I head off to Philadelphia on Friday to attend my 2nd ISTE Conference. I figured I would share some random thoughts with people who might be attending their first ISTE.
- Sessions are awesome.
- Try to stop by and see a few while you are there. Here is a link to my 3 sessions I will be involved with this year.
- My first presentation is on Monday at 11:00. I will be doing a poster presentation on Live Blogging in the classroom. I will talk about how I used it and how you can use it in your class.
- My second presentation will be right after this one at 12:45. I will be part of a panel that is a giant game of Family Feud. I'll be working with some big names in ed tech for this one; Joyce Valenza, Steve Dembo, Gwyneth Jones, Chad Lehman, Shannon McClintock Miller and Matthew Winner are going to be there! This is going to be a crazy good time, so you are going to want to get there early to reserve a seat.
- My third presentation is about Project PLN. Project PLN is the e-zine I created with Kelly Tenkely (@KTenkely) that brings blog posts together from teachers from all over the world. Our goal is to connect more people in the PLN world. I do not intend to spend 2 hours talking about Project PLN. This poster session is going to be a group discussion about the value of teacher blogging. If you are a blogger are thinking about blogging ore even dead set against blogging, I would love to have you over to hear your thoughts.
- Hallways can even be more awesome!
Sessions can be very helpful, but if you ask anyone who has attended the conference, they will tell you that some of the best learning happened in the hallway between sessions or while they were charging their pieces of tech. I am one of these people. If you cannot find a session that excites you, wander around and find a comfortable spot to blog in and review what you have learned so far. Use Twitter to make a shout out to see if there is anyone interested in meeting you for a coffee to talk shop. Find someone you follow on Twitter and see if they are available to talk. Do not feel like yo have to fill every moment at ISTE with a session.
- Blogger's Cafe
I loved hanging out at the Blogger's Cafe. It is another great place to meet new people or people from Twitter you have "known" for a while. I like to spend time here working on blog posts that sessions or conversations have inspired. Stop by and say hello.
I'm excited to meet up with some of the great Ed Tech companies that I have connected with over the past year. I know their avatars and have shared many laughs over Facebook and email, but I cannot wait to meet them in person and talk shop. I encourage you to take some time and stop the various booths and say hello. I plan on stopping by to see; EasyBib, TechSmith, Edutopia, Adobe, HerffJones, Glogster and a few others that will turn up as the conference rolls on. These vendors have done great things for me and my students and I cannot wait to thank them in person for their hard work.
Yes, I like to eat, but the food is a close second to the real value of meals. Hanging out with new and old friends is so much fun. People need to take the time to have a good meal and re-charge their batteries, but do not do it alone. Find a friendly group of people and join up with them for meals. This is the time to make connections that will stretch beyond ISTE11. My meals at my conferences are some of the most memorable parts of my trips. Great resources are always shared over a dinner table. Trust me.
Please share what you learn on Twitter or your blog. We cannot attend every session and we cannot talk to every person. We count on the kindness of everyone else to share great pieces of information. I can't imagine I will sign up for 3 presentations for next year. I feel like I will be missing some great presentations while sharing with others. I need you wonderful educators to let me know what I'm going to miss. I will be clearing my Google Reader tonight so I can start fresh and read about the great things happening while I'm busy.
Lastly, HAVE FUN! This is a cool conference filled awesome people that share a common love of education. Look to connect, share and have fun. It will change your life. See you there. :-)