Educators attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ITSE) Conference and Expo this weekend will explore IWitness at an interactive “playground” – a showcase awarded to select educational resources.
ISTE is a nonprofit that provides standards for evaluating students’ digital skills and knowledge. Resources that meet the standards are awarded the ISTE Seal of Alignment. The ISTE website offers free webinars, courses and peer-reviewed journals and publications to support professional development for educators and education leaders, and its annual conference and expo is the largest “ed tech” event in the world. The conference, this year held in Atlanta June 28 to July 1, includes keynotes, lectures, and an expo hall showcasing the latest educational products.
A select group of resources that have been awarded the Seal of Alignment, including USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness, were invited to demonstrate their products at the conference in interactive kiosks called “playgrounds.” Conference attendees can visit the playgrounds for hands-on, in-depth interaction with these ISTE-accredited educational technologies.
IWitness allows students to watch testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and use them in individual or group multimedia projects. In a way that transcends traditional print materials, the interactive, audio-visual form of IWitness connects learners with contextualized first-person views of history while training them to master the digital and media literacies necessary for the future.
At the Digital Storytelling playground, visitors will be able to explore IWitness on laptops and receive guidance from IWitness manager Jenna Leventhal, educational program designer Claudia Wiedeman, Ph.D., and IWitness educator Lesly Culp, who uses IWitness in her high school classes. The team will guide visitors through some of the newest IWitness activities, such as “Voyage of the St. Louis” and “Fighting in the Face of Racism,” and show how the activities are aligned to different standards, curriculum and subject areas.
The IWitness team hopes the ISTE playground will introduce IWitness to new audiences and inspire educators to sign up and start using IWitness in their own schools.