Well, I finally have some rest! I am only 33, but I can't hang as well as I used to. Man, three kids takes its toll on you. Well since I have some rest, this post will hopefully be a post where I can gather my thoughts. It might even be called a reference point. So here's how I will set it up, my takeaways, my hopes for next year, and a the total tool chest addition.
1. A Weird Place- Personally, I am in a bit of a weird place at this conference. I am currently a high school teacher, but I interviewed for an ed tech job the Wednesday before. Is it bad that my mind was not really on my classroom, but more on how i will help teachers? I did have some ideas for my classroom, but it was interesting to focus on the ed tech from two different perspectives. I know your going....what's the takeaway? Well.....ISTE made me excited either way it goes. I can always be a tech coach within my own building, and I got some great new ways to organize my classroom, but that will be for another number
2. Making the PD count- I don't know why, but this was something that really stuck in my brain for a bunch of reasons. It really started with @msMagiera and the ignite talks, and it was a theme that carried through my time. Teachers want short PD, that gives them time to interact, play, and packs a punch. They also want that follow up support. No matter if I get that tech job or not, I am going to begin a project of doing a 10 apps in 10 minute series using Touchcast. Through Touchcast, the teacher will also be able to interact with the app and explore if the choose. You then follow it up with a Google Form. I also want to send out a google form right at the beginning with three questions: If you could change one thing in your classroom what would it be, is there one tool you have always wanted to learn, and what time are you usually off during the school day. The whole point is to find that one thing for every teacher, and be there to hold their hand while they use it.
3. Let Kids Create and Make the Classroom Completely Connected- I already knew this, but it reenforced the idea of turning my Social Studies classroom into a newsroom. Students will work as segment producers and produce all different types of content. The main project will be a full scale unit news broadcast. Where ISTE helped was giving me some more ideas about the tools to use. I am going to start using Google + as a help central for both parents and students. I am going to use Touchcast to flip my lessons. I am going to use more of the features of Edmodo. I can use Plickers for quick assessments. The list can go on and on
4. Company Connections- In some ways, this was one of my favorite things at ISTE. I feel like I am kind of at the midpoint of my ed tech journey. I have presented all over the Southeast, and almost all have gone really well. It's time to take the next step, and I feel like connecting with the companies I care about was a huge part. I made connections with @edmodo, @classdojo, @touchcast, @cellyme, @tackk, @remind, and several others. I think this is big for several reasons. First, it raises my status. Several have mentor/ambassador programs that I am very excited to be part of. Second, when I go out and present now, I can go to these companies for stuff to giveaway. It adds to my presentations, and in the end helps their company to.
5. Finding People Who Think A Like- Most teachers have no clue about the ed tech community. I always feel like I am home when I go into the keynote and I see everyone on their device. We get so much pushback in our buildings sometime that it pumps me up to go and meet new friends from all over the country who believe the same things I do. Special shout out to @misspelsor, @theprofspage, and the rest of my new friends from IL.
6. Finding the Speakers who Can Bring It- I have learned something from going to so many conferences. I prefer the national speakers. I was a big fan of @lesliefisher and @adambellow going in. They were great as always, but it was so awesome to find others that brought it. @teach42 (Steve Dembo) and @tammyworcester were two of my new favorites. They were funny, brought great new points, and taught me something. I wish I could have seen more of @kylepace and @KleinErin. I saw them on a panel. They were great for the short time I saw them. I can't believe Erin Klein is still in the classroom. Those are some very lucky kids. I wish my rising 2nd grader could have her.
My Hopes for Next Year
1. THAT I GET TO GO!- The two ISTE's I have been to have both been paid for out of pocket. It's rough on a teachers salary. I am praying and hoping that I will get to go either whether I can afford it or on a companies dollar because I present on the floor for them. If you want me to present just tell me......
2. That I get to Present- I have applied to ISTE several times, but this was the year I thought my presentation might have a shot to get on the program. It did not. I have several ideas on how to rebrand and get in. I will also be applying for a poster, concurrent, workshop, and ignite to broaden my chances. I got this!
3. Dear ISTE, DON'T HAVE SOMEONE FROM HOLLYWOOD DO THE KEYNOTE!!!, Thank You- I did not find many who thought Ashley Judd was any good. Most thought it was weird. Why the folks at ISTE thought they had to have her, I will never know. You got edtech rockstars all over. Let them do the keynote. Find the best researchers, or best educators. They could do it. Here's my dream Lineup.... Ron Clark does the open, Adam Bellow does the Middle, Chris Lehman does the end. You could also use someone like Carl Hooker or Jennie Mageira. If you have to go Hollywood, maybe get someone with plenty of academic cred like Mayim Balik
4. @Iste2014line does not have a baby named @Iste2015line- I know there will be lines and crowds, but hopefully not as much. Philly's convention center is more spread out, so there is hope........
5. Discover More Great Speakers- Conferences like this can be a crap shoot. Some sessions are great, some terrible. I am hoping I can add to the list of always reliable.
The Ultimate ISTE War-chest! (Just Gonna list em, Go explore!)
5. Elements 4d
6. 81 Dash- a new fav, and got to hang with Carlos for a bit
7. If this then that
8. Pear deck
9. Record Mp3
13. Scoot and Doodle
17. Sansdisk Connect Wireless Media