Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ISTE Conference 2012 Power

Friday, June 22
Friday, after the closing of the school for the 2011-2012 school year, we headed to beautiful San Diego, California. We were headed out to #ISTE12 (International Society for Technology in Education Conference 2012). With great expectations in mind and business cards printed, we packed our bags and were on our way. Well almost... The heavens decided to open up on our way to the airport. We wondered if a monsoon had descended upon us. Of course, this meant the airline would have issues. Plane coming to get us was stuck in the Carolinas. So they sent another plane instead. Once we were finally seated on our plane the delays continued. Then the announcement comes over the loud speaker, “Does anyone have a medical background on board? A doctor or a nurse? One of our passengers could use a little medical attention at the back of the plane.” I feel bad for the person that needed medical attention. But seriously!?!?! Finally we are off to the magic that is #ISTE12.

Saturday, June 23
We were scheduled to attend the Discovery Educator Network ISTE pre-conference that next morning. However, with getting in so very, very late we unfortunately had to pass on this day of professional development and fun with our DEN friends. But as our plans had now changed, we had the flexibility to explore the city and check in for the conference. We picked up our conference bags and went for a walk around the Seaport Village. After such a hectic May and June at school, the beautiful scenery was much appreciated.

Sunday, June 24
Our conference experience began. ISTE provided a Kick-Off celebration to help get things underway. Peggy Shehy and Mario Armstrong provided great comic relief as they reminded us of other famous dynamic duos: Batman and Robin, Spock and Captain Kirk, Princess Leah and Luke Skywalker, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and of course Mac and PC. We were encouraged to network and find our own partnerships. We met some lovely ISTE members during their networking activity.

During the conference, ISTE Award winners were recognized. Of course, our camera shutters clicked away in rapid succession as our Director of Technology received our Third Place SIGOL (Special Interest Group for Online Learning).

We then proceeded to the USS Midway for a light reception sponsored by an Interactive White Board vendor. They presented success stories in the field from some schools that had increased their student achievement rates. Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology US Department of Education, addressed the group discussing the need to challenge our students and foster our teachers that are interested in researching that which works in Education.

Afterwards we went for dinner at a “World Famous Restaurant” that was quite an enjoyable way to end our day. We returned to our hotel to rest up for the next day's #ISTE12 adventures.