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Upcoming ISTE Keynotes Promote Student Passion for Learning

The keynote roster for ISTE 2012 includes a creativity expert featured on TED, a television actress/science teacher, and a rainforest conservationist, among other speakers. The International Society for Technology in Education holds its annual conference in San Diego starting on June 24, 2012. ISTE attracts nearly 18,000 attendees and industry representatives. The event will feature 300 model lessons, 135 workshops, 400 learning activities, 500 exhibitions, and three keynotes.

The opening keynote features Sir Ken Robinson, who will lead a panel discussion on "encouraging students' passion to achieve." Robinson was featured in a 2006 TED talk with 10.6 million views suggesting that schools kill creativity. His ISTE session will feature a panel with three other speakers:

  • Marc Prensky, author of several books on digital natives; his latest book, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom,,examines what young people have told him about what they need from teachers, schools, and education;
  • Peggy Johnson is Qualcomm's executive vice president of global market development, influential in that company's support for 24/7 education through mobile and handheld technologies; and
  • Actress Mayim Bialik, cast member of CBS comedy Big Bang Theory, who also holds a PhD in neuroscience and has been a physics and chemistry teacher and a blogger on the topics of child development and parenting.

Later in the week Yong Zhao, associate dean for global education at the University of Oregon College of Education, makes the case for how the current measures of education quality are misleading. He'll share his thoughts on how education can help prepare students to be "globally competent and creative entrepreneurs."

The final keynote of the conference will be delivered by another TED speaker, conservationist Willie Smits, and teacher Christopher Gauthier, who will share a story about how young people and teachers around the world began a collaborative project to restore rainforest lands and rescue orangutans.

"We are particularly excited for Sir Ken Robinson to frame Sunday evening's conversation about expanding and redefining student horizons for learning," said Donella Evoniuk, senior director of ISTE's conference services division and executive producer of the event. "ISTE believes that educators have a key role to play in boosting students' innate passion for learning, and Sir Ken is just the voice we need to get this conversation going at ISTE 2012."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.