One of the events that I looked forward to the most at ISTE was EdtechWomen Dine. After a successful meetup at sxswedu, it would only seem logical to have a repeat night during ISTE and it was grand! I wanted to reflect on the edtechwomen dinner within a day of the event but I needed time to process what I experienced. For years I’ve followed many tech conglomerates, but I never considered the women that makes these organizations who they are. Being in that room reminded me of the episode of Big Bang Theory when Sheldon and the guys attempted to “get girls interested in science”, failing miserably…until they employed the help of the “princess dressed” ladies who are actually doing it. (Mayim Bialik wrote an amazing reflection on princess dresses and you can read it here.)
I was surrounded by women who were creators of their own brand, executives, specialist, developers and the hardest job of all…teachers. We were there together united by our love of learning and technology. We had conversations and learned about each other, both personally and professionally. Prior to edtechwomen, I was unaware of one company, Cyberwise,which was created by women to help adults and families understand internet safety. I read and learn from edutopia daily but had no idea that women were at the forefront of the content that circulates. Within ISTE, there are women who are actively making a difference in various areas across the organization, like Kate Conley, Director of Periodicals, whose business card already carries the new ISTE logo.
As a mom, I was most excited to connect with the women behind Scoot & Doodle. I learned of Scoot & Doodle at the Texas Google Summit from the amazing Carl Hooker. (@mrhooker) When I left txgoo, I immediately tried Scoot & Doodle with my 14 year old son who then started using it with his friends…all 14 year old boys. We then got my 9 year old nephew hooked! We are a Scoot & Doodle family! I need to thank Kate Conley for not only telling me that the creators of Scoot & Doodle were there, but for introducing us. To be able to communicate how much your life has been impacted by someone’s creation is amazing. For that creator to be a woman is empowering, which is what I felt upon leaving that night.
I left with a mission. We were given a charge to create our own EdtechWomen communites if we desired but I say that we need to go deeper and extend beyond dinner but also mentorship. I want young girls to see what is possible with hard work and determination and that they have the power to impact generations to come. To the organizers and sponsors of EdtechWomen, this night was both life-changing and life-affirming. Thank you so much for the opportunity to conversate, dine and grow with such wonderful role-models.