Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#ISTE10: Between the Sessions

I've been in Denver for 48 hours now and it has been a blast. I've been to some interesting sessions and picked up some great ideas for later blog posts and I'm booked into sessions from 12:30 until 4:30. I'm excited to see what I can take back to my school and share with those who could not make it to #ISTE10. Despite the amazing sessions, I feel like I have learned far more from the friends I have made. This post is about the time Between the Sessions.

I hate to say that there is down time between sessions because it implies that nothing is going on. That is far from the truth. People are constantly networking with people and tweeting out great ideas as they hear them or think them. We are all working to share the information we gather to everyone at all times. The best connections I have made have been made sitting right here at the Blogger's Cafe chatting it up in real time and on Twitter. One great example was a conversation I had with a new friend from Sydney, @SimonCrook.

I ran into Simon at my first ever Tweetup at Marlowe's on Sunday afternoon. We reconnected on Monday at the Google Party and he picked my brain a bit about 1:1 iPad use in schools. I have played with my iPad in my class at the end of the year and shared some of those experiences with him. The more we talked, the more ideas came to me about how I would use the iPad in the classroom. We talked for nearly 20 minutes and I feel like we both walked away with some great ideas that we can hopefully implement in our schools. Simon, you rule!That was just one of many different conversations I've had over the past couple of days.

@mbteach has a great post on Dissecting the 21st Century Teacher It's not very often that you get a chance to hear someone talk about their blog post and explain their thinking behind it. It was cool to listen to her talk about what she learned. It's something I love to see people do. That excited look on a person's face as they pass on information they love is something that I have seen plenty of times around here. Learning is contagious! Our attitude toward education will influence skeptical teachers. Those teachers will take that fire and pass it on to their students. What we learn here is important, but it must be passed on to others. Knowledge is worthless in your head. Free it up to the world. Thanks Mary Beth for the info and general awesomeness the past two days. You've got me thinking about education in different ways.

@Amandacdykes and @michellek107 have been great to hang around. These ladies know their stuff and have a great sense of humor. I always feel like I have learned something every time I walk away. Sometimes it's even edtech related. :-) I could go on about @web20classroom, @kylepace, @bethstill, @tgwynn, @mrplough07, @ktenkely, @buzzgarwood and everyone else I have chatted. They have inspired in many different ways. You have all challenged me to think about education, instruction and technology in different ways. I only hope I have brought nearly as much to the table as all of them.

I'm excited to see where the next few sessions will take me and the posts that will grow from them. I can't wait to follow the backchannel for the sessions I can't make it to. I have never been so excited about PD in my life and I hope I can bring the same enthusiasm to my district. The sessions will continue to be amazing and I will tweet the ideas that flow from them, but when it is all said and done, I will have learned so much more from the people I have met Between the Sessions.

Share your thoughts on the time Between the Sessions. What have you found valuable? Thanks for reading. :-)


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