Updated: Jul 2
As in life, technology has heralded unprecedented change in education. The way we create, gather, store, experience and share content has changed profoundly in just two decades, and those changes are reflected in education as they are across our daily lives. And while this shift has played out somewhat organically for the general populace, introduction into pedagogy has by necessity been far more structured.
Teachers have been relying on audio-visual media and the presentation of content inside the classroom for over 70 years; from filmstrip, to slides and even 16mm motion pictures. Opaque and overhead projection devices became go-to standards, as educators sought to shift teaching toward a more inclusive and immersive experience centered on visual engagement. It was one thing to read history in a book, but quite another to see it on a life-sized screen.
Bringing any technology into the classroom is a fraught undertaking. Every day of a student’s life is unique and never to be repeated. Resources are slim and teachers have been tasked with stretching available dollars to the limit. A poor choice in technology meant to enhance the education experience can instead present deleterious and unintended consequences. Equally fraught though is the failure to act, to advance the classroom experience in step with what is happening in peoples’ daily lives.
So how does technology make inroads into the classroom when the stakes are so high? Who determines that the time is right to switch from hard-copy paper submissions to PDFs? Or that the traditional blackboard be replaced with a digital version? Or that biology classes switch from optical to digital microscopes? If you thought it was a top-down decision, it may be time to think again.
Inside every societal group one is apt to find a unique set of people who for the most part, stand out from the rest. Such people share common attributes such as inquisitiveness, enthusiasm, curiosity, selflessness, and bravery. They are also generally good communicators, with both the confidence and temperament to engage with others. We have come to label such people as “mavericks”, drawing parallel between their feistiness and that of adolescent equines.
In education, the digital mavericks gather every year at ISTE. They attend seminars, sit on panels, forage through the exhibitor displays, all in search of the next nugget of technological gold. Badges are scanned, emails addresses exchanged, and the next wave of innovation is already in motion. These mavericks, the early adopters, are like the canary in the coal mine; they are on-scene early, gauging what is gaining traction among peers and how it can benefit their students.
For tech companies like KLIK, this is a proving ground. No matter what we think as we develop classroom technology, no matter how certain we are about its appeal, the acid test is this group attending ISTE. These are the people who will determine whether what we, and all the other vendors, offer is going to have a positive impact on their own students. Because these folks are not shopping for commodities, they are actively seeking out ways to improve educational outcomes.
Our products are designed to bridge the gap between the availability of digital content and students’ access to that content. We facilitate the free exchange of that content in-person, remotely, or a hybrid of the two, either across point-to-point video calling or live streaming to larger audiences. Our goal is to remove friction from the process, so we focus on usability and simplicity in how educators of all skills use our products, not just the tech-savvy ISTE community.
Our attendance at ISTE is underwritten by two missions; show attendees what we have created to address their needs, and listen to their responses, asks and ideas. The first is obvious, but the latter is the most reason for attendance. Where else can we interact with hundreds of education technology mavericks? Where else can we see the future of technology in education as it is being defined?
The ISTELive ’23 Conference runs June 25-28 in Philadelphia, PA. If you are in attendance, we would love to see you and hear about your experiences and ideas. Together we can turn those ideas into the solutions that will power the next generation of educators, thanks to the mavericks.
Dreaming big. Transforming teaching. Empowering learners.
Welcome to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), home to a passionate community of global educators who believe in the power of technology to transform teaching and learning, accelerate innovation and solve tough problems in education.
ISTE inspires the creation of solutions and connections that improve opportunities for all learners by delivering: practical guidance, evidence-based professional learning, virtual networks, thought-provoking events and the ISTE Standards.
Dedicated to the belief that technology, when applied ethically, has the power to lift people and help them thrive as members of the greater community. Our technologies, products and implementations foster communication and the exchange of ideas, between people whether they are located in the same physical space or anywhere else on the planet.