Mark, Lindsay, and I were busy during the recent ISTE conference in Atlanta, Georgia! Our time was spent meeting with members, finding new members, promoting our reports, and learning about new and exciting trends in the Ed Tech Market.
The exhibit hall was packed with all sorts of companies, many of whom received a CODiEs sign to show that they were a finalist or a winner of the 2014 cycle. The exhibit hall was huge and took a team of myself and Lindsay Harman to get all of the signs out to our winners and finalists who represented a sizeable portion of the exhibitors present.
At our press conference on Sunday, the latest Vision K-20 report was released to a great turnout of industry professionals and reporters. The report was presented by Sue Collins of CollinsConsults who help drive the development of the Vision K-20 initiative and Susan Meell of MMS Education who wrote the latest report. The crowd was highly responsive and asked lots of questions about the Vision K-20 report and the sneak peek findings from our upcoming testing and assessment report. John Richards of CS4Ed presented a sneak preview of a new qualitative report on testing and assessment. This report is a follow up to findings in last year’s K-12 Market Survey Report that showed a big increase in testing and assessment dollars in the market.
Most of the interviews we did were on video this year. We highlighted our work at ISTE with the help of C Blohm & Associates and did a summary interview with TouchCast. In between, there were more videos and phone interviews to further explain and clarify all of the results.
We co-sponsored the Ed tech start up pavilion and Pitch Fest competition, (both on the show floor) for the second year, which was very large and noisy. I spent much of Sunday judging the preliminary competition, then the finals early Monday morning. SIIA wants to congratulate the winners of this year’s competition. We were able to speak with all of the Pitch Fest competitors and learn about their companies and how they could leverage SIIA benefits.
Our Member Breakfast and Feedback Forum on Tuesday morning was also a rousing success – even for 7:00 am in the morning. The event was co-hosted with COSN and the Winter Group and drew 50 members who were able to learn from 10 educators who participated in the focus group. The topic at hand was apps in schools and educators from around the country discussed the challenges of using them in the classroom and beyond. We ended the forum by singing Happy Birthday to Charlene Blohm.
ISTE 2014 had both high registration numbers and energetic attendees. We hope to be at ISTE 2015 for another great conference and expect to see even more SIIA member companies there.
Karen Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation