ISTE Member Interview
Thanks to his membership in the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE), middle-school mathematics teacher Ken Cardwell will also enjoy a part-time job as District Integration Specialist in Redmond, Oregon. Over the course of his seven-year membership, he has made the most of ISTE’s resources. Through ISTE, Cardwell says he has gained the confidence to achieve his goals. He has plenty of good things to say about ISTE and recommends the organization to teachers who want to learn how to use technology successfully in the classroom.
Family Education Network (FEN): What kind of person is best suited for ISTE?
Ken: ISTE is for everyone, but it especially appeals to people seeking answers. ISTE has a great network of people knowledgeable in their fields who can assist those seekers. A person has to be motivated to use technology more, and ISTE helps that kind of person.
FEN: Elaborate a bit more on the network of people that members can access through ISTE.
Ken: The help network has been the biggest benefit of my membership in ISTE. I was also a member of the ISTE academy, so I benefited more than the average ISTE member. Our academy became a tightly connected group that enabled us to share ideas freely, develop contacts, and seek help. If I send a question to our email list, I know that some of the finest professionals will respond. ISTE has put faces behind the email and letters, which has been a great plus. Through ISTE workshops I have learned which people around the country I can go to for specific information. For example, if I want to learn more about graphics manipulation, I can ask Arlis in Washington; if I want to learn about electronic high schools, I can count on Darrell in California; and if I want to learn more about tech-related issues, I can consult Carol in Philadelphia.
FEN: How has your membership in ISTE benefited you, both professionally
Ken: Through ISTE, I have gained the confidence to seek more tech-related jobs; in fact, I think I can credit ISTE with getting my new job next year as the integration specialist for our school district. ISTE has forced me to step out and do more. I have successfully put on three-day workshops for people who have already experienced the tech world and expect a lot of the presenter. I have also written a major article for the ISTE magazine. On a personal level, I have developed many long-distance friendships due to my involvement with ISTE.
FEN: Why should someone consider joining ISTE?
Ken: I suppose the biggest reason is to get access to information that would be helpful in a teaching or technology career. This information might be in the form of more access to books and periodicals, knowledge of upcoming workshops, a website, and exposure to a network of people to consult with about tech-related issues. These various resources deal with how teachers infuse curricula with technology. Through ISTE, teachers can learn from others who are using technology successfully.