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Camp memories

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This letter appears in our new publication SmartReport on ISTE2015.


I loved summer camp when I was a kid. Every July, my folks shipped me and my bags off to Camp Cedar Crest in the mountains of San Bernardino, California, for a week of friends, fun, games, activities and classes. I ate a copious amount of S’mores, played volleyball for hours, sang around the campfire and giggled with my friends into the wee hours of the night. It was always a good time. And I always came away from camp with great memories, new friends and fresh energy for the school year.

The annual ISTE show and conference reminds me a bit of camp. For four days each summer, educators from around the globe come together to network, exchange ideas, learn from one another and find new ways to tackle the challenges of education. This year’s show was no exception, and SmartBrief editors were on the ground to catch it all. It was something to see. The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia hummed with energy as educators attended sessions, engaged in workshops and activities, and crowded the conference floor to see the latest devices and applications in education technology. And when it was all said and done, folks left the conference armed with new information, new friends and new energy for the coming year.

Our new SmartReport on ISTE 2015 aims to bring some of that ISTE magic to our readers. Inside, you’ll find summaries of coverage from sessions about academic makerspaces, school technology coaches and trends in student data. Student presenters give sage advice to tech-wary teachers in “Student Voices.” SmartBrief Education Senior Editor Melissa Greenwood reports on new realities in education from Will Richardson’s session “Tech in 10: Effective Teaching for the Next Decade.” Education expert Mark Barnes offers five strategies teachers can implement now to bring change in their classrooms in his story, “Reconfiguring the 5-year plan: Right-now strategies for schools.” And I share insights from veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien’s opening keynote address, during which she outlined ways educators can use technology to level the playing field and create true equity in our schools.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. This digital supplement is packed with interactive elements and meaty information — don’t miss TechTips and our Tech Showcase! — all designed to inspire new ideas and get you excited for the upcoming school year.

So sit back, flip through the pages and enjoy. And let us know what you think of this supplement. We would love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve it and what you would like to see — topics, story elements — in future issues. Your input matters.