ISTE Day 2 Reflections (thankfully I brought sneakers)

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The expo hall main floor

I heard a great story during a workshop on Twitter and digital literacy today. A burglar was recently caught in Minnesota because he logged into his Facebook account at the house he robbed and forgot to log off. It didn’t take authorities long to track down the Facebook-obsessed burglar as the victim recognized him on the street from a Facebook profile picture. This story is true (and sad), and important because it’s a reminder that we need to watch how we use the Internet. The larger lesson, of course, is to not rob houses.

Day two has come and almost gone at ISTE Atlanta and I’m tired. Today was the first day of the full ISTE conference activities and a ton was going on. ISTE is the kind of place where you can overhear these actual conversations taking place:

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“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original”
  • “Are you a Google certified teacher?”
  • “How many iPads can you fit in this storage bin?”
  • “I can’t wait to hear LeVar Burton speak!”
  • “Your digital footprint is more like a digital tattoo–it can’t be removed.”
  • “Is that Google Glass!?”

Today, I attended five sessions ranging from how to manage Apple, Android, and Windows in a BYOD environment to screencasting to Twitter storytelling. Here’s some of what I learned:

  • A great way to look at BYOD is through the lens of DNA: Device-Neutral Assignments– teachers need to give students choice how they will complete assignments based on the technology available to them.
  • Over and over you hear that Twitter is still the best way for educators to seek out professional development opportuntities.
  • Two great apps for annotating images are skitch (IOS and Android) and thinglink.
  • Educreations is a great app for creating and sharing video lessons with your iPad or browser.
  • Tagboard is an innovative way to search twitter hashtags.
  • Two twitter hashtags for storytelling in ELA classes are #twitterfiction and #twitterature.
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Robotic legos

I also spent a large part of the day wandering the expo hall where literally hundreds of vendors are set up and ready to interact. Admittedly, expo hall can be a bit intimidating. I spent most of my time avoiding the huge presentations and instead focused on some of the smaller booths. My three favorites were ASCDVocuabulary.com, and Lego Education.

So, after the second day I’m totally exhausted and my feet hurt. I didnt realize I would do this much walking. But, I consider day two a success. In the end, you know you’re at ISTE when your district’s assistant superintendent and elementary supervisor join the “Ask Me” team without being asked.

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