The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference: so far so fun!
It’s in beautiful San Diego, a whole new cityscape to explore, both literally and figuratively. Ed tech is a little overwhelming, like everyone else has the plot but not really me. And exploring a new city is something I mean to do but rarely have. Plus going alone and having to meet new people, also outside my comfort zone.
So far, so fun!
Highlights and ideas so far:
1. Read the ISTE program so you don’t arrive a day early and miss hanging out with husband and dogz.
2. Exploring a city is similar to exploring a whole new area of study – you think you know a little about it and you recognize parts from the rest of your life – similar chains of stores, I-5 ends up here, it’s foggy like in SF. See new places and gradually learn how the whole thing links together, a literal mind map that you actually use to get from A to B without the GPS.
3. Driving around without a particular plan is so weird in our busy, goal-oriented lives, but really relaxing and fun too.
4. This conference is MUCH more interactive and informal than CSTA or NSTA – there are lounge areas to meet people with similar interests, there are similar interest groups on Twitter and tables to meet the folks who run them. Poster sessions, exhibit halls, Bring Your Own Device presentations where you actually DO the web stuff they are talking about. It’s so much more fun that marching from one powerpoint to the next. Much busier, many more disciplines represented and much more energy around it.
5. Much more interesting to be curious about what others are doing – I already know what I’m doing. Then if asked or it’s relevant, it’s fun to share back.
6. It’s so energizing to meet other enthusiastic, switched on educators. Thank you to Elizabeth for walking along the Embarcadero together, to Peggy Means and her colleagues from Vista, Ca for inviting me to lunch with them, to a Alexandra Ito at an info booth who switched me on to ‘Evernote‘ as a way to track business cards, HootSuite to track Twitter and FB feeds, and to Talbot (Dr.Eval) for a great chat about ed research and evaluation.
His research shows that it’s not direct instruction OR student centered learning, it’s the proportion of time spent on each. The most effective teachers introduce concepts and instructions in 5 – 10 minutes at the start of class and let the kids get on with it fairly quickly. How about that? Who knew :-).
7. I am looking for stuff that will be FUN for me and for kids and will be guided by what I WANT to do more than what I feel I SHOULD do.
8. The offerings are absolutely overwhelming. I can’t absorb it all. I’m going to attend a few key workshops/ talks but will allow plenty of time for guilt-free browsing of exhibits, poster sessions and for playing with gaming and story telling digital media. I love that way of learning, so much more interactive. Hmm, I wonder if kids feel that way too…