The 2013 ISTE conference—one of the largest gatherings of K-12 ed-tech enthusiasts in the country—kicked off here in sunny (and sweltering) Texas before an estimated 13,000 attendees.
The conference began with an unveiling of ISTE's new branding strategy, which involves a new logo, a new mission statement, and a new vision. (Watch the video about it here.) After the new brand was revealed, board members in cowboy hats ran up and down the aisles of attendees, launching t-shirts emblazoned with the new logo into the crowd with air cannons.
Next, Jane McGonigal, educational gaming guru and author of the book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, took the stage to deliver the conference's opening keynote speech.
McGonigal began her talk by saying she had "good news" to share—there are now an estimated 1 billion gamers worldwide. (A gamer is defined as someone who spends at least an hour a day playing a game on a connected device.) Recognizing that not everyone may see this as good news, she then went on to explain why it is indeed "the best news you will hear all week."