Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ISTE 2011 - Enough Is as Good as a Feast

ISTE Season - It was a great week of learning, sharing, and socializing that started on Saturday, June 25, with the Discovery Educator Network pre-conference event and a bit of EduBloggerCon, continued on Sunday with the Constructivist Celebration, and ended on Wednesday, June 29, after three days of ISTE's numerous events.

But, the ISTE season began many weeks before as I prepared for some presentations I was giving. There's a lot to do as one organizes thoughts, resources, and materials to share with others. I also began planning long in advance for the pre-conference events I would attend, the volunteer responsibilities I would take on, as well as the ISTE sessions I wanted to attend and, of course, the social events that I wanted to include on my ISTE calendar.

There's so much to do at conferences, and, once again, I felt pulled in so many directions, as I'm sure many participants did. I began to feel disappointed that I couldn't be in two (sometimes three or four) places at once. Then I was even more disappointed that I was not feeling satisfied with the choices I made, even though I was planned where I wanted to be in the first place. Make sense?

But then I had a wonderful conversation with a "new friend" over lunch at the Discovery pre-conference, and I felt much better about not being able to be everywhere, do everything. It's one of my favorites from ISTE:

We were treated to a great lunch at Discovery's pre-conference. As we picked up our boxed lunches, packed with sandwiches, snacks, fruit, etc., we walked past a table filled with cupcakes. I couldn't wait to eat lunch and get a cupcake. Unfortunately, and, as is usually the case, I eat slowly, talk too much, and can never finish my meal. I was so full I no longer wanted to eat the cupcake. I was disappointed because I REALLY wanted a cupcake, but, I wasn't about to make myself sick over it. During conversations about lunch we were reminded of how we sometimes go out to dinner and look forward to the dessert but often are too full to order the dessert in the end. And, we said, sometimes it's nice to go out to eat and just order salad and a dessert. I sometimes even like to order the entree and just plan to take it home with me for another day.

That got me to thinking about something like ISTE and the gigantic, eclectic menu it has to offer. While I really wanted it all, there's no way I could consume all that ISTE had to offer and truly appreciate the experience. So, I won't feel disappointed about what I've missed, I will be happy with my experiences. Salad and dessert - yummy, and the company was awesome! And, I will savor the doggy bags that I know are waiting for me via my massive online community refrigerator!!

Here's just a bit from my plate for those who want a snack:

From Discovery Pre-Conference

Discovery Pre-Conference Birthday Celebration

From Constructivist Celebration

  • http://isleoftune.com/ - Make music in a creative way
  • Microworlds - I finally spent some time exploring
  • Generation YES - I had a great time talking with Dr. Dennis Harper about Generation Yes and the programs offered by this organization. I would like to be able to share this program with others in my district because I think it is of value not only to the student involved but also to the entire community.

Constructivist Celebration


  • SCAN - a program to help develop critical thinking skills, problem solving, and the ability to create well-developed arguments. Thanks to Sandy Wozniak for a great presentation, and I hope you get your sweater back from the cab! This was a session where I was a volunteer (actually, my volunteer assignment changed and this was a last-minute plan), but I was glad to have learned about SCAN. That's why I love not having every moment mapped and being able to "go with the flow" sometimes.
  • Digital Fabrication - something I have been waiting to see and am hoping to bring back to my school.  An exciting way to bring creativity, thinking and problem solving, and integration of subject areas into the learning environment.  See Fab@School and DigitalFabrication for info. Thanks to the FableVision Learning team for the awesome info. and demo!!
  • Infographics - Kathy Schrock's Resources; Jane Krauss and Diana Laufenberg's Infographic Resources. Visual literacy was where I put my focus during ISTE, and was was thrilled to learn more about infographics.

A Scene from the Newbie Lounge

("Enough is as good as a a feast." - While it's not  a Mary Poppins original quote, it was in the movie.  And I do love to quote Mary Poppins whenever possible!)


  1. Thanks for the resources! I'm excited to play with Tune Island with the K and 1st graders as part of learning about the trackpads.