After our team spent a marathon week presenting Impero’s classroom, device and networking management solutions with the 20,000 people that made up the ISTE 2015 conference in Philadelphia, we caught up with our Vice President, Kirk Greiner. Here’s his take on the exciting event, and the great things that are happening in education technology in the United States.
What did you see, do, and hear at ISTE 2015 that inspired you?
Kirk: “I saw lots of teachers that are teaching for the first time in classrooms where every student has a computing device. When I entered the ed-tech market 15 years ago, 1:1 computing was the brass ring that everyone was talking about and trying to grab. Now, for the first time in those 15 years, more teachers and administrators I talked to said they had a 1:1 program in place or were putting one in place as opposed to those who didn’t. It has taken a long time, but the enthusiasm about putting technology in the hands of every student rather than just a few computer labs was palpable!”
What is the biggest change for the near future in ed-tech that you previewed at ISTE?
Kirk: “As shown by the conversations I had with teachers, administrators and IT managers, computing devices will be in every student’s hands. This one change affects every teacher, every student, every administrator and every vendor at the show.”
What are the biggest pain points that teachers, IT managers, administrators told you about?
Kirk: “Now that all the schools are buying personal devices or going to BYOD the pain points all revolved around those devices. For teachers: How do I teach with them? What content is available for them? and, How do I manage a digital classroom vs a purely physical classroom? For IT managers: “How do we deploy, manage and support these devices? (The IT manager’s job just got a lot bigger.) For administrators: “How do these devices translate into improvements in student literacy, retention rates and performance?”
What did you think of Philly, and this year’s ISTE conference in general?
Kirk: “ It was much better than the last ISTE in Philly. Activity at the show was one of the highest I’ve experienced in 15 years I’ve been attending. Enthusiasm was high. I definitely feel like tech is riding a new wave in the education space and things are moving very quickly. Booths that dealt with tablets and cloud computing seemed to be the busiest. Personal devices are much bigger at this show than say, 5 years ago when it was all about classroom devices like interactive whiteboards, digital cameras and computer carts. There were lots of new vendor names so the market is definitely expanding at an accelerating rate.” (Speaking of whiteboards, check out our partnership with SMART Technologies. It’s a great deal!)
This is all exciting information to absorb. And absorb is what we did all week long. The ISTE conference isn’t just for the Impero team to demonstrate our products. As shown in Kirk’s reflections and thoughts, the ISTE conference is a place for us to listen to the needs, problems, and wishes of teachers, school and IT administrators, and even students. We learn from the participants about what they need to make learning successful now and in the future. Then we take that information and use it to improve and expand our products to provide education technology solutions.
Have you got technology issues like the ones Kirk talked about? Set up a demo of our Education Pro classroom, device, and network management software and see what we can do to improve the tech situation at your school. Give us a call at 877.883.4370 to talk about your needs. We’re here for you!