EAST has Strong Presence at ISTE and is Recognized as Exemplar Model of Education.
Several EAST staff members and others in the EAST network attended the 40th annual ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, PA. ISTE —International Society for Technical Education — served as a gathering place for over 20,000 educators of all levels to receive professional development, present progressive ideas, and overall reignite their educational passions as the number of summer vacation days begin to dwindle.
Attending ISTE gave EAST a national platform to connect those who were unfamiliar with EAST to the work being done throughout the network on the student and administrator level. With a booth in the exhibit hall and six presentations in various formats, EAST was well represented and returned with many great connections and ideas in preparation for the 2019 – 2020 school year.
EAST is known for its ability to spark and sustain student interest and had the opportunity to share this information with conference attendees. Members of the EAST network presented Student Confessions: I Can Learn Without Direction. This presentation featured several students from EAST at Conwell Egan Catholic School that elaborated on EAST being student-led and how participating in EAST gives them a voice in crafting their learning experiences. With audience members expressing how impressed they were by the quality of students and the ability EAST showed to inspire them, staff members at the conference experienced a steady stream of inquiries and visitors from old and new friends.
Melanie Ridlon, Senior Director of Operations for EAST shared, “Several current EAST facilitators —EAST terminology for teachers — came by the booth and said hello. We even met someone who will be facilitating EAST in the fall. It was kind of cool to be in Philadelphia at this huge conference and have so many people come by to say hi to EAST whether it was tech coordinators at EAST schools or representatives from organizations we work with like Esri, Smithsonian, PiTop and even an old EAST friend who created SketchUp.”
Of all the great things that occurred at ISTE, there was a particular sense of pride in receiving a copy of Building Connections & Branching Out: Reinventing Project-based Learning; Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age; a book published by ISTE each year that holds exemplary models of education regarding computer science. EAST received a three-page feature that detailed the impact, structure, and services provided. For more information on how to receive a copy of the book, click here.
Although this was a big year for EAST at ISTE, next year is promising to be even more engaging. EAST Program Coordinator and returning ISTE attendee, Alicia Humbard, was invited to work with the ISTE Equity Action Forum. Humbard shared, “I will be working with a team of educators in the upcoming year from all over the US to dig into equity in “Student Voice.” [I am] Proud to know that EAST will help in this important work in the upcoming year.” Stay connected with EAST via social media to see all of the great things implemented as a result of ISTE and in preparation to present on the ISTE mainstage in 2020!