ISTE Day 1

Day 1 is in the books.  It was an incredible day of learning and connections for me.  A very long day.  You have to actually experience the event to recognize the magnitude of what’s available.  You’re only allowed three days to experience an event that would take a couple of weeks to do properly.

So, what did I do?

First off, I went to Will Richardson’s session about “Changing the Climate”.  It’s worth reflecting upon how his approach and skills have matured over the past few years.  He’s always on the cutting edge, ahead of the crowd, and keeps moving.  When we first met, it was at the RCAC Symposium and the message was about these emerging tools and a fresh way of being connected.  Now, we’re focusing on using the tools for specific purposes.  In this case, it’s about having students do good.  We had a chance to chat before the session and we both agreed that education and the environment are both on the way to ruin if something doesn’t happen.  As normal, I take notes during the session.  I like the concept of a graphic organizer and so used Bubbl.us to record my observations.

Then, the sessions grind to a halt and we all head to the vendor area.  That place is nuts.  I’ve developed a strategy from past conferences in that I don’t do much talking or interacting with the vendors at this point.  For me, it’s a matter of weaving my way through the aisles just to get a sense of what was there so that I could follow up later.

Next up was a session with Cheryl Lemke from the Metiri Group talking about “Innovative Leadership in a Participatory Web 2.0 World”.  Again, I used Bubbl.us to record my observations from Cheryl’s presentation.  She provided seven tips that she felt were worthy of note to administrators.  I’ve recorded them but will really have to sit down and mull through exactly what the impact might be upon a success implementation.  Nice thing is that her session was recorded on ISTEVision so the session can be replayed.

I was feeling kind of lethargic and needed a high speed pickup so where do you go?  Leslie Fisher of course.  New and updated, like every time, she shared some of her best techniques and best applications for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and now iPad.  From the session, I have a big list of things to check out.  I think I’ll wait until I get my iPod fixed though!  <grin>  And, my friend WindsorDi has come to my rescue and found a Windsor location to replace the glass.  Can it get much better?

I also make sure that I spend time at the Poster sessions where informal discussions surround a concept are the order of the day.  A shout out needs to go to Ontarian Kent Manning who shared a Poster on Motivating Boy Writers.

Another quick trip through the vendor area ensues and then it’s up to the Blogger’s Cafe where Paul Wood is holding court.  I met Paul last year – what a great guy.  I got a hands-on demo of his iPad and what he’s using it for and a super external speaker from Altec Lansing.  I plugged it into my iPod and Bruce Springsteen never sounded better.

To round out the day, I attended an unconference session on copyright.  Obviously, the content was focused on US laws and not directly applicable to all of us.  But, it’s comforting to know that people are having the conversation and talking about the importance of dealing with this and Creative Commons in the classroom.  There is an increasing “Devil May Care” attitude among students – how do we deal with it?

Over the supper hour, there was a reception at the Canadian Consulate. This was a delightful combination of business people and educators mixing it up and having great conversations.  I learned something interesting about the Consulate.  If you’re interested in moving a business to their location, they’ll actually help you make the local connections.  I did not know that!  It was wonderful to chat with Canadian educators – among them Brenda, Zoe, Peter, Ron, Harry, Kent, Donna, Cathy, Dean, and more that I just met and can’t recall their names.  It was also nice to talk to the folks from NECTAR, Bytes of Learning, Bitstrips for Schools, and Tech4Learning.  Given the context, I really enjoyed talking to the lads from Bitstrips for Schools.  I put the question to them – what is the business plan for online web delivery of services?  Their main product “Bitstrips” is a free service.

After this incredible long day, it was time to realize that we hadn’t had supper!  A group of friends hopped the trolly and picked a stop and the first restaurant in sight.  Half an hour delay.  We then all realized how hungry we were and went next door!

Onward to Day 2.

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