Central to the mission of Loyola University Maryland is the development of the whole person, or cura personalis in Latin. The Educational Technology Program at the Loyola School of Education demonstrates Cura Personalis by expanding students’ experiences beyond the classroom by supporting their participation in local and international conferences. In June 2022, three education technology students attended the ISTELive 22 conference.
ISTELive is an annual conference hosted by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). It is “one of the most inclusive edtech events in the world, attended by a global contingent of educational leaders, teachers, trainers, librarians/media professionals and more” (ISTE, nd, About ISTE and ISTELive 23). In 2022, it was a hybrid conference with an in-person option in New Orleans, LA, USA and an online option. During the conference, 1,086 sessions were offered along with games, social media challenges and a network of 16,581 people from 88 different countries (Fingal, 2022). The three EdTech students attended virtually and were able to connect with educators around the world and attend sessions on innovative technologies.
Donna Gregg, a 2nd grade teacher at Prince George’s County Public Schools, attended ISTELive 22. Donna learned about new technologies like Book Creator, got more ideas for using choiceboards in her classroom, and expanded her Professional Learning Network (PLN). “The session that impressed me the most was The Epic eBook of Web Tools and Apps Book Creator mockup. This session was great and I learned so much from it. It was very informative and made me curious to learn more about Book Creator. I even attended another bookmaking session and learned more about how to use it in the classroom.” Through Donna’s PLN, she has received inspiration from educators around the world and has been able to connect with Shake Up Learning’s Kasey Bell and learn more about selection boards. “The sessions I attended at ISTE were encouraging and motivating, and the biggest impact was the new skills and materials I brought with me to use in my classes.”
Laura Frank, a Grade 9-12 American Sign Language teacher in Maryland, attended ISTELive 22. Laura learned how to design digital escape rooms using Google applications (Google Workspace) and engage her students in puzzles and games. “My biggest ‘wow’ of the conference was all the ‘toolbag’ templates, materials and resources that were made available to us during each of the different sessions. We were given so much to copy and share with our students and colleagues!” After the ISTELive 22 conference, Laura spent her summer thinking about how to engage her learners and bring fun to her classroom. “Over the past few years, I’ve found that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep students’ attention as they compete with their personal phones, social media, and digital leisure games. The ISTE conference inspired me to think about how I can use educational technology to connect with students who are rekindling their passion and investment in our courses.”
Eric Hines, the teacher coordinator for the mathematics department at Laurel High School in Prince George’s County Public Schools, also attended ISTELive 22. Eric learned how to use digital choice boards to encourage student autonomy and better engage students in the classroom. “The most impactful session of the ISTE 2022 conference was The Teacher’s Guide to Digital Choice Boards: Empower and Engage Students! This session provided me with so many resources and ideas to implement student choices in the classroom.” Digital choice boards are creative ways for students to accomplish an assignment or goal by guiding students to focus on their own personalized to let in learning. Eric added some of this new knowledge to his graduate program internship and math classroom, where activities and assignments are presented using a digital choice board. “The ISTE conference has expanded my thinking and understanding of how we can bring out the best in our students by enabling them to use technology to support their academic and personal goals.”
At Loyola University Maryland, students are offered opportunities to expand their learning in support of the whole person. Faculty member Irene A. Bal encourages students to attend local, national, and international conferences and lectures, and works with Loyola stakeholders to provide financial support to students. “By attending conferences, our EdTech students can network with other educators who are passionate about technology integration in the classroom. They are also able to see emerging innovative technologies and teaching strategies and bring them back to their classrooms and schools. Any financial support we can give students is the icing on the cake and helps them offset the expenses that usually come out of their pocket. In the EdTech program, we’re not just talking about Cura Personalis, we’re walking the path through opportunities like ISTELive.” ISTELive 23 will be hybrid again this year and will be held in Philadelphia, PA.
Interested in learning more about the Loyola Educational Technology program? For more information about the program, visit the program website and follow the Loyola Ed Tech program TwitterInstagram and TikTok – @LoyolaET
Donna Gregg is a graduate of the Loyola Educational Technology program and a 2nd grade teacher at Prince George’s County Public Schools. Donna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/mommawith5kids
Laura Frank is a Loyola Educational Technology program graduate and American Sign Language teacher for grades 9-12 in Maryland. Laura’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsLCFrank
Eric Hines is a graduate student in the Loyola Educational Technology program and teacher coordinator for the mathematics department at Laurel High School in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Eric’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrEricLHines
Released: October 17, 2022