To be part of the “world’s most dynamic edtech community” and connect with some of our favorite teachers, influencers, and even some of the early Kickstarter backers who believed in Splats when it was still a twinkle in our eye, Unruly Studios attended in June the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2019 conference.
ISTE describes itself as “home to a passionate community of global educators who believe in the power of technology to transform teaching and learning, accelerate innovation and solve tough problems in education.” Unruly Studios was in the AT&T section at the show, as we are recent alumni of their Aspire Accelerator program and were recommended to complement their outreach efforts at ISTE in support of Education and the Aspire partnership.
AT&T noted that the demo of Splats was a big hit, and garnered a lot of attention in their booth. “The visual and interactive elements make their solution appealing for a broad range of applications. Unruly secured 297 leads at the event, which was the most of any Accelerator company that has exhibited with us at ISTE.”
Unruly Founder and CEO Bryanne Leeming notes that the high number of leads was due in part to the “tremendous success Splats found in the Playground session of the conference”. The STEM Playground gave teacher-attendees an opportunity to see, experience and discuss STEAM lessons in a risk-free, hands-on learning environment of classic and new research-based tools.
Two teachers came with the Unruly team: Sam Blomberg, a teaching fellow from Citizen Schools Massachusetts and Dayna Safran from Hampden Meadows School in Barrington, Rhode Island. Blomberg shared that while at the Expo Room, a group of children came up and played with the Splats and got to change the code to their liking; their mother told them to be careful not to break anything, and Blomberg told her that was virtually impossible, so durable are Splats. Emily Wilson, education director at Unruly Studios notes, “I’m really glad we brought two teachers. It was great to be able to point to that, and our outreach didn’t feel salesy. We have a cool product that people naturally like.” Here is Blomberg, demonstrating jumping jacks with Splats!
A conference highlight for Leeming, Blomberg and Wilson was Karaoke Night. Some teachers prepare all year for this social event. It’s fun, but competitive; talent runs deep. As Blomberg noted, “It’s good to unwind after long days” at such events as the Karaoke Night, and he sang one or two tunes. For Unruly staffers, the dedication of teachers from around the world was visible during ISTE, from the Playground demonstrations through Karaoke Night.
Education Week identified Unruly Splats as one of 20 standouts out of 550 products and services that exhibited in the subscription-only publication’s wrap-up of this year’s ISTE. This was “quite a distinction,” as the editor noted in an e-mail.
ISTE, we’ll be back!