July 8, 2019

The 9 Best Moments of ISTE 2019

GoGuardian Team
ISTE Performance replicating school programs as a band

WE DID IT. ISTE 2019 was a huge success thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and joined our 80s party with ClassLink and The Spazmatics. It was great to connect with many of you in person, as well as online via #NotAtISTE. For all of you out there in the GoGuardian community, here are the Best Moments of ISTE 2019 (from our perspective).

1. The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree was the most inspiring part about ISTE, and it wasn’t because the tree was in our booth. It was because of you all who showed up and showed your heart by pinning a heart on the tree. Each paper heart was a representation of an immeasurable level of caring from our inspiring community of educators. Our community pinned over 700 hearts, which translates to over $7,000 that GoGuardian will donate to Coded by: Kids.

We had a feeling that you’d be understanding about our decision to forego the swag, and we were right. Everyone who stopped by our booth was warmly receptive and enthusiastic about giving hearts instead of getting swag. Our hearts were full from the wonderful interactions we had with those of you who came by our booth, and we were touched by everyone who participated in The Giving Tree. Check out #GGGivingTree on Twitter for the social media chatter!

2. Connecting With You!

The booth was alive with activity, memorable interactions, and great energy all around. Some of you were new folks that we crossed paths with for the first time, and others were no strangers to GoGuardian. Thousands stopped by throughout the three days to chat about our products and get your questions answered with live, in-person tech support. We got to meet some of you face-to-face for the first time after years of connecting, and we got much-needed time with our EdTech partners.

3. Best of Show Winner

Every year at ISTE, EdTech resource and publisher Tech & Learning awards the best products in the industry, and GoGuardian DNS was selected as a Best of Show winner this year! We are grateful for the recognition and proud of our team for all their hard work.

DNS is a unified and scalable filtering solution that helps keep users safe across all devices—with automatic filter scaling, a unified user interface, and powerful student safety features. You can learn more about it at

best in show winner

4. The Spazmatics Rocked the House!

The crowd danced the night away to “Tainted Love,” “Take on Me,” “Whip It,” and so much more! We even had a nice surprise from the GoGuardian house band with their cover of “Last Dance With Mary Jane.” The internet was abuzz throughout the whole party because of your enthusiasm. It was a night to remember, and we’re pretty sure everyone who didn’t come had massive FOMO. We love seeing your photos on social media, so keep ‘em coming! @GoGuardian #GGGoes80s

spazmatics @ ISTE

Many more photos can be found here. See if you can find yourself in one of the photos!

5. What People Had to Say

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6. Sessions

1. How to Rebuild a Technology Department From the Ground up

We attended this session because we wanted to see how administrative users organize, make decisions, and work with teachers. The School District of Oconee County discussed the process of how they built up their admin/tech team and upgraded their infrastructure. It was insightful to learn that they prioritize security of student data over usability.

2. Parenting 2.0: Here’s the Session Your Parents Need to Hear

This topic was interesting to us because of our upcoming Parent app. We gained insight into parental concerns, how to engage with parents on internet safety, and the role that parents play in their children’s digital citizenship.

3. Building Self-Awareness Through Digital Immersive Experiences

We’re big proponents of topics related to self-awareness and social consciousness, and this session covered the topic in a unique way: through the use of Minecraft. Since children are fully engrossed in the game, the presenters found a way to use Minecraft simulations to teach kids about important life issues, such as the refugee crisis, empathy, and financial literacy.

7. GoGuardian’s Event Dream Team

Of course, none of this would have been possible for GoGuardian without two special people who worked tirelessly to plan out the Giving Tree, booth setup, and happy hour event. Jen and Nicole were the true rock stars of the week, and their instruments were their wits, creativity, work ethic, and resourcefulness. From the minute details all the way to the decision to donate to charity instead of giving out swag, Jen and Nicole executed our experience at ISTE flawlessly, as they do for the many events we do each year.

GG events team

“We, at GoGuardian, pride ourselves in promoting good will and giving back when we can. We currently do it through our GoGuardian Gives Program here in Los Angeles and thought that we had an incredible opportunity to positively impact students' lives by giving to a local charity in Philadelphia. We rallied around the idea that with 15,000+ educators attending ISTE, we could take our momentum and pay it forward!” ~Jen Cheatham

We paid it forward, indeed, and we all feel rewarded by the overall experience.

8. #NotatISTE

There was a whole online movement for the many educators who couldn’t attend ISTE, and you can follow along with the chatter through the #NotatISTE hashtag. These resources can also help you get up to speed on what you need to know if you weren’t there:

9. Flagged Activity

Who knew that GoGuardian had a house band? We sure didn’t! Rob, Jeff, and CK impressed us all with their impromptu, unrehearsed, surprise performance with The Spazmatics. The band’s great energy on stage made them a bonafide crowd-pleaser. Not only does GoGuardian staff have hidden talents up their sleeves, but their band name is also on-brand.

What were your favorite moments of ISTE? Sound off in the comments!

Visit our ISTE page to learn more, and see more photos on Facebook.