World's Most Comprehensive Ed Tech Event, ISTE 2016, Draws Nearly 20,000

June 29, 2016 5:31 PM EDT

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DENVER, Colorado (PRWEB) June 29, 2016

This week, nearly 20,000 registered attendees and industry representatives from 72 countries around the world traveled to Denver for ISTE 2016, the world's most comprehensive ed tech event. Social media activity from the conference hit new highs. As of noon on Wednesday, there were more than 221,000 tweets with the #ISTE2016, nearly 4,000 #ISTE2016 photos uploaded to Instagram, and all social media content using the conference hashtag reached more than 58 million people around the world.

Special guests at this year's keynotes included actor and education advocate, LeVar Burton; founder of Hadi Partovi, vice president of Worldwide Education, Microsoft, Anthony Salcito; U.S. Representative Jared Polis, Second District, Colorado; and Star Wars character, R2-D2.

Among the news highlights at the conference was the unveiling of the new ISTE Standards for Students, designed to guide learners who live, work and play in a technology-infused world. ISTE also announced a collaboration with Microsoft to combine and expand a host of their world-class initiatives to ensure educators and school leaders around the world have access to school planning and professional development resources.

On Tuesday, two start-ups were winners in the ISTE 2016 Ed Tech Start-Up Pitch Fest. Earning the award for Most Innovative was Books That Grow, a new model of adaptive learning that provides differentiated reading content based on students' needs. Taking home honors as Most Likely to Succeed in the fourth annual competition was Cogent Education. Its products feature a series of interactive biology lessons using video game technologies to engage students and enable them to practice critical thinking and solve real-world problems.

In other ISTE 2016 news, seven educators were honored with Making It Happen Awards for their commitment to transforming education through innovative technology integration. Since this award began in 1995, more than 500 educators from around the world have received this recognition.

The 2016 Making IT Happen award recipients are:

  • Ali Alkarni, Ph.D., is director general of the Arab Bureau for Education in the Gulf States (ABEGS). A well-respected and sought-after visionary, speaker and adviser, under his leadership, the organization has translated the ISTE Standards and a number of ISTE books into Arabic, and has been a key player in the development and pilot of the ABEGS/ISTE Standards for Coaching Program. Alkarni is a strong advocate for ISTE, promoting the organization to ministries in the region, as well as in the press and at regional conferences.
  • Cathy Cavanaugh is director of teaching and learning, worldwide education at Microsoft. Her previous roles include academic leadership in higher education in the Middle East during a national mobile learning program, and work as a professor of educational technology in U.S. universities. In addition, Cavanaugh was a Fulbright Senior Scholar advancing e-learning in Nepal and developed successful and innovative professional development programs for educators and blended learning programs for K-12 students. In addition to the Making It Happen honor, her work has been recognized for its impact with international awards.
  • Randy Hansen is associate professor and program chair, instructional technology, at University of Maryland University College. His career has taken him down many paths including serving as a K-12 classroom teacher, an online educator, and a university program director. Hansen has also devoted many hours to volunteering in the ISTE community, as president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network, producing webinars, editing ISTE journals, presenting at conferences and serving on the program committee. In addition to the Making It Happen award, Hansen was also recently honored as a 2015 Top 30 Technologist, Transformers, and Trailblazers from the Center for Digital Education.
  • Jamie Kasper is associate director of the Arts Education Collaborative, a nonprofit organization in Pittsburgh. She has contributed greatly to the ISTE community, including as an active member of the Young Educators Network, and the long-time leader of the Arts and Technology Network. Her impact extends to the ISTE conference as well, having organized several playgrounds and served on the program committee.
  • Shannon McClintock Miller began her career as a teacher librarian in a one-building K-12 school, but quickly grew to become a consultant, speaker and role model for educators around the world. She has been a leader in the ISTE Librarians Network, presented at ISTE and many affiliate conferences, and has been a contributing author for many ISTE publications. In addition to the Making It Happen award, Miller's list of awards includes Library Journal - Movers & Shakers, 100+ Influential Learning Professionals To Follow from Edudemic, Faces of Innovation from Broadband for America, and Bammy Award Finalist In School Librarian Category.
  • Kim McMonagle is the director of educational technology at Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado. McMonagle is involved in the ed tech community in Colorado, the United States and around the world. As a board member of ISTE's Colorado affiliate, InnEdCO, she has guided its partnerships with ISTE, including serving as regional program chair for the 2016 conference in Denver as well as being instrumental in connecting the Colorado Association of Leaders in Educational Technology, InnEdCO and ISTE in joint advocacy efforts. McMonagle is also an ISTE instructional faculty member, providing professional development nationally and internationally.
  • Andrew Wheelock is the technology coordinator for the Western New York Regional Information Center. A 20-year veteran educator, he was an originator in Second Life education;, "Virtual Pioneers," which started in 2008 and is still active today,; "Islands of Enlightenment," an Open Sim virtual world; and a co-founder of ISTE's Virtual Environment Network. He's also served on the ISTE conference committee, hosted multiple playgrounds, and contributes as part of the ISTE Standards refresh team. In addition to this honor, he recently won the "THINKER-ER AWARD" from Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education.

ISTE 2017 is slated for June 25-28 in San Antonio.

About ISTE
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier nonprofit membership organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

Innovative offerings include the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age as well as the ISTE Conference & Expothe world's most comprehensive ed tech event. The organization's robust suite of professional learning resources feature online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit Connect with ISTE via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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