I spent last week in San Antonio at ISTE 13. It was a wonderful week of learning and collaboration. There were many possible combinations of breakout sessions, poster sessions, play grounds, three keynotes, hundreds of vendors, and plenty of receptions to attend. This type of conference allows a person to do, see and hear whatever they want to gain more knowledge in.
For example, I was interested in Flipped/Blended Professional Development. I attended several sessions that were very interesting and gave me several ideas of how I want to proceed with a Blended PD idea for ESU7.
I also attended a session talking about Integration vs Innovation. This session made me really think about what our schools are doing with the technology that they have in the hands of their students. Are they just using it as another “tool” for writing a paper or are they enhancing the writing of the paper with the technology. It is really something that in my job that I have to get across to the teachers of ESU7. More innovation is needed.
Finally, the most important part of the conference for me was the collaboration time. Sitting down, or standing, and talking to other teachers from all over sharing ideas and lessons has a big and lasting impact. I had the opportunity to talk with people from many different states and several countries, Finland, Australia and Canada to name a few. Also, having the opportunity to discuss findings with those in Nebraska that were at ISTE was a benefit as well. That opportunity also allows for collaboration within the state on projects and much, much more.
I will most certainly be attending ISTE in the future. It is well worth the travel, time, and money. Hopefully ISTE 14 in Atlanta will be my next ISTE adventure.