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ISTE 2017 – Affiliate Summit

June 24, 2017

Today is one of the most full days of the ISTE Conference. We get the opportunity to hang out with 150 other affiliate leaders from around the world. Okay, so most are from North America, but there’s some from outside too – great to bump into friends of mine from Australia. I’ve been fortunate to meet many people through the Affiliate Summit, and totally one of the most valuable days spent at the ISTE Conference!

**Todd’s note: these are my notes from today, they may not make a lot of sense to all of you wonderful readers – sorry!

Notes and agenda items for today include:

Susan welcomed everyone to the morning, she is pretty excited. Susan asked everyone to quickly introduce each table.

Started out with a keynote presentation from Joe Sanfelippo – it was most excellent. Click here for my notes!

Panel Discussion – The Ever-Evolving Models of Membership

We had a great panel who talked about membership of their organizations. Each affiliate varies greatly in the size of their membership, the services they provide, where they get their funding from, and beyond. We all have our own challenges, and we all can learn from each other. This was a panel where each affiliate briefly talked about their membership structure, and then moved into a Q&A with individual panel members. It was very thought-provoking hearing about their challenges and their plans for improvement.

ICE – Illinois Computing Educators
Individual Membership

Originally membership was part of conference fees, but then folks who didn’t come to the conference, didn’t renew their membership. Now moved to a free membership method.

HSTE – Hawaii Society for Technology in Education
Free membership, one size fits all. Offered during registration at annual conference. Annual renewal. About 1,000 members, public, public charter, private, and higher ed mix. Struggling to decide how they can provide more value to members – content, or training. Nervous about a limited revenue stream. Host a lot of events just through sponsorships, fully volunteer board; one grant funded part-timer on Kaua’i. Three groups that come together to do a conference

EdTechSA, South Australia
Variety of membership types, pre-service teacher membership included in state conference registration. Annual renewal. Volunteer management committee with support from paid Executive Officer.

  • Individual Membership – $78 AUD
  • Pre-service teacher membership – $30 AUD
  • Organizational membership Level A – $154
  • Organizational membership Level B – $230

TIES, Technology Information Educational Services
50th anniversary this year. District, school, professional organizations are members. Fully staffed, about 90.

  • 48 owners – one time payment $5/student and $5/student annually, plus fees.
  • ?? Partners – $5.50/student annually, plus higher fees fees
  • Customers – everyone else, full price for a limited content list

Member make up – all school district staff

MACUL, Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning
Free membership (no dues at all and no tiers of special memberships). 4 full time staff with volunteer board. 24,500 members. 68% teachers, 20% tech director/specialist, 12% other. Primarily Michigan (also have 24 other states, Canada and a few other countries)

Individual membership is tiered based on level of benefits: Basic and Premium. Also, group, institutional and corporate membership. Staff of about 50, additional contractors.

  • 16,000 basic individual members – $125
  • 1,000 premium individual members – $305
  • 70 group membership groups – $1,600-$6,500
  • 37 institutional members – $600
  • 40 corporate members – varies based on number of employees

What are your current challenges?

ICE – Goal for building membership, and moving to free -> ended up doubling membership, and doubling the target / marketing audience.

There was some great conversation around membership and challenges that everyone is facing within their organizations. There are lots of options out there, how do we create and add value so that we can be helpful and attract people to participate.

What is the number one priority for the panel in terms of membership issues for the coming year?

  • Creating more value through PD opportunities
  • Changing bylaws to reflect membership
  • What can we offer as benefits to our members
  • New technologies curriculum

ISTE Standards

Carolyn Sykora from ISTE talked a little bit about ISTE Standards, and worked with a couple of folks on a panel who talked about their implementation.

Affiliate Highlights

One of the fun parts of the day is a number of affiliates volunteer to talk for two minutes or less about something their affiliate is doing. Folks from all over the world chat briefly about some of their exciting activities. Of course with ATLE we talked briefly about some of the things we do, and gave away some swag – including sharing ketchup chips with our table!

Quick note: MassCUE had written a specific poem telling about themselves, it was GREAT!

NHSTE now has a board position focused on advocacy and state level issues.

ISTE Presentation Richard Culatta, CEO and Mila Fuller, President

Mila spoke briefly about how ISTE has spent the last year or so in an “Active Listening” mode learning from affiliates. ISTE is aware that we make a choice to participate and they are listening and paying attention to how they can best help. Mila introduced Richard to share briefly.

Full Board and CEO are all attending the Affiliate Summit for a period of time, and it’s the only event they will all be at together – Richard wanted to emphasize how important affiliates are to ISTE.

Richard suggests that ISTE has three main tools to help us all:

  1. Set the vision
  2. Creating Community
  3. Providing Learning Opportunities

Although there is much work required to keep these going and constantly improving. Richard also reminded us that he believes the ISTE and Affiliate connections are under-utilized. and he would love to work on that and improve it.

Richard talked about how in education we sometimes try to overwhelm people with data, when the stories that we have and can tell will make the difference.

Richard and Mila spent some time in frank discussion and Q&A with the affiliate group. I appreciated his honesty and refreshing willingness to work with people and learn from each other.

Some conversation around visiting other affiliate conferences, and learning from each other – both in front, and behind the scenes. Todd’s note: Need to reach out to Bill @ ASTE, see about dropping in at their conference.

Mmm. Had a great lunch, thank you ISTE!

Now on to ESSA and Advocacy Policy Updates. U.S. topics.

Roundtable Discussions

This is one of the best parts of the day. We have three sessions, and you can choose your session to discuss various topics of interest.

ASTE has a really interesting way of showing sponsors.

Keynote Smackdown

Another great “feature” of the Affiliate Summit is the keynote smackdown. Potential keynote speakers are given 4 minutes to present, while the rest of us get to listen and evaluate for perhaps inviting them to our own conferences. Today we had two presenters, and it worked well. Quick, exciting, and informative. There are some fantastic speakers out there!

@art_cathyhunt talked art and kids. The amount of art and how it can be done now is just extraordinary. Cathy had a great presentation, just hard to explain it in words.

Todd Nesloney

Social Media interns – give the power to the students to tell the story through social media. Perspective of the school, through the eyes of the child.

Todd’s school does an event that that invites Dads to be connected and appreciated. Mystery Skype is a lot of fun, but make sure you don’t use “Y’all” or they will guess you are from the South right now.

Math fair – kids can pick anything that they are passionate about, and they have to show six ways math is involved, the only requirement is that it blows your mind!

Positive Post-it note day.

Educators need to read and improve their learning as well. Book – Kids Deserve It!

The day wrapped up around 4 PM, and then we had a reception at 6 PM. The reception is a social activity with lots of food and visiting and the infamous basket exchange. Again, ISTE treated us very well. There was all kinds of local food that we could snack on all evening. It is great having unsweetened and sweetened iced tea! Lots of nachos and cheese sauce, mac & cheese, and so on. Got to visit with a lot of people – was a great evening!

One of the highlights is the affiliate basket exchange. Each affiliate brings a basket/gift bag full of items that may be local to them, etc. Our bag had all “Canada” stuff like hats, pens, coffee cups, teddy bears, etc. We ended up drawing CUE and they were exceedingly generous with their basket! Enjoyed opening everything.

All in all, it was a great day! Big thanks to Susan Larson, the committee and ISTE for supporting this event!



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