Sunday, June 23, 2013

ISTE - Day 1 - HackEd UnConference ISTE Preconference

So yesterday was my first experience ever with ISTE (the international technology conference).  Now granted ISTE didn't start yesterday for "normal" people, but yesterday was when they held ISTE Unplugged, or the HackEd Conference.  It was very similar to an EdCamp model.  And man I had a blast.

So I left my house at 4:30am yesterday to make sure I could drive up with enough time.  Parked, got here too early haha, and sat in a room TRYING to get Wifi.  I still can't understand why these giant technology conferences can't figure out Wifi issues, but I tweeted out that I couldn't connect, and within minutes someone from ISTE had tweeted me back asking what room number I was in and that they were working on.  So that at least provided me a little hope, and it got me kind of excited/freaked out they were paying that close attention to the ISTE feed.
Then people started arriving, and as more and more arrived in the room I began to get more and more star struck.  Ok now YES I realize that all these educators who have huge presences online are just like us, I get that, but still they're rockstars in my eyes and I was dying to meet every one of them.  I can proudly say I got to meet Kevin Honeycutt, Sue Gorman, Ginger Lewmann, Peggy George, Paula Naugle, Jerry Blumengarten, Susan Bearden, George Couros, Adam Bellow, and Jessica Allen!  NONE of those educators are from TX which is the coolest part about ISTE, getting to meet and connect with people from litterally ALL over the world.

The "sessions" I attended yesterday were "Connecting Globally", "Social Media in Schools", "Google Glass" and "Minecraft in EDU".  I learned soooo much just having discussions with these people.  My favorite by far though was the Social Media in Schools one because the discussion became some passionate and everyone agreed that to prepare for social media we need to teach social media to kids, so unblock it! Awesome to hear people like Kevin Honeycutt, Adam Bellow, Paula Naugle and more share how much they believed in teaching social media.  My favorite quote of the day was "Our kids are playing on a social media playground with no one on recess duty" from Kevin Honeycutt, so true.

During lunch I got to get my free Microsoft Surface tablet....and no I still haven't taken it out of the box yet...I know, I know.  Then I got to have lunch with Martha Lackey and Lisa Carmazzo and some friends, that was fun too!

I also got to play a little with Google Glass, and while I loved trying them on and playing a little, I don't think I would purchase them with the technology they have now, I just didn't see a "need" for it.  And the concensus in our conversation was that, as of now, there is def not a use for it in education.  Now if they continue to add tech into it (which they surely will) I will be more than happy to re-address this conversation.

After the HackEd, I headed over to a interview/focus group meeting with StudyBlue, FINALLY heard about their product from people who are using it, and man I am so going to be using it next year for my math vocabulary.  Love it!

Then I got invited to a dinner hosted by Dr. Roland Rios.  Finally got to meet him and he was so cool, and so nice to open his house to us and serve delicious homemade fajitas.

Here are some sites/apps I wrote down yesterday (you can check my twitter @TechNinjaTodd for more info and my instagram toddcnesloney for more pics)

uclass.org
tioki.com
video in video app
Tagboard
hopscotch app
c-span in the classroom
password corral
magpi.org
moodle4educators.com
digital dossier video on youtube

Here's to another day of learning coming up!  Talk soon, first up is a digital photo walk!