Saturday, July 27, 2013

ISTE 2013 Reflections - Finally

Well it has been a month since we returned from the ISTE Conference in San Antonio. I think it has taken that much time to come down out of the cloud of excitement after the conference. It really was one of the best I have attended. There were excellent keynote speakers, energizing sessions, lots of good connections with other ed tech friends. and much more. It was also exciting because two of our flip classroom teachers we with us and we did a presentation on flipping the elementary classroom!

Here are some of the highlights:

Biggest highlight for us? Probably our presentation. We were in a huge ballroom set up for 400 attendees. I have to say that is the largest audience I have presented to thus far in my career! It went very smoothly and we were able to share lots of good information.

Jane McGonigal and Adam Bellow began and ended the conference with their inspiring keynotes. Jane spoke to everyone about gaming and how is stimulate the brain. Adam ended the conference with an inspiring keynote about the transformative power of technology for teaching and learning.

In addition to keynotes, there were inspiring "ignite" sessions. In an ignite session, presenters have 5 minutes and can use 20 images/slides to ignite your thinking. They present on new ideas or tools that they are excited about and want to share with everyone.

The presentation and workshops were also very informative and relevant. The four of us were able to attend a variety of presentations on different topics and share the info with each other.

And the poster sessions are a great place to learn about different projects and talk with the teachers, and often students, about their work. We got some great ideas for science social studies, and using QR codes for next year.

The vendor/exhibitor floor is always amazing. There are thousand of exhibitors there ready to share information about their tools and resources. It's great to hear about products and resources directly from the publishers and manufacturers.

And there are the celebrities - the ed tech celebrities that is. We listened to presentations from Leslie Fisher, Tammy Worcester, Hall Davidson, Wes Fryer, Aaron Sams, Jonathan Bergmann, and several more. We even talked with Jon and Aaron of flipped classroom fame and Sarah and Mary got their picture taken with them.

Our favorite celebrity at ISTE? Moby from BrainPOP, of course! It's always one of the highlights of the conference - and an annual event for us - to get our picture taken with him. He's just so cute.

Of course, we did have some time for fun and relaxation. Great dinners along the Riverwalk, visiting the Alamo (you can't go to San Antonio without seeing the Alamo, and a relaxing boat cruise on the river.

It was a great conference with lots of lasting memories and great information to share with our Project iAchieve teachers and district staff.

Looking forward to ISTE 2014 already. Atlanta here we come!

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