I am looking forward to ISTE 2014 in Atlanta!

I have done some serious prep work which is different than other years.

I put in a serious bit of work on creating an online module for ISTE newbies in my district to prepare them for such a large conference. I learned more about the ISTE conference website than I knew before, even though I’ve been a member/attendee since 2011, and the benefits (read:free stuff) to which members are entitled. I also watched the ISTE website change as the conference approached – you don’t notice those things until you are trying to maintain a course around a website. There must be quite a few folks working behind the scenes for ISTE to ramp up to the conference – thanks for all your hard work!

So, while I am still managing this course, I know I need to personally self-evaluate in advance of the conference in order to get the most out of it.

So I will start with some basic questions:

  • What are the topics I am always interested in?
  • What are the topics I am interested in this year?
  • Are there any must attend events for me?

I always find myself interested in professional learning/development. Here are some of the sessions I am geeking out about right now:

Poster Sessions:

Adventures in embedded professional learning, Flipping PD, Building online communities: Moving beyond an LMSCoaching builds a self-sustaining personalized learning systemExtreme PD makeover: Technology edition (doubles up on my AR Aurasma interest), Digital age teaching: Free technology PD with 21things4teachers, Our story: Online professional learning (related to our new LMS we are onboarding), Personalized learning for new teachers …

Concurrent Session(s):

Coaching for education transformation …


EdTech Coaching Playground: Coaches save the day!

Birds of a Feather:

ISTE Ed Tech Coaches Network: Calling all coaches

I am specifically interested in getting past the idea of how “cool” augmented reality is and learning some practical how-tos already. I have a workshop in mind for this:

Augmented reality: Design dynamic lessons for engaged learning! There are three spots left one week out. This session uses Aurasma and TouchCast.
Augmented Reality: The Unimaginable Visualized through Kid Created Tutorials This session seems a bit more broad than the prior one I mention – it is K-12, seems to be Microsoft-centric, with five presenters.

I would take in some sessions on coding if the time/speaker seems right:

Genius hour 20% time: Best practices inspire creativity not chaos (speakers for this one are strong)…

I am certain upon further review of the program I will see some sessions which might tempt me as well, but that is what jumped out at me on my first review of the program.

I have some perennial favorites in the speaker category which I will try to check in on: Chris O’Neal (check him out at Leadership Strand Orientation), George Couros (Conquering Myths of Technology will be recorded), and Christopher Craft – guru of all things Google. All of these speakers are within the Leadership Strand – see at least one at some time.

This year I am interested in attending the EdTechWomen leadership dinner at ISTE: How do you build a community of leaders? I have tried to attend one other local chapter meeting, but I anticipate being there already will make attending easier. I pulled the trigger and ordered my ticket!

What do you think – what are you excited about for ISTE?