each other about what our students are doing and what our spaces could look like. I feel like sometimes teachers go to conferences and focus on learning from the presenter, but most of the time they walk away learning so much from other teachers they’re interacting with. This is something I hope I never forget to do. We are often times so attached to our devices that we forget to talk with each other. Collaborate. Talk, Share. That’s what it’s all about!
I walked away from ISTE 2018 with a full heart, stuffed brain, and an expanded PLN. I have so many ideas that I want to implement and have shared with my colleagues. The best part is that I can and will continue the learning after ISTE with the awesome educators I had the opportunity to meet!
Darcy Grimes is a veteran North Carolina Educator, and Senior STEM Innovator for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT).
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