Skip to content

ISTE 2015 – Keynote – Josh Stumpenhorst

July 1, 2015


This series of posts is from the ISTE 2015 conference, and they reflect my notes from various sessions. – Todd

Ladies and Gentlemen, here we are for the final keynote for ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia. It has been a fantastic week! Unbelievable how big this is, how many sessions there are, and all the great people here, presenting, attending, volunteering, exhibiting. Here we go, closing keynote!

IMG_2457 IMG_2458

I can’t keep calm, I’m at ISTE!

Over 149,000 tweets using #ISTE2015 hashtag.


Tara Linney
Technology Coach
Singapore American School

Exploring the Larger World with Google Geo Tools

Our students don’t always know what’s happening in our own backyard, using Google tools it helps them know there is more! Using Google Cardboard, we can open yet another world for our students. Google photos makes your vacation come alive for your students. Be the person on the side who facilitates. Timelapse, Mystery Hangouts. No more permission slips. Tara delivered another Ignite format presentation for everyone.


Cheryl Logan
Assistant Superintendent
The School District of Philadelphia

200,000 students

Encourages schools and teachers to tell their story, and use social media to do it. If you aren’t, someone in the basement in their pajamas is saying something else about you. Started slow, by creating a page, and then some PD on how often information and changes should be posted. Also engaged in various competitions – people like the fun. All schools in Philadelphia have wireless access. Many of schools have many students who are poor. Principals are really making an effort to refresh their technology. The challenge Cheryl sees is this is just stuff. There is a lot of consumption going on, but not as much production as she would like. Let’s not do a 21st century worksheet, let’s do something better!

Big City All Star Band again provided the music prior to the keynote, and did an incredible job during the afternoon presentations. Thanks folks!

Josh Stumpenhorst
Jr. High School History and English Teacher

Pushing the Limits

People have been asking Josh all week – “Are you ready?” and he says you know, you are never really ready, you do the best you can. Why is he here? He doesn’t know, but he thinks it’s because he’s a classroom teacher.

There are four categories of keynotes.

  1. Steve Ballmer – you walk around on stage and yell at people
  2. Sad keynote – lots of crying, you want to adopt a puppy
  3. Shameful Plug – they want you to buy something
  4. Delivered by other people, and you create a mix tape

Josh doesn’t want to do anything like these, rather, he’s going to talk about what he does. Teach.

How do we push the limits?

Better to ask:

Why do we push the limits?

The answer should have to do with kids. This is the only reason we should be doing anything in our schools. If it doesn’t have to do with kids, then why should we be doing it.

This will take us outside of our comfort zone. Are we able to work in this way? Like meeting someone in real-life whom you’ve only interacted with online.

It’s easy to complain about the boxes – the rules, the policies. It’s to have excuses, easy to just be frustrated. But where does this leave us? Not in a very good place. The box can be pretty big. Why not build something within them?

@pernilleripp – Taking an idea that has now connected 600,000 students. Global Read Aloud project. We have the ability to connect our kids, technology can do this for us, it’s not just a gimmick.

@wmchamberlain – Comments4kids – Can we push the boundaries of what student communication means. Students can now create connections based on their interests and what they want to do.

Kids don’t care about what you think about their work, but they do care about how many likes and comments and views they receive. Real feedback is more valuable. We need to help students use this space for good. To make it worthy of Google – so when they Google their name, their work shows up.

Maker Spaces – @crafty184 – Chris Craft – Kids put together prosthetic hands for other kids who needed them. Using 3D printers. This is kids making a difference.

Innovation Day – started five years ago. Had an idea that kids were not motivated by the same things as before. Read Daniel Pink’s Drive, which talks about human motivation. During innovation day, kids have an entire day to work on a project of whatever they wanted, whatever they were interested in. Not a single thing was graded, had to learn, create, and share. Innovation Day has spawned genius hours, and many other great things.

Does technology plan a role? Yes it does. For the good and bad.

Bill Ferriter @plugusin – What do you want kids to do with technology?


What is the #silverbullet?

The silver bullet is the teacher in the classroom. The person who can make a difference every day, the exact person that kids need. No piece of tech will ever replace the teacher. It can help you, it can add value, but it can never replace you. It takes a village to educate a kid. Sometimes when you go above and beyond, you are cut down and ridiculed for it.

Josh wants to thank @Naperville203 and he appreciates the people and faculty that he works with. And thanks his friend Jay, who has been teaching a BD classroom for 29 years. He taught Josh that “It’s about the kids.” Not what’s easiest for adults, or what fits into the budget.

Josh asked everyone to send out a tweet, or write a note to someone we would like to thank. We need to get into the habit and practice of thanking people. We don’t do it enough!

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. ~ Plato

There are a thousand people behind you, and you have an obligation to learn AND to teach.

After an ISTE conference, you do feel a little overwhelmed, like drinking from a hose.

Remember: Actions speak louder than words…. You can tweet all you want, but you have to do something.

Josh had us write a letter to our future selves using

Don’t forget to take a risk: #risktaking

There are kids every day that take a risk just to come to school each day. You may be only person who can help them this day.

A fantastic keynote presentation to wrap up a fantastic conference!



Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: