By Chris Magnuson

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that supports and trains educators to integrate technology into the classroom and inspires educators to become leaders in educational technology (EdTech).  The ISTE Conference and Expo is an amazing event that welcomes close to 18,000 educators, administrators, EdTech visionaries, and industry leaders to share and learn from each other. This year the conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas from June 25th – 28th.

We are proud to be among the select few individuals and organizations who will be presenting at this year’s conference.  Our session kicks off the conference early Monday morning with a hands-on workshop entitled Become a Game-Based Learning Guru.  We will share important information to justify using games in the classroom, a useful Game-Based Learning (GBL) rubric, and an opportunity to design a game that fits the curriculum that you currently teach. The rubric helps to evaluate the effectiveness of educational games. We will be using games from the Dig-It! Games library to illustrate our points as well as educating attendees on trends in GBL. It will prove to be a fun and engaging workshop.  Register today!

As we prepare for our own workshop, we also need to keep an eye on the many social events and sessions that we would like to attend.  Time is tight so a good plan will help us make the most of the conference and expo.  Here are the sessions that we have earmarked for attending:

Social Events:

Start networking a little early on Sunday night and learn about implementing ISTE standards in your products and classroom at the  ISTE Standards-Aligned Resources Networking Mixer.

Monday night join Dig-It! Games at the ISTE Game Night to play games!  We will be hosting a table with our games and offering game giveaways.  This will be a great opportunity to meet the GBL community attending ISTE as well as play some fun games!

Tuesday night will be an opportunity to see how students and teachers are using games in the classroom by watching creatively narrated video game sequences in the EduMachinima Fest 2017.

Keep an eye out for impromptu breakfasts, coffee meet-ups and some late evening talks at local bars and hotels.  Be sure to sign up for all relevant ISTE communications when you register to learn about the myriad social opportunities while at ISTE.

GBL Sessions:

There are so many great GBL sessions at ISTE this year but here are a few that we think are definitely worth attending:

Put Augmented Reality in your STEM – Learn about augmented reality and how it can be used to engage learners.

Simple, Curricular-Aligned Games in the Wild  Legends of Learning presents a published controlled study showing that building games off of the curriculum teachers use and offering a variety of games for each learning objective increases lesson retention and student engagement.

Certified BrainPOP Educator Showcase – Certified BrainPOP Educators will share the ways they’re putting GBL content and features to use. You’ll hear real-life anecdotes about everything from assessment to PD to game-based learning, from a diverse range of educators.

Invite Students to be Players in the Game of Learning – Collaborate and experience gamified learning. Find out how gamification can create students who are persistent problem-solvers. You’ll leave with tools to gamify your own curriculum.

Helping Teachers Use Game Play Data for Formative Assessment and Differentiation:

Findings from a pilot study with six middle school science teachers who used a video game about argumentation for 1-2 weeks in class will be presented. The discussion will focus on how teachers interpreted game play data to make inferences about student learning and make changes to instruction.

Beyond Pokemon: Virtual and Augmentative Reality for STEM

Virtual or augmentative reality is here to stay! Now, how do we use it for meaningful instruction? This session will focus on VR and AR to develop social competence in the STEM classroom. Yes, skills to problem solve, learn cooperatively and work in teams.

Virtual Environments and Games & Simulations Networks Playground: Escape the Ordinary

The Games & Simulations and Virtual Environments networks will provide a scaffolded experience using augmented reality, virtual reality, games and simulations. This will take a project-, problem- and challenge-based focus allowing participants to play along with an escape room challenge theme.

Game Design as a Catalyst for Learning

Find out how to use game design to let students explore their interests, passions and curiosities as they become creative and innovative and practice thinking outside of the box. Learn to create transdisciplinary learning opportunities that give students voice.

iDigFossils: STEAM Integration through 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, and Paleontology

So you have a 3D printer…now what do you do with it? iDigFossils is a collaborative project between educators and the University of Florida that provides open-sourced, NGSS-aligned K-12 curriculum using 3D printed fossils. By leveraging 3D technology, these lessons allow students to become scientists.

Game On: Breakout EDU and the Changing Landscape of Learning

This session starts with a look back at where we have come from in games – especially through the lens of educational technology – and then looks at Breakout EDU as a path forward to a more intrinsic and student-focused education.

Digital Content and Games: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This panel unpacks customer needs and industry innovation surrounding digital content and education games through dialogue anchored by publications by the Center for Digital Education. This engaging conversation includes voices from district leaders in the field as well as thought leaders and content providers.

It’s hard to believe that the list above is not comprehensive!  There are many other GBL posters, panels, workshops and connections happening and we hope you will be able to make it!

If you are coming to ISTE, please let us know and we would love to connect with you and share what Dig-It! Games is developing for SY 2017-2018.  We are looking forward to building partnerships with schools and teachers for input on our games as well as opportunities to share our GBL learning practices and playtest some of our games!

Jes and I are looking forward to presenting at ISTE and preparing for a very successful conference filled with new connections, insightful EdTech conversations and strengthening existing partnerships.

 

Drop us a line and we will see you in San Antonio!

Chris Magnuson – chrism@dig-itgames.com  – Twitter = @cromagnuson , @DigItGames

Jes Mylniec – jesm@dig-itgames.com – Twitter = @jmlyie