The highlight of each ISTE for me is to see my students present their project (This year they shared our collaboratively produced, student-driven journal). Yes, THEY do all of the presenting. They begin working on their presentation and public speaking skills in February. They design and create the look of their display. Knowing that many of the students that attend each year are students who have overcome great obstacles to find personal and academic success is fulfilling. Hearing all of the comments from the 400+ visitors to their presentations is gratifying for me because they see the value in what my students have to say. My students exude confidence and enthusiasm for their topic because it is THEIR project...not mine.
They were thinking about other students. They proudly wore the "Troublemaker" ribbons on their ISTE badges and explained to anyone who asked that they were troublemakers because they want education to change and they weren't afraid to fight for it. They know the importance of learning supported technology and the power of students making decisions about how and what they learn.
So I want to thank all of you who came by and lent your ear to their presentation. That day my students grew up. Through your words of encouragement, praise, and challenge, my students are more driven than ever to change the face of education. After all, it's their education. Don't all of our students need a voice in the direction that it goes?