ISTE. A conference that has quietly been on my goals list for almost 10 years. When I was in college, one of my professors, Elizabeth Lewis, told us that she would be presenting about literacy at ISTE. I knew nothing about conferences or educational research at the time and I was fascinated. I was also immediately determined to attend.
Here I am. This is my first ISTE conference. Just to put the icing on the cake, I am also presenting.
To help me reflect on and learn from the conferences, I am planning to write a quick blog post at the end of each day with important information and reflections from the day. Here goes.
Update 6/27/2016: I did not mention the Michio Kaku keynote because I left feeling unsatisfied but struggled to articulate why. Mattea Juengel posted her reflections on Day 1 and perfectly explained my concerns: Read here.
Conferences are about Connections
I wrote last summer about finding my tribe and today I just got to spend more time with those people. One piece of advice I have heard about conferences for years is that the best part is the people, not the sessions or the swag, but the actual human beings in attendance.
For someone like me, who isn’t necessarily an introvert, but balks at initiating conversation, this never made sense or maybe I didn’t want to admit it made sense. It’s easier for me to go to a session, do a little listening, do a little interacting or searching, tweet a bit, and leave. However, the best learning comes from talking to other people and the greatest satisfaction comes from making those connections.
I talked to so many wonderful people today, some from my own school and district, many from wonderful Colorado, and a few more who traveled from far away countries. I’m not going to rehash each conversation, but I enjoyed catching up in person, beginning to plan an edcamp, debating the pros and cons of Google Classroom, planning out fall PD, and learning about how to connect with other classrooms around the world.
IGNITE! = Intense.
20 slides, 5 minutes, 1 great idea. There were 13 talks in 75 minutes this afternoon. I was gentle with myself and deeply invest in the presentations that hooked me and accept that I could zone out otherwise. There were two Ignite sessions that left me thinking about them for most of the afternoon.