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ISTE 2014 – Keynote – Jeff Charbonneau

July 1, 2014

These are my notes from the various sessions and conversations and activities at the ISTE 2014 conference in Atlanta



Here’s Brian and Kecia!

Apparently #selfieswithkecia is happening everywhere, so Kecia asked everyone to do a selfiewithkecia and post to Twitter. It was hilarious watching the whole crowd stand, turn around, and attempt a selfie! I admit, I am shameless, and I was one of them!


Attendees – Over 16,000 attendees, which is 3,500 more than the last highest ever.

Brian and Kecia thanked the program committee for all their work and continued with some of the amazing social media statistics.

Introduced FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel


Really had a brief conversation about E-Rate, and upcoming changes.

Jessica is concerned that there isn’t enough broadband for schools, and the program is too complicated for many schools.

There is also concern about Net Neutrality. The courts have thrown out the existing rules, and ISTE and others are concerned about ensuring the new rules make sense.

The Power and Danger of “What If …?”
Jeff Charbonneau
Chemistry, Physics, Engineering Teacher

2013 National Teacher of the Year


What If?

What if we check out frogs? Can we be curious? Can we have the kids be super curious? Can we take them out to a park and catch frogs? Are we worried about discipline problems? Yes, and took them out and tagged the frogs. Became one of the world’s largest studies on this particular frog. Got to do real science, and then real science got in the way.

What if we launch rockets? We learn with our students, even if that’s not something we already know.

What if we did things a little bit differently?

If I’m interested in having the students solve problems, I’ve got to give them problems, AND, I have to model good problem solving.

What if the kids want to do a robotics program? We do fund raising, we send the robots out to anywhere in the state, and then have a massive competition six weeks later.

Military got involved and demonstrated their bomb disposal systems.

What if we started looking at different things? What if we all started working together?

What if we get asked to do something we know NOTHING about, and we just say “Yes”.

What if the desire to invent, the desire to create was what drove you? What if it gave you the courage to do something different?

What if we had the courage?

We ask our students to have courage to do drama productions, what if we had that courage?

If you play baseball, and you strike out, do we tell you to go and stand in the corner and think about your strike out. Do we do that in any sport?

What if we asked our students to be a little more self-sufficient? BEFORE we made them more group-sufficient.

What if we accepted the fact that we don’t have to be pigeon-holed into our subject areas?

What if we abandoned our comfort zones? We dress and act differently for our kids, why don’t we do it in other areas? What if we got uncomfortable for our profession? It’s time we got uncomfortable!

Imagine what you could do if you didn’t pick sides?

What is the best answer? “It Depends”

What if each teacher spent 5 minutes in the grocery store bragging bout education? Wouldn’t that be amazing?

What if 3.3 million teachers in the USA raised their voices as one?

What if we taught, not just students, but parents, policy makers, anyone who will listen? What if we treated our administrators and parents like our students.

What if we fail? Awesome! It is our obligation to fail, so then we can show kids what it is like to fail and get back up, to show them how to own our failure.

What if we did all of this, all at once? With a focus and dedication each school day?

Maintain Focus

What is our focus?

We have to teach ALL of our kids, as if they might become members of our family!

How do we do this?
Content is the method, not the goal.

Positive Relationships First

We are teaching our replacements, the new collective us, the new generation, the kids who will pay our social security.

We give hope to the new us.

Fantastic keynote presentation by Jeff! I imagine he is a great guy to work with, and an excellent example for everyone! Thanks Jeff for an excellent presentation!

The day wrapped up with a bit of a “what to look forward to in Philadelphia” Looks exciting! Can’t hardly wait!



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