My Last ISTE '10 Post

I probably could go on and on about ISTE '10, but I decided to do one final post on the topic. Mainly just to reflect on the goals I set for myself before I boarded the plane for Denver. So here I go.....

1. Going Public: I still have a real picture of myself on Twitter and I am still okay with it. There was a great discussion during Edubloggercon about transitioning online identities, but I decided to keep The Tech Tiger around. I just need to make sure that I keep progressing, evolving.

2. Be Brave: For the most part I think that I accomplished this goal. I was even joking for awhile that I was a "Bad after-school special," because I would strike up conversations with strangers. There were a couple times where I was a little too quiet or I let people make me feel out of place. Which brings me to a piece of advice for newbies and especially veterans to the conference: Venture out of your comfort zone every now and again. I was a little surprised that some who strongly promote PLNs hung out with the same people all day, every day.

3. Experience as much as I can!: Mission accomplished!
Of course I missed a lot, but I sure had a lot of fun!
I loved having a chance to create at The Constructivist Celebration.

Probably one of the best evenings was the adventure to Casa Bonita. It was fun being a kid with really cool people. There were so many cool life stories that developed from me being open for new experiences.

4. Not to plan every second of the day: this worked out really well. I saw some awesome sessions even though I didn't always get my first pick. I loved my "firsts" including my time in the Google booth and the GCT Birds-of-a Feather session. Most of all I loved that after a school year that seemed a little chaotic, I was in control of my ISTE experience.

Since being home many have asked, "How was it?" In one word, "Amazing!"

Now this chapter is closed I can concentrate on my other summer adventures: Google Geo Teacher Institute, Being a freelance web designer, and some time to share some ideas for the classroom.


Take the Time to Take a Second Look

In the days and now weeks after ISTE '10, many seem to be looking for the lesson they learned from the conference. For me it seems to not rush into a new tool, but look at possibilities of tools that are already available. My two examples are Cooliris and Edmodo.

Cooliris has been buried in my bookmarks for a long time. I thought it was cool, but never found a purpose for me. Then I saw it again at the conference and how it could be used in presentations. That caught my interest so I went into investigation mode and found it to be a really awesome tool. It is great to view a large amount of images on Flickr or Facebook. The search tool is fantastic and the extension even works in Chrome. I wonder if this will be my new Prezi? More time and some more practice with the tool will answer that question.

I was so excited by Edmodo, a kind of closed social network for education, that I jumped to use it in my classes. It was a FAILED experiement for many different reasons, most of them pointing in my direction. Then I saw the representatives in a small booth in the back of the enormous exhibit hall. BTW, I was very proud of myself because I spent very little time with the vendors. I have to say I was impressed by the improvements since the last time I gave it a try. It inspired me to to reflect on why it failed before to make the second time a success.

While some may take the time to smell the roses, I want to take the time to really look at various tech tools. Old and new.


Have you tried eduTecher? You should!

Since this is my first day home from ISTE '10 and I am in some fog or info coma, I thought I would start my reflection with some cool sites, ideas, and programs. This conference was so big for me as an educator, this whole reflection might take awhile.

While at ISTE, I met Adam Bellow on an excursion to the Casa Bonita (post on this experience will come later). Not only is Adam a really cool guy and someone to follow on Twitter, but he has developed this really helpful web site called eduTecher. So today being the first day I have been on my laptop in awhile, I decided to check it out for the first time (I lived on my iPad for the entire conference which may have to be another post). I have to say I am impressed!

Like many other educators, I have spent a lot of time on Go2Web20 to find the latest but there are a number of issues with this site. One, it takes too many clicks to get to the actual page. If you go back, you often lose the last spot in your Web 2.0 search. Two, many of sites have no real educational purpose so have to explore many duds to find a gem.

eduTecher makes the search process much easier. The user can search for tools by subject matter, grade level. or through a simple A to Z listing. Each tool has a nice summary and it is easy to identify an online tool from a download. I know this is simple feature, but the fact the links cause the tool to open into another window makes it easy for exploring. My next step will be downloading the new app. Now it is your turn to explore this web site built for teachers by a teacher.