As always, ISTE was a complete whirlwind of a few days. With being so involved with the Ed Tech Coaches PLN, I don’t get a chance to attend as many sessions as I’d like to. The face to face connections have become the most powerful part of the conference for me- meeting all those people who participate and volunteer to help us throughout the year and finally meeting all the people I’ve connected with online. So many faces finally became more than a thumbnail icon to me!
Some of the most exciting faces I was able to put to names this year were three of my Ed Tech Coaches Blogging Buddies, Tara Helkowski, Leslie Fagin (we got the chance to meet last year), and Knikole Taylor (pictures below)! Knikole’s son was chosen as one of the students who got to sit on the panel with Richard Cullatta as a part of the Tuesday morning keynote, so I was pretty psyched to get to meet him too… a Bonus Buddy!
Along these same lines, I loved Sarah Thomas‘ (of EduMatch) idea of the Personal Learning Family. The idea that these people are so much more than a “network” really resonated with me. I mean, I talk to at least one member of ISTE’s Ed Tech Coaches leadership team every single day… that’s more than I talk to most members of my real family (mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry)! It’s always great to finally see them all in person at the conference. So, I wanted to give a special shout out to my PLF- we failed at one whole group picture, but here is everyone on the ETC leadership team below.
There are so many other people I got to see again or meet in person for the first time this year, that I don’t want to try to list everyone out and forget someone. Moral of the story is- when you’re at these educational conferences and see someone that you have connected with online, don’t hesitate to go up and introduce yourself in person. It’s what makes all that hard work and online networking throughout the years worth it and it’s how you can truly build your Personal Learning Family!
Stay tuned for an ISTE Recap update after Wednesday of this week. My department is hosting a free face to face gathering for districts in the area to highlight the top trends and takeaways that we saw at the conference. I’ll share here after that event. If you’re reading from the Cincinnati area, comment below and I’ll get you the details on how you can attend!
What was your favorite part of the conference this year?
Tech To You Later!