I had a great ISTE this year. I was a little Twitter-star struck, managed to be act normal with several cool people that I was lucky enough to meet, and had some of my paradigms shifted. And, I was challenged to write.

I attended an awesome presentation by @GCouros on Learning to Change, and Changing to Learn. He rocked it. He talked about Digital Leadership over Digital Citizenship, Building Leadership based on Strengths, and that
Leaders don’t create followers – they create more leaders. I had tears in my eyes when he showed this last video clip:

First Ski Jump

I was so inspired by this guy that I wanted to approach him after his session, but was feeling too intimidated. When I worked up the courage finally, I tripped over my shoelace, lost my phone, and the proceeded to lose the card he gave me (I know, what a throwback thing to ask the man for, right?)
Okay, shake it off. Dude’s just on Twitter, a lot. Get over yourself.

I also was able to meet a Twitter friend of colleague @JohnHardison1, @DaveGuymon. Wow, what a prolific guy – his new book is If You Can’t Fail, It Doesn’t Count. I can see why @JohnHardison1 and he are friends, they are two peas in a pod – I’d even recommend their podcast: http://edtrendspodcast.podomatic.com . I love when I see someone put on their best teacher face and walk another teacher through something when you can’t possibly see how it might profit you. Basically it was a version of the janitor test, and @DaveGuymon passed with flying colors. I was able to be myself because we surrounded him & outnumbered him. I was proud that I was able to be so normal around a Twitter star.

I think that bolstered my confidence, and when I found myself standing behind @KylePace and @ShannonMMiller waiting for the exhibit hall to open I wasn’t too afraid to strike up a conversation. While I wasn’t my full self, I wasn’t as giddy as when I half fell in front of @GCouros the previous day. I started by asking Kyle who *wows* him. To my delight he said he was looking forward to seeing Alan November (AKA @globalearner ), that’s where he had me, this guy’s a good teacher because he is still a learner! I was a little more at ease after that. I still kept track of who I spied, but I wasn’t a tween at a Bieber concert at least.

And it was a great session by Alan November. He articulated many things which I believed, but had not yet said/tweeted/acted upon:
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He unfortunately had to model tolerance in the face of inconsistent Internet connectivity, an under-rated skill.  He was great, he was right, and he wasn’t even my greatest take away.

I am embarrassed to say, but not surprised in hindsight, that I did not know the opening keynote speaker Jane McGonigal, @avantgame .   Viewing her TED Talk it is very similar to her keynote at ISTE13:

Jane McGonigal TED Talk

I walked away thinking that maybe it was okay my 5YO was newly interested in MineCraft – and I attended a session on it the next day.  That was a change from when I walked in to that keynote speech.  I walked out with a colleague I think a great deal of – he said she just explained to him why he loves games.  Wow, how cool is that?  I plan on reading her book, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.  My take away from this new way of thinking has me wondering, how will I smuggle a MineCraft server onto a campus this coming year?

That isn’t even my most difficult challenge I take away from ISTE13 however.  @JohnHardison1 pointed out to me that I should be writing, blogging.  I think so too, not because you are waiting on pins and needles to hear from another ed tech teacher, but because I need to organize, prioritize, and synthesize what I have learned and what I think about things.