You say ISTE, we say Genius!

ISTE 2018 was absolutely incredible. We cannot wait to share with you how inspired we were by meeting so many amazing exhibitors, attendees, and educators at this conference. 
 
ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is known as the epicenter of EdTech, where the most cutting-edge organizations unite to showcase the latest in education and technology.
This year was their largest conference to date, featuring more than 16,000 attendees, 1,000 sessions, and 600 expo exhibitors, which spread across three days at the McCormick Place West Building in Chicago, IL. 
 
Genius Plaza definitely made their mark at this event, showcasing three of their products: Genius Plaza Core, Genius XR, and Genius Careers. 
 
Educators, parents, and students gathered around our booth to see one of our demos, ask questions, and experience the uniqueness of our product. 
 
What drew a lot of people to our booth (aside from our amazing Geniuses giving enlightening demos) was our Spark Creation Booth. 
 
But what is a Spark, you ask?
 
A spark is a co-creation tool, where teachers and students can teach their fellow peers a lesson on a subject matter that they have learned. They re-teach, in their own words, to their fellow teachers, classmates and other children all over the world in three different languages. 
 
During iSTE, we ran a peer-to-peer campaign, where we asked teachers and students attending, to leave some advice for their peers on what to look forward to in the upcoming school year. 
 
Student Renata Carrillo Watanabe, Mexican native, explained how much Genius Plaza has helped her learn a new language as she just wrapped up her first year of high school. 
 
“Genius Plaza has helped me a lot. I had no idea how hard it was going to be. Thanks to their wonderful tips, I have done great at school and will certainly continue to use their help next year,” student Renata Carrillo Watanabe said. 
 
Teachers and educators also jumped in at the opportunity to give their peers advice as they prepared various teaching methods and guides for a their incoming classroom of students. 
 
“My advice for a first grade teacher would be to have patience and be flexible,” said teacher Kaenisha. “Sometimes our little learners take a little while longer to understand the concepts that we re tying ring to implement, so patience is really importance for us to have as they continue to grow and continue to learn.”  
 
Genius Plaza ran a social media contest, in which the best teacher and students would win a prize for the most voted spark within the first two days of ISTE. Las Vegas 5th grade teacher Indiana and Theresa Ellington from Dallas, Texas 
 
Brad Waid, global motivational speaker and influencer in Augmented Reality, served as a brand ambassador for Genius XR. This is the first mobile creation platform made for student-driven learning and language acquisition. Brad shared his expertise with us and showcased our product with many of his followers and Geniuses that were excited to test out the demos for our new product. 
 
Alex Chaucer, co-founder of The VR Podcast, named us one of his Top 7 Virtual Reality Highlights from his first ISTE conference (Thank you Alex!) after getting personal demos at our Genius XR and Genius Career booths.
As he mentioned in his blog: “Genius Plaza showcased the new Genius XR products geared toward early childhood and ESL learners. They also have a VR 360 careers exploration tool which helps to expose students to unique career paths and let’s them experience what those careers might look like in VY through onsite interviews with professionals.”  
 
Indiana shared her words of wisdom with fellow educators: “If you keep an open mind, remember that you are a learner as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Value your purpose. Why did you become an educator? Remember the relevance and always try to think like your students and not be afraid to take that chance and connect with them, even if you are not the digital native. You need to have fun.”  
 
People from all over the world, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, India, Guam and UAE visited us and showed us love, enthusiasm and excitement. 
 
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to visit us, see one of our demos, and create a Spark. We were inspired by you and learned so much from your insights and passion for education and technology. 
We can’t wait to see you in Philadelphia in 2019!