I had an amazing opportunity in June to attend ISTE 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Not only was this my 1st time attending, but I also had the honor of presenting a 2 hour poster session too.
Professional development is so very important, but interactive, engaging and inspiring development that challenges your thinking is really the best. I found ISTE 2014 to be this and more. From the moment I arrived until I left I found all volunteers, attendees and other educators to be nothing but supportive, energetic and passionate. I really appreciated the variety of presenters as well as the formats. By having a variety of formats it really opened up possibilities for many educators to participate in ways that were conducive for their topic. I appreciated this a lot and I was able to make choices not only on topics, but how the topics were being presented and/or shared. Again, this is awesome because we all learn in different ways, at different paces, so the variety was great!
I also had the opportunity to connect with many of my PLN as well. The people I met face to face for the 1st time were amazing educators that I met via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, other formats. I think about how when I saw familiar faces that I already knew so much about them because of their willingness to share and be transparent not only about themselves, but their experiences in education. I felt at home and connected.
These are some of the most amazing professional educators I have the pleasure of connecting and collaborating with. ISTE 2014 provided an opportunity for us to meet and again, connect and inspire each other. Unfortunately I was not able to meet many others whom I have the pleasure of learning side by side with, but maybe another opportunity in the future will present itself! You never know.
ISTE 2014 Offered Me:
*inspiration: Walking through the trade center you could sense the excitement and support. I had the pleasure of connecting with familiar faces as well as new ones. I look forward to learning from them all in the future.
*engaged my thinking: Many of the poster sessions, share and talk sessions as well as roundtable discussions offered opportunities for rich conversations and a variety of perspectives. Perspectives are important because we gain new insights and a variety of ways to think about ideas we explore.
*made lots of connections: I had folks attend my poster session from Canada, the USA and even South Africa! Again, I am thinking about my perspective and the importance of having a global audience.
*time for conversations: It was an opportunity to engage in as many conversations as I wanted to with others in regards to their experience, tools used and other resources. It was really nice to be able to speak with many vendors of some of the tools I use inside/outside kindergarten too!
*#satchat: Being able to hangout and participate in a live #satchat was really unbelievable! This is a very inspiring, engaging and creative group of educators who are very committed to learning and making a difference in education.
*keynote speakers: This was really a wonderful experience to be in an audience with thousands of others to hear from inspirational people share their stories, their journey. I learned a lot by being there, present to absorb talented people share their personal journeys.
*PLN: Meeting my professional learning network gave me an opportunity to say thank you and have conversations about our learning. Collaboration is vital and very necessary for all of us, educators, in our work inside and outside of our classrooms.