Words I hope NOT to hear at ISTE

As I get ready to present in the next few days — I take the time to look over my notes and make sure I am wise with my word choices.

And I am gearing myself up as I prepare to listen to what others have to say.

And these are the words I hope NOT to hear at ISTE.

When we standardize teaching into one-size-must-fit-all then we might as well let robots teach our kids.
There is NOT one solution nor ONE 100% only way.
Make a suggestion of what worked for you……..but please don’t say EVERYONE or ALL.  That is dictatorship and not at all healthy for our students.
And feel free to add MUST to this list too.

Hate this — I mean really what are you trying to say?
I am unsure how or why “being inflexible” really worked into the EdTech vocabulary — but it needs to be removed or be explained more precisely.

Really??   it is 2012….so this is a fact we kinda know now.
And truly — never in all my growing up did a teacher every shake their head and exclaim “oh, I need to be a better 20th century teacher”.   It was an unspoken fact they knew they needed to be a better teacher — at any time period”.

If you feel you have “arrived” to the point of expertdom then please snuggle deep into your recliner and close your eyes.
Anyone who claims they are an expert has just pretty much proclaimed they are no longer a learner.
Tell me you are struggling, tell me you understand something but are still working out some of the kinks, tell me you learn every day.
If you tell me you are an expert….it will make me sad.

First of all — labeling is just wrong.
Secondly — we are all learners — so lets just all admit we are newbies and move on.
And digital native — nope.  Our kids were born in a world of technology but kids were not born with mice, stylus or devices in their hands.   It is a learning curve for all of us.

I wrote about this before (http://projectsbyjen.com/blog/?p=1739) and still feel the same.  The Grand Canyon is amazing, a star filled sky is amazing, new life is amazing…..a project, an idea, a gadget is productive, useful, helpful, and effective.  But amazing?  Not.

The exhibit hall is already on my mind — it both scares me and exhilarates me.   And if you are vendor and reading this — let me come to you — if I am interested, I will wander over.
But don’t tell me that my campus MUST HAVE something.   Because I can tell you, we don’t.   And please don’t show me how something works — but let me play with it.   And and and — please answer a direct question with a direct answer…..if I ask you HOW MUCH DOES IT COST — please tell me.    If you tell me someone will contact me, I will walk away.

Hmm — that is my list so far —
I am sure it will grow.

What are some words YOU hope not to hear at ISTE.






  1. Sarah Ogden says:

    LOVE the list! You must have been reading my thoughts!

  2. Colleen says:

    Firstly, how dare strangers presume to judge me wanting in the “rigor” category. I rigorously prepared to be a teacher. I rigorously prepare my lessons. I spend every moment I can searching, practicing, and thinking how to better teach so students can be successful as learners. It is not possible for anyone to work harder at their job than I and my colleagues do every day, every night, seven days a week.

  3. Colleen says:

    Secondly, the terms “newby” and “digital native” are show off words meant to tell others they can’t be in the elite group. I read a tech article today that used the term “nanomillennial” – jargon for I’m smarter than you and you can never catch up. Hogwash.

  4. This amazing list must be read by all teachers who want to consider themselves experts at 21st Century learning. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

    Love this, Jen. Too many buzzwords in education – and buzzwords tend to, in my opinion, trivialize what is important for all of us.

    I have a particular hatred (too strong?) for “RIGOR,” only because of how it has been used to justify boxed curriculum and MORE work, instead of challenging learning opportunities, etc.

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