HiveSchool Is In Session – Having Fun At ISTE 2016

ISTE 2016 was the first ISTE conference I have been able to attend since 2013, and a lot has changed since then. In 2013, a lot of the products being showcased were iPad-related accessories. In 2016, Chromebooks have joined iPads to become the two dominant devices in education, and vendors’ offerings have evolved around both of them.

This year, I also saw a large focus around curriculum delivery and device management. A lot of vendors were promoting products and services built around helping you to be more efficient in your deployments and day-to-day use of technology in the classroom vs. just selling widgets.

As always, I met with a lot of my existing vendors, and that is one of my favorite parts of a show like this. I pick vendors based on two things: incredible technology and personal relationships. (Yes, I am an Aerohive customer!) I cannot stress enough how much I value personal relationships with vendors. 

As my needs evolve from an IT standpoint, I value one-on-one relationships with my account managers. I see a show like ISTE as a way that I can examine my needs for the next 12–24 months, and see how my vendors can help. Meeting with them face-to-face has always proven to be effective for me.

Other things I enjoy at ISTE are the hallway meetups, impromptu lunches, and story sharing with my counterparts at other schools. I’ve long held the opinion that talking with other schools is one of the best ways to learn new ideas.

Here’s to a great show, and here’s to a great 2016–2017 school year!

Bradley Chambers has been the Director of Information Technology at Brainerd Baptist School since 2009. At BBS, he manages a network of Apple and Chrome OS devices. He also writes at Tools & Toys. The Sweet Setup, and 9to5Mac.

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