Thursday, June 26, 2014

A First Timer's Guide to ISTE

Molly, Chrissie, and Libby at
ISTE 2013 in San Antonio
Summer is here and you know what that means, ISTE!   For those who do not know ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education.   It's definitely the mecca for all things educational Molly Miller, and Libby Kirkland.  It was our first time attending and boy was it overwhelming!  As the date approaches for us to board a plane and head to ISTE 14 I find myself reflecting on last year's conference and thinking of how I will do things differently.  So in this blog post Molly, Libby and I will share are must do's to get the most out of ISTE 14!
technology.  Last year's conference had over 18,000 attendees, 3 of those attendees were myself,

Chrissie Edwards
Chrissie's Advice:  Schedule in time for breaks
There is so much to do and see at ISTE, in order to not get overwhelmed be sure not to load your schedule with sessions.  Last year I worked on earning some credit for my +32 so I had to go to a certain amount of sessions, poster sessions, and booths.  I found myself exhausted and overwhelmed by the end of the 5 days.   This year I elected not to earn credit, but to go and learn at a pace that I saw fit for me.  I'm definitely going to schedule time to sit and reflect, or meet up at the more informal collaboration/conservation areas.  So be sure to attend some sessions, but also be sure to take time for yourself to decompress and reflect!

Molly Miller
Molly's Advice:  Plan ahead, find sessions that fit your learning needs and use the app. Don't try to wing it
When looking at the program booklet there is so much to see and do!  Last year we spent the first evening plotting our moves for the next few days.   There are literally HUNDREDS of learning opportunities through the conference and when you find something that interests you, you want to be sure to attend.  We also coordinated with our group.  Some we all wanted to attend, but sometimes there was more than one session we wanted to attend so we divided and conquered.  Planning out your time also helps you to plan your time and you can figure out when you want your breaks to occur, when are good conversation times and collaboration times.  Definitely plan your time!

Libby Kirkland
Libby Kirkland:  If you go to a session you don't like leave and find another
As Molly and Chrissie have reminded us, there are SO many sessions to choose from.  Sometimes, you attend a session and it isn't what you thought it would be!  Last year Molly and I attended a session we thought was on teaching ESL classes, when actually it was about finding resources for classrooms that were spanish speaking and we were the only 2 who didn't speak spanish!!  Molly and I sat trying to be polite, but looking back it would have been much better to leave and choose another session.  This is your learning so if a session doesn't fit you go find another!

Hopefully you find our words of wisdom helpful.  As you go on to ISTE don't forget to stop by our booth on Sunday from 11-1 on Instructional Technology Coaching.   See you there!

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