Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Atlanta Bound!


Tomorrow I leave for my third ISTE conference.  This year it is in steamy Atlanta, Georgia!  I am so fortunate to get to represent WEMTA--our state organization as the Affiliate Liaison to ISTE.
I am looking forward to the conference for so many reasons.

1.  I am attending this for the first time as a Google Certified Teacher.  While I knew I was going to be attending the GTA in Chicago when I went last year, it did not actually happen until July.  This is significant not because it's cool to be a GCT, but because I have a whole new group of friends and colleagues that I have been networking with all year online to connect with.  I can't wait to see them face to face again and to catch up on the incredible things that they do for kids.  I am honored to be a member of this group and hope I get to spend lots of time with them.  I will be hanging out at the Google Playground on Monday to talk Google Glass and some other fun Googley topics.

2.  My presentation schedule is much more manageable this year.  Last year I committed to many things and left the conference feeling that I only really attended a few sessions and didn't make it to the Blogger's cafe at all.  While I enjoyed it tremendously, I felt very busy and rushed during my time in San Antonio.  This year, I only have a half day workshop and some time in the Google Playground.  The other open times will be spent attending sessions, networking, and learning with colleagues.  I am really looking forward to this!

3.  I have a great group scheduled to attend my pre-conference workshop.  I do the workshop because while I technically lead the session, I learn so much from a diverse group of educators that attend.  It truly is a learning network that we build throughout our three hour time slot.  We will be talking about our struggling learners and how we can use technology to make curriculum accessible to them in all areas.

4.  Great events!  I have some great social events scheduled with friends that I don't get to see too often.  Am looking forward to catching up in a relaxed environment.

5.  THE WORLD CUP!!  Can't wait to cheer on the US!!

There are other reasons I'm looking forward to the conference but these are the top five.  So many people from so many diverse backgrounds all in one spot--awesome!!
Many seasoned, "popular" educators have negative things to say about ISTE.  That really bothers me.  We are never too good to learn from each other and to celebrate the incredible things that happen for our students around the globe.  While the conference may not be a perfect venue for every issue we deal with in education, many of us save our pennies throughout the school year just to attend this one event.  Most classroom teachers that I know only get to attend one conference event a year.  I hope that those fortunate enough to attend multiple conferences and those that are well known in the Ed Tech world remember that and save the snarky comments for another time.  I, for one, am super excited about ISTE.  Stay tuned.....

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