I love going to the ISTE conference. I think it is the perfect end to a school year and a great inspiration for the upcoming year. This year, with the birth of my third daughter just a couple of weeks ago, ISTE just isn’t doable. Fortunately for me, Ben is still going this year. Unfortunately for me, Ben is still going this year, and I have to hear him talk and talk about it. It’s like repeatedly rubbing salt into fresh wounds. I’ll survive, and even though I’m not going, I still want to share my advice from a semi-seasoned veteran of ISTE.
- Don’t tell ISTE this, or the vendors who truly pay for the conference, but minimize your time in the exhibit hall. It sucks up lots of time and only give you lots of cheap swag in return to carry home. If you do decide to enter the exhibition hall, have a game plan. Know what you are going in their for, who you want to see, etc. Please be sure to stop by the Eye on Education booth (5842) and say hi to Bob for me.
- Spend as much time in the Bloggers’ Cafe as possible. That’s where the true moving and shaking occurs. Or at least the most thoughtful discussions surrounding education. You don’t have to be a blogger to enter, but you probably won’t leave still not blogging.
- Seek out the people you follow online and talk with them. Most of them will gladly talk with you, and if they won’t, they aren’t worth your time following.
- Vicki Davis started this take away for Ben and Me. Come up with a small list, just a couple of things, that you want to accomplish this year. They can range from a new online tool to more global collaboration to eportfolios. Make a list. Follow it during the school year and evaluate your accomplishments prior to ISTE 2013.
- Pace yourself. It is very easy to go all out for the first day and a half and then be spent. There is as much good stuff going on the last day as the first. If you need to stop for an iced tea and put your feet up for a few minutes, then do it. Enjoy the experience. It doesn’t have to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but you should treat it like it is.
I wish I could go to ISTE this year, but I’ll just have to send Ben in my place. Make the most of this experience, and please be sure to share with those of us who are less fortunate (well at least fortunate in a different way–I might get in trouble claiming that having a new baby was less fortunate) through blogging, twitter, etc.