I am sitting here playing Hungry, Hungry, Hippos with my youngest kids, realizing that a week from now I will be in Philadelphia at the ISTE conference. I love going to ISTE, but it can be a daunting task to get the most out of your time there. This will be my fourth consecutive ISTE (NECC) Conference, and I thought that it might be useful to benefit from my past experiences.
San Antonio 2008- I PRESENTED at this conference. Talk about not knowing what you are getting into. In all fairness, I was on a panel and my technology partner, Janice, led me through the entire thing. But I did not understand how BIG the conference was. I was thinking a room of 50 people, and in walk about 350 into this huge ballroom. I believe we did a good job, and I was way out of my league to be presenting there. I saw only one other speaker, David Warlick. David is an incredible speaker, and I highly recommend going to see him. Then….I left. I actually wanted to stay, but the person who gave me a ride from Austin and was on our panel, had no interest being there. I wanted to drive back for the other two days, but didn’t. I should have gone back.
DC 2009- This was a fun one. My ONLY complaint is…where do you get a drink in that place!! My goodness, get a soda machine for crying out loud!! My family and I drove from Austin to this one. It was a long drive, but I went to speaker, after speaker, after speaker. Looking back, not the best choice. You need some time to reflect on what speakers are giving you. If you overload, you come out just completely overwhelmed. It was a great time though, and my only trip ever to our Nation’s Capitol.
Denver 2010- Drove again with the family. This one was a great conference. You could actually GET a soda. I was there early, and stuffed bags for my first volunteering job. I also attended the second half of Edubloggercon. That was so valuable. I attended more poster sessions and talked to more people. I was now on Twitter, and recognized people from my PLN. I attended presentations more for the speaker, and not for the content being presented. It was a lot of fun. I met some people from my school district there, and we actually (gasp) went out to parties they knew about from sponsors. I had never done that before, but I plan to this year.
Philadelphia 2011- My first trip to Philly. I will have to go straight from the airport to edubloggercon, and will miss most of it. I will not have my family there with me, and we will not have to be driving thousands of miles. I will be working before the keynote, and three shifts at the Glogster.edu booth. They actually paid for my registration, as a Glogster Ambassador. I will take in the Red Sox/Phillies game after the conference is over on Wednesday night. I am considering presenting at ISTE Unplugged while there are still some spots left.
There are ton of things to get ready before I leave early Saturday morning. I will be ready!! Bring on ISTE 2011 , I am ready to gain and share some knowledge for my class for the upcoming school year.