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.