August 6, 2020

Why I Should Keynote ISTE 2012

The International Society for Technology in Education is once again seeking nominees to be the keynote speaker at their annual ISTE Conference, June 2012 in San Diego, CA.

I would be most grateful if as many of you as possible would nominate me by November 13, 2011. I am confident that I possess the experience, skill, courage and humor to make you proud while contributing to the progress of an academic field I care so much about. You may read my bio here and watch video of recent presentations here.

Here are some reasons why I, Gary Stager, should be a keynote speaker at ISTE 2012.

  1. Three anniversaries:
    1. ISTE 2012 will be the 25th NECC/ISTE Conference I have presented at.
    2. 2012 marks my 3oth anniversary of working in the field of educational computing.
    3. I met my spectacular significant other 20 years ago at NECC (now ISTE).
  2. I estimate that I have made more than five dozen presentations at NECC/ISTE conferences over 25 years. No school district or university has ever paid my expenses.
  3. I was a signatory to the charter establishing ISTE (see below).
  4. The father of educational computing, Dr. Seymour Papert, was never invited to keynote NECC/ISTE. As someone who worked with Dr. Papert for decades and continues to promote his work on a daily basis (constructionism, robotics, Logo programming, school reform, 1:1 computing), I can bring his powerful ideas to a new generation of ISTE attendees.
  5. During these dark days for public education, ISTE needs a keynote speaker who can give voice to the concerns of creative educators, regardless of political whim or corporate interests.
  6. Too few ISTE keynote speakers have anything to do with the purpose of the conference, to advance learning through the appropriate use of digital technology. I have dedicated my life to using computers and related technology to amplify human potential while making schools more productive contexts for learning. The keynote speaker should galvanize discussion, offer a potential direction for the field and do so in an entertaining fashion. At a time when school budgets are tight and it is difficult for educators to attend conferences, organizers have a sacred obligation to feature speakers who will inspire, challenge and provoke the audience. I promise to do my best to be a great keynote speaker.
  7. I have always done anything ISTE ever asked of me from editing The Logo Exchange journal for several years as a volunteer, contributing articles and a willingness to speak anytime, anywhere, in any format.
  8. Just a few days before the 2009 NECC conference, a speaker scheduled to be part of the keynote debate canceled. ISTE asked me to fill-in. I did so at my own expense and for no compensation. People often tell me that my participation contributed some of the most memorable ideas in NECC/ISTE keynotes.
  9. My keynote address will not be an excerpt from a get-rich quick book or a recitation of a TED talk. It will be original and crafted for the ISTE audience.
  10. In addition to teaching children and teachers from pre-k to the doctoral level, I work in classrooms around the world regularly. This allows me to see patterns and gain a unique perspective on the state of educational practice while helping educators keep their eyes on the prize.
  11. I am a professional speaker who has keynoted many state conferences, national and international conferences around the world. You may watch some recent talks here.
  12. At at a time when many stress the importance of S.T.E.M., I hold a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education, work as a school S.T.E.M. coordinator and can demonstrate innovative S.T.E.M. practices rooted in the best traditions of progressive education.
  13. While thought leaders speak of the importance of creativity, I have led well-known efforts to promote creative computing and educational practices in real schools and with real educators.
  14. My work with public, private, international, urban, suburban, rural and homeschools is well-chronicled.
  15. Too many edtech conferences, including ISTE, feature speakers of varying quality who have have written pop businesses books, been sponsored by vendors or driven a car into a tornado. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a keynote speaker from the community served by the conference?
  16. My career has been distinguished by many milestones:
    1. Created one of the world’s first computer camp programs for children in 1982
    2. Started the New Jersey Educational Computing Conference and chaired the first seven
    3. Led professional development at the world’s first laptop schools in 1990
    4. Began organizing online collaborative projects in the late 1980s
    5. Created one of the world’s first online Masters degree programs in the mid-1990s
    6. Formed the Constructivist Consortium to promote creativity, computing and constructivism
    7. Published hundreds of articles for District Administration Magazine and other publications
    8. Recently launched the first school in the world with a laptop for every child from first grade onward
  17. Awards
    1. Lifetime achievement award from the NJ Educational Computing Cooperative
    2. NSBA – Twenty Leaders to Watch
    3. Tech & Learning Magazine – “One of today’s leaders who are changing the landscape of edtech through innovation and leadership.”
    4. Was the new media producer for a multicultural album that won a Grammy Award.
  18. I am fearless and willing to speak truth to power when the quality of life or welfare of children is at stake.
  19. ISTE 2012 is in my home state.
  20. Being the keynote speaker at ISTE would be a great honor and a whole lot of fun.

If this appears to be an exercise in vanity, I apologize. I care a great deal about educational computing and remember when conferences like NECC/ISTE organized educators around revolutionary principles that would make the world a better place for children. I fear that we have lost our way.

I take the responsibility of being the ISTE keynote speaker seriously and pledge to do my best to honor the aspirations of the children we serve.

Please nominate me on this web site provided by ISTE.

Ask colleagues to do so as well.

Thank you so very much for your kindness and support!

Click for PDF of iSTE Charter

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