So below is a listing of my ISTE favorites. Of course these do not hold a candle to the time I spent just chatting it up with like minded educators wherever those happend to take place. MEMORABLE conversations in informal settings included:
- Late night meetup at Chiles with Liz Davis, Lisa Thumann, and Chris Craft
- Breakfast at Pete’s with Tim Johnson (aka AZeducator) and Chris Craft to plan our infiltration of the conference center with InFocus gear, gab, and giveaways
- The InFocus sponsored evening reception at Tequila’s–what a blast!! I hung out with so many peeps there. HurricaneMaine (Louise Maine of Western PA) just floored me with how she uses a true flipped classroom concept to teach Biology. She shared her class wiki with me too–gottalovebio.wikispaces.com (I just love the name of it!!) I’m definitely sharing her blog and wiki with my science department (and adding it to my reader as well.) I got to hang out with my ALA Roomie Sally Mays (aka techlms) there too.
- Lunch at Maggiones with several peeps (Gwyneth, Tiffany, and–jeez right now names are escaping me!! ) Ooh we talked so I know there were ears burning everywhere.
- Lunch in the marketplace with Tiffany Whitehead and Diane Cordell
- Supper with Diane Cordell and Buffy Hamilton
- Spending the final keynote in an upstairs lounge with far too many to name!
The following here are formal type events or session that stuck with me enough to share:
Saturday, June 25 the Annual EdubloggerCon event –an unconference style informal meetup took place in the PACC’s Ballroom B. After a few minutes of hashing out the most popular topics, I decided to attend the first session on Chromebooks. How have I not had an awareness of Chrome Books? My friend Lisa Thumann had one on hand, and I sat right beside her. She and Rushton Hurley sort of co-led the unconference session, and I am pleased to say the conversation was entirely dictated by questions from the group’s curiosity. To say I was envious of the 8 second boot up is an understatement. The con here is that they heavily rely on the “cloud” for operation, but personally I think that is a perfect solution for schools. I’m definitely taking this information back to my school district.
I learned of TEDxPhiladelphiaED just days before my planned trip to ISTE in Philadelphia (thanks to my sweet and oh so smart friend Diane Cordell.) The bad news was that I would have to decide Edublogger Con or TEDxPhillyEd. Ultimately I decided to hit EBC11 for the morning, and then catch a ride over to Wharton College for the TED event. It seems a lot of my friends had decided the same thing. I hung around with Doug Johnson, Tiffany Whitehead, Diane Cordell, and several others as we went to enjoy the event.
Upon entering and sitting down we were pleasantly surprised to see gift bags for all attendees.Each one of the 150 or so attendees received an Echo LiveScribe Pen! How swee-eet is that?? I’ve belly-ached before about bags filled with nonsense, but this is such a NICE, NO NONSENSE gift!! W00T!!
My primary reason for going was to hear and support my good friend Joyce Valenza who was slated to present second.
I was NOT disappointed, despite the many technical problems the school had with sound and their remote presenters were to use to get us through their slide decks. YIKES, I know that gave them some worry, but when the content is so good, well, let’s just say there were NO COMPLAINTS from the audience. All the speakers were excellent and shared great content.
Those pesky little codes were everywhere. I signed up for a ticketed event on QR Codes. I was stunned to discover the number of attendees who were absolutely totally unaware of them. I didn’t get much from the session, but it was a little affirming one, to see the gosh-darn barcodes on so many materials at ISTE, and two, to realize that I knew what they were when there seemed to be so many who were clueless about them. That was an amazement to me. Glad I went though. The presenter while trying to dance a fine line between the ones already familiar and the ones who were totally new to it did a phenomenal job. Best, presenters Stephen Tedesco and assisting presenter Michael McCabe sent out enough information beforehand to those registered to make the session work for both the experienced and inexperienced. Handout here.
Okay so this was the most fun I’ve seen in a session in QUITE a while. The group presenting crowd-sourced for data and then using Steve Dembo as emcee, played a game of Family Feud, pitting three guy librarians against three girl librarians. I cannot do it justice here so I encourage everyone to watch it–it was recorded by ISTE for their ISTEvision network. It is
already available, so go watch it here now! Best, at lunch after this event, I may have contributed the next fun idea–>Hollywood Squares type session. Perhaps we’ll call it RockStar Teacher (dare I say just teacher librarians?) Squares. At least it is generating some traction in my circle of friends. We shall see.
There were five of us invited by Doug Johnson to give TED-like talks for the two hour SIGMS Forum. Standing room only in the room, I was petrified to be at the head table with Buffy Hamilton, Anita Beaman, Gwyneth Jones, and Shannon Miller. Each of us gave our ten to twelve minutes of inspiration. The best part of this forum is that each particpant is a practicing librarian (though Anita has recently moved to Illinois State as Library Science College Instructor.) The biggest ahh-ha from my friends came with Anita’s talk, which centered on the evolution of the ebook. I’ve asked her to share her slide deck with me as I want to use it as we introduce the implementation of ebooks at my school this fall. But I have to say my favorite was our very own Daring Librarian, Gwyneth Jones as she challenged us to step up and put on our big girl panties (or big boy boxers) and embrace ALL the shifts in social media and harness them for school and professional learning.
Mine will be on Slideshare soon. I am in the process of seeking permission to post some videos I used in the slidedeck to Youtube before posting here. The entire Forum was recorded, so hopefully it will be available via ISTEvision soon as well.
I went to Kathy Schrock’s session on InfoGraphics. She had some gret ideas on using graphics for learning as well as evaluation. My great take away was using infographics for my annual library report. Here is the promo from that session:
The last session I attended was on Web Evaluation. The presenter Geoff Price from the University of Alabama had some good spoof sites to use in teaching students to critically evaluate the source of information online. The links and handouts are available over at the ISTE site here. I loved the reference to the WWW really standing for the words “whatever, whenever, wherever!” So true in this day and age. While there was not a whole lot new to me here, I did enjoy seeing his tricks of the trade for teaching–and using screenshots before sending kids online for a web evaluation activity.
Final thoughts here…
Initially when I came home I asked myself gee what did I do–what did I learn?After writing it all out here, I can now say with assurance that I had a full conference. And I’m still processing… Thank you ISTE for having the vision to make your conference one where organized or informal, connections are made and learning happens!! I am not disappointed.