I am fortunate to be in an Innovative Tech Group in my district. One of the perks of this group is they paid for us to attend ISTE 2010!! I had a great thought to ride the bus instead of drive-- fine if you don't need to take the Colfax bus. I realized that I need to make myself take the RTD more just to get out of my box. I wrangled a few bus passes and poof-- my $2.00 trip to ISTE.
This was my first ISTE conference. I was certainly overwhelmed most of the time but it was a good overwhelmingness that I let wash over me and I took in all that I could before crashing at the end of the day from mental overload! I will for sure be heading to Philly next summer for the ISTE 2011 conference.
1. I attended many sessions and listened in on many conversations. I was for the most part a lurker! I needed to lurk this year to build my confidence and get my feet wet amongst some amazing educators. I spotted several people I follow on Twitter and felt like I was spotting a movie star! Karl Fisch, Ben Wilkoff, Paula White.... What I realized as I lurked was...... I could hold my own with these people! I have worked hard especially this past year to grow professionally. I am proud that I have done just that. Which makes me all to happy to keep growing and learning.
2. One focus of next year for me will be around flattening my classroom a bit. I am in the planning stages with the amazing Paula White from VA around collaborating with her students using a FabLab (http://www.digitalfabrication.org/). I want my students to get outside their own little boxes and be in awe of the world around them. I want them to be curious about something and feel ok to investigate it. I want them to think, really and truly think.
3. I attended Bernajean Porter's session- "Where's the Beef?" I have to admit that some projects I did with my students last year were complete failures. Some were pretty good. A small handful were great. I want to focus on 'the beef' with my digital projects. I am one of the only tech-savy teachers in my building so I end up having to take many students from ground zero in their technology skills. While I enjoy a challenge, I'd love to have students walk in my room with a few more basic skills. Anyway, back to 'the beef'. I plan to work smarter in my assignment designs so that I get the beef and the students still find it challenging and rewarding! One thing I know is my students will be pushed this year to think and go beyond just the facts with their thinking.
So those are initial thoughts that I wanted to get outta my brain. More will be coming as I digest my notes and start checking out all the sites and tools I learned about.
I love that is summer and I have TIME to learn and grow more before my students and I start another adventure in August!