In considering my first blog post, I did some deep soul searching to flush out a suitable topic for such a milestone event. After considering several options, including saving the whales and visualizing world peace, I landed on another “milestone event” – ISTE 2017 – as the topic for my inaugural blog post.
Where to begin…oh, where to begin? That question is not only relevant to my first blog post, but it was also an appropriate central question that first day in San Antonio at the kickoff of ISTE 2017. If you’ve never attended an ISTE conference, my advice to you, in the immortal words of Nike, is to JUST DO IT!!
How would I summarize ISTE 2017 in a nutshell from a first-timer’s perspective? Probably the most apt description I could give would be an edtech conference on mega-steroids with a little crack thrown in for good measure. The size and scope? Massive. The energy and excitement? Palpable.Let me just say I have been to MANY conferences over my teaching career, on both the local and national level, and nothing has compared to this! You’ve simply got to see it to believe it.
And now for a few first-year observations…
One of the best things I did prior to ISTE was read the sage advice for first-time attendees on blog posts by previous ISTE attendees. The format of this conference is different from any I have attended previously. The Playground, the PLN Fair, the Expo, and the various types of session offerings all take a while to wrap your brain around.
Download the conference app as soon as it is available. Seriously. Many sessions require pre-registration, even if they are free, in order for you to attend. If you wait…at all…odds are good they will be full. Here’s a tip: If you REALLY want to go to that session, show up anyways. Odds are someone, or multiple someones, won’t show up, and you will be “in like Flynn.”