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Access my notes from the conference!

One of the great things about HSTE is our special relationship with ASTE (Alaska Society for Technology in Education). The ASTE board has been integral in helping HSTE get started and they set a great example as an ISTE affiliate. We also have a great partnership, which allows us to send a board member to their annual education conference, and in return we support them in sending one of their board members to attend our Schools of the Future Conference. This year, I had the honor and the pleasure of attending their 2016 ASTE Conference on behalf of HSTE.


I found snow!

As President of HSTE for 2016, I set a few goals for myself while attending the ASTE Conference and their board meeting. First, I was very interested in the education climate of Alaska, being that many of the teachers work in such small and remote towns. I was amazed to hear from one teacher that works in a small village and teaches in a one room schoolhouse with students that range from grade 3 to grade 12. I can only imagine the challenges that teacher has to face in order to ensure all of those students are receiving the best education.

For my second goal, I wanted to better understand how their board manages ASTE and how they have been able to grow their society into what it is today. This year, they celebrated their 36th conference and the ASTE conference has become such an integral part of their organization. It has become one of very few opportunities for their members to meet face-to-face and to network and it has also become their annual culminating event to celebrate education and educators in Alaska. This is sort of member bonding opportunity that lasts for many years is what I want to continue to see for our members of HSTE!


The new ASTE board for 2016-2017

The conference was an amazing learning and networking opportunity! I had the privilege of presenting on one of my favorite topics: Google Drive Add-ons! Check out my resource page and presentation here. I spent the first day in their Leadership Summit with presenter, Carl Hooker. One great message I took away from the summit was this: “You can have the greatest strategy, but if the culture isn’t ready to accept it, it won’t happen. Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” When you think about moving your school forward and creating positive change, the most important thing to consider is school cultural. As the leader, you have to ensure that your community and the culture surrounding it is ready for that change.

One of the most enjoyable sessions I attended was “What if the Maker Movement Inspires STEM Learning” by Elaine Schuck. We completed two hands-on paper circuit and origami circuit activities. It was a great introduction into the world of making (and circuitry)!


A simple paper circuit activity

One of the best highlights of the ASTE conference was the IdidaContest which awards students and teachers who submit creative and inspiring contest entries in a variety of categories. I especially love the fact that both students and teachers are allowed to enter. This has become a great outlet for teachers to also demonstrate their own creativity!

I’m already excited for the next HSTE board member to attend the ASTE conference in 2017! I’m gathered all of my notes from the conference into this Google Drive folder for everyone to access.

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