Wednesday, July 2, 2014

6 Days of Highlights at #iste2014

Holy goodness, I had every intention of blogging my main take away each day while I was at ISTE, so my friends at home could follow along, and I totally got wrapped up in the awesomeness of the sessions and forgot!

Day 1: This was actually a "tourist" day as the conference hadn't started yet, so my highlight was Flip Burger Boutique!

Day 2: #Hacked is pretty much my favorite part of ISTE - this is a MUST ATTEND/non-negotiable for me. The unconference style combined with the #edurockstars that come, creates an experience that I can't even describe.

I had a conversation in my first session in which I described having my students help me build our class together - if we're piloting something new, they take ownership and build with me along the way. I was excited to share, but one participant said he felt like I was doing kids a "dis-service" because the other teachers aren't like this, and when they walked out of my room they had to go back into a traditional environment. Remember folks, you shouldn't do bad things to kids just because other people are doing bad things to kids.

The smackdown session had some interesting tools, like Chatter Pix, Art Rage, and Touch Cast , and a session I went to on "Voxer" in an educational setting made my day (thank you @wkrakower)! If you aren't on Voxer you should be. Trust me. I had downloaded it prior to the conference, but it came in handy

Day 3: Workshop day! We went to an Invent to Learn workshop with Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez - the time to play was excellent, but I am still a proponent for some level of structure, design thinking, something. However, that being said, our team really illustrated the learning process and environment that we want to create perfectly! Our process was collaborative, reflective, personalized, challenging, purposeful, and FUN!

Day 4: While Sunday had many amazing experiences, I have to say I can sum up my top highlight in one word: RAKtivism! I was incredibly inspired by an Ignite session by @HCPSTinyTech on Random Acts of Kindness, and tweeted about it, after which I was challenged by a member of my PLN (@JD_Rincker) who was watching the feed from home, to complete one RAK in the next week. I returned the challenge, and we agreed to both complete RAK and blog about it (okay, the blog part is still in negotiation, but I'm planning on winning that one ;). We have both since completed our first RAK, but more on that later!

Day 5: Monday was our presentation day! That was definitely a highlight! Our team had some last minute changes to make to our presentation, but we worked hard to pull it all together, and I was really happy with our collaboration and final product. It wasn't always pretty, but that's part of the process, and it meant a lot to me that we all played different roles at different times, and we got a lot of positive feedback.

Day 6: Our last day was kind of a whirlwind of activity, but I still tried to cram in some final sessions. The sessions were fine, but to be honest, my favorite part of this day was taking some time to sit and reflect and think about the big ideas we will bring back home to our #plaea teachers. That, and the peach popsicles. I had 4...

More to come - I haven't even touched on the value of my PLN and getting to meet up with so many of them at ISTE!

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