I would never have thought that I would go to Denver, Colorado for a technology conference a year ago. I still can’t believe that it has only been a year since I took a dive head first into technology! This past year has really opened up my eyes to a new focus, a new passion!
I went with my Assistant Principal and his wife as they planned a professional vaca-development experience for themselves, which I so graciously became their third wheel and joined them!
As a newbie to an ISTE conference, I soon realized how much I missed from the ticketed sessions and the leadership bootcamps, won’t make that mistake again! So my first experience was the Keynote on Sunday night. Jean-Francois Rischard, an author and former vice-president of World Bank, began with a crowd that I have only seen at concerts in Detroit! I was very awestruck! Only until he began, as many of us soon learned that his presentation skills were lacking. Watching the Twitter stream was both funny and sad; as I think most people could not be believe that he would elect to use a PowerPoint presentation filled with words on every screen. In an arena so large, I am not sure who could see the presentation. I remember tweeting that he actually had his back to audience while he was speaking. Needless to say, it was difficult to give the presentation my full attention, especially with the very ferocious Twitter stream I was receiving.
The first presentation I went to on Monday morning was Backchannel: Let Everyone Speak with @Michael baker, @chrischampion, and @khokanson. This tool interests me as I think this will be extremely useful in the classroom and during staff meetings. I can’t wait to find opportunities to use it this year. One message that hit me loud and clear during this session was what we preach about digital citizenship… When you are tweeting or backchanneling, be positive in our comments, or at least be constructive what we say so that someone can use it to improve…Lesson #1!
I proceeded on to Steve Dembo’s Policy, Safety, and Social Networking session. As a rather new Tweeter, I had no idea that I followed so many experts, as many of those I follow were presenting! Steve was one of them! I felt his session was info packed and much of what I learned; I am taking back to my district. I write a lot about how we must educate our kids to use this technology rather than just ban it from our school systems. He provided many resources for my district as they explore new technology plans and AUPs for our students and staff. The message I heard loud and clear from this session was that putting information on the web about our students should not be prohibited, but encouraged as long as it is appropriate and beneficial to them in the future…Lesson #2!