Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Collaboration, Community and ISTE 2011

This article is cross posted at the Technology & Learning Advisor blog.

Last week I had the pleasure to attend the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia. This was really exciting for me since the last time it was even near me, I am in Southern New Jersey, was when it came to Washington, DC. Even then, it was far enough away that the budget, both mine and the school district's, was only able to handle one day. That day was spent just trying to make it through the vendor area, and poster board sessions.  Talk about a head spinning, overload of information!! This year was going to be different.

If you couldn't make it this year I suggest that you check out the following resources to give you a "flavor" of what you missed.  As well as the opportunity to get some quality PD.

Here you go:

  1. The ISTE YouTube Channel - It has some great videos of the key notes (see Chris Lehman's and be inspired), interviews and overviews of the conference.

  2. The ISTE Unplugged Wiki - It was created for those that always wanted to present but were not selected.  This wiki, run by Steve Hargadon, allowed attendees to sign up for spots to present to their peers. Don't be fooled, the recorded sessions (45 of them) have some good quality PD. Check it out!

  3. Use your Twitter hash tags to search out some good information that you may have missed.  Just do a search for #ISTE2011, #ISTE11 or, if you are an ISTE member and belong to a Special Interest Group SIG just plug-in the initials of your group.

As huge as this conference was it was still all about collaboration and sharing.  If you went and just wandered around this year with stopping in a "Playground," or a poster session you missed out.  For example, I was walking through the videoconferencing playground and got a chance to stop and talk, live, with the distance learning person at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I got a fantastic resource from a guy who was just sitting there on a computer screen waiting for someone to talk to him.  Overall, it was a chance to see the best of the best showing off their talents and being more than willing to tell you about how they do it.  That's what it's all about.

If you went, keep sharing and innovating. If you didn't, try to go when you can and look for the resources that are still out there for the taking.  There are plenty of blogs for information as well as other resources from this conference.  Do some searching, it will take you a whole lot less time then getting through the vendor area.  I can promise you that!!