ISTE 2012 De briefing

Well, another very successful ISTE conference has passed.  I met wonderful people, made new connections and attended several great workshops.  I have to confess that my favorite part if ISTE is the networking from the digital jam Kevin Honeycutt organized to Ed Tech Karaoke .  I’ve attended many digital jams, socials and dances in recent ed tech conventions I’ve attended and it’s always a great time.  There’s just something to be said for singing, dancing, conversations and making new friends.

This was the first ISTE I’ve volunteered to work – I did ‘The Dr Is In’ booth – tech support!  I loved being able to help people connect their devices, troubleshoot apps and answer questions.  The most helpful issue I had was offering the use of my iPhone charger.  For some reason lots of people had problems with battery life, including me!  I decided that it was the building and the fact that our devices couldn’t connect to 3G while in the hallways.  The great thing about offering my charger was I had time to talk with these people and learn about why they are at ISTE, what they get out of it and how they use what they learn! I also figured out that I really need to bring some kind of business card with me.

This was the least prepared I’ve been for any conference.  Not because I’m unorganized, but because I’m in transition; finishing up my last day with USD 353 on Friday and starting with USD 262 on Monday!  ISTE was my summer vacation for this year and I couldn’t have asked for a better venue!  The weather was phenomenal, the city was beautiful and there were plenty of great places to see, eat and shop!  I had the opportunity to visit Coronado and La Jolla and I’m so glad I took those opportunities.  Coronado was beautiful, the beach was fantastic and the shops in the city had plenty of interesting things to look at.  La Jolla had breathtaking views and a plethora of shops with a wide variety of things to shop for.

Making new friends along with the power of online social networking helping us keep in touch with each other throughout the year is probably the best part of these ed tech conferences.  In years past I would attend a conference not knowing anyone – pretty lonely.  I am a very friendly person, but rarely start conversations, just the shyness in me. That power of social networking, online conversations and sharing our lives even though we are hundreds of miles apart is the key element in what makes technology the game changer in education and everyday life.

ISTE 2012 6/25/12 – What Did I Learn Today?

Wow!  Today was the first day of ISTE conference and it was packed with great ideas, lots of energy and phenomenal people!  I started the day by meandering through the exhibition hall, getting my bearings for the how the conference center is organized and stumbled upon the ESSDACK booth where they had “Bling my Badge”! I posted about earlier today and am loving my “Blinged out Badge”.  It took me pretty much all morning and a little of the afternoon to get through the exhibition hall and I know I haven’t been to all the vendors I need to see!  I’ll try to squeeze time time in tomorrow to get to those vendors.

I had the honor of meeting with the Capstone Digital and learned about their new venture – myOn Reader.  As an advocate of mobile technologies in education I was so happy to see a solution like myOn Reader.  This is a web based (soon to be app) that let’s teachers personalized their student’s reading list, monitor their progression, and individualize their reading practice.  I’m excited to bring this solution to my district and help facilitate the individualization with new education resources.

My day ended with a session hosted by Kevin Honeycutt and Tammy Woschester.  They demonstrated several ways teachers can use to  accept student work digitally. My favorite was ShowMe.  I’d heard about ShowMe quite a while ago, but never had the time to explore it’s functions and play around with it to see how it works.  I was amazed at how simple the app is to use, but also how powerful it is because of the social networking it incorporates in sharing.  Not only can teachers use this app to record them teaching a lesson, but they can also post it to share with anyone., especially their students and parents.

I’m now off to explore the Gas Lamp district of San Diego and see what else I can learn.  I’ll post more tomorrow!

Teaching Teachers Tech

The App Smackdown is chock full of great apps and how they can be used in the classsroom. The table I sat at ha a poster that must have been made in a previous session. As I was listening to the presenters sharing their apps I was reflecting on the list in that poster labeled “Teaching Teachers Tech Faster” and the first item on that list was ‘the professional development they really need. I know there a million reasons we do PD like we do industrialized education, so my question is how can we give teachers the PD they need, while keeping their talents in mind? I’m going to be exploring this question and hopefully come up with some answers.