ISTE2014 – been and gone

A quiet time at blogger’s cafe

Just a quick post about my impressions of #ISTE2014. I will write separate posts about apps/tools to use in your classroom and one about other people to follow either via their blogs or Twitter.

Firstly, transportation in Atlanta was fantastic – hop on the MARTA (train) from the airport and get off at N4 about 50 metres from the hotel I stayed in. Many other participants there including my friend Tracy Watanabe.

The heat – every day was in the late 80F – and high humidity with it. Many of you know I hate the heat so was glad of the air conditioning in the GWCC – Georgia World Congress Centre, where the conference took place.

One of the ISTE graphic designers created an infographic about ISTE by the numbers – check it out here.

I can certainly attest to the crowds. Going from each level of the centre were three escalators – depending on traffic, one up, two down. The bloggers cafe where I sat quite often was down two floors and near the entrance to the expo, so a lot of foot traffic passing by. On the Sunday when the expo opened, it was very stuffy down that level so I found the international lounge instead.

ISTE had a great app to download for your mobile device and had a networking game you could join. You had to find key words around the conference centre, take part in sessions where a secret code would be given at the end, send out tweets from the app, send out instagram photos from the app and most importantly, swap secret codes with other participants.  I was in the top 100 at one stage but then the face to face connecting became more important than swapping codes to me.

Someone very quickly put together a Google document that was a shared document for anyone to add to. This is real collaboration and here is the link to notes people have shared about the different sessions they went to over the 4 days of the conference. Looking at that document you will see Evernote is a favourite way of taking notes easily at a conference.

Lots of poster sessions – many led by students – some from Mexican schools. I took lots of photos of these sessions and scanned lots of QR codes to look at their websites etc once I get home. Each poster session was a theme – Saturday night was global connections and I presented with Tracy Watanabe from Phoenix, Arizona on the student blogging challenge. I will probably write a separate post just on the poster sessions.

Even if you were #notatiste14 you could take part. Sue Waters from Edublogs was curating a flipboard magazine including links from the #ISTE2014 twitter stream. Nearly 900 articles as of publishing this post. At one stage Paula Naugle @plnaugle ran a google hangout with Will Chamberlain – founder of #comments4kids and I suggested bringing in Sue Waters as well – hangout was to talk about blogging of course.

But the most important takeaway from ISTE has been it is all about the students – how can we make them independent and life long learners? There were lots of sessions about the tools and apps but also many about how to use technology in your classroom to improve the learning of your students.

Here is the link to the next ISTE conference in 2015 to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 28 – July 1. Maybe you would like to attend and add it into your holidays.

More specific posts coming soon.

 

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