First Day of ISTE as a Newby…

Today was the end of the first full day at ISTE. If you’ve never heard of or been to ISTE, it’s the annual conference for Ed Tech Educators around the world. Nearly 20,000 educators plus vendors, presenters, and keynote speakers. I presented my Ignite talk on Digital Storytelling, spoke to other educators, heard some inspiring talks, saw some amazing demonstrations, and took in more information than I can ever hope to process.

So, what was the most important thing that I learned on my first day at ISTE? Unequivocally this: wear comfortable shoes. Seriously, so much walking, talking, up and down stairs, to the next exhibit, to the next great talk, the exhibitor fair… I quickly regretted my choice of wedges. Yes they looked great with my dress but tomorrow, it’s all flats!

What’s the second most important thing that I learned? Educators around the world are passionate, innovative, and inspiring. I’ve truly been inspired by what other teachers around the globes are doing, the passion they have for their craft, and the sense of camaraderie that comes with working in this field. Today, I heard a group of IT professionals discuss the challenges and successes of implementing wireless access across schools, saw students discuss their achievements in the classroom, heard about the interesting world of MOOCs, and heard my colleagues like Don Orth and Douglas Kiang highlight their passions and achievements their institutions. At the end of the night, I’m in my hotel room and can hardly process it all… and I can’t wait to start again tomorrow!

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