ISTE – been and gone

A quiet time at blogger’s cafe

Just a quick post about my impressions of #ISTE2014. I will write separate posts about apps/tools to use in your classroom and one about other people to follow either via their blogs or Twitter.

Firstly, transportation in Atlanta was fantastic – hop on the MARTA (train) from the airport and get off at N4 about 50 metres from the hotel I stayed in. Many other participants there including my friend Tracy Watanabe.

The heat – every day was in the late 80F – and high humidity with it. Many of you know I hate the heat so was glad of the air conditioning in the GWCC –Georgia World Congress Centre, where the conference took place.

One of the ISTE graphic designers created an infographic about ISTE by the numbers – check it out here.

I can certainly attest to the crowds. Going from each level of the centre were three escalators – depending on traffic, one up, two down. The bloggers cafe where I sat quite often was down two floors and near the entrance to the expo, so a lot of foot traffic passing by. On the Sunday when the expo opened, it was very stuffy down that level so I found the international lounge instead.

ISTE had a great app to download for your mobile device and had a networking game you could join. You had to find key words around the conference centre, take part in sessions where a secret code would be given at the end, send out tweets from the app, send out instagram photos from the app and most importantly, swap secret codes with other participants.  I was in the top 100 at one stage but then the face to face connecting became more important than swapping codes to me.

Someone very quickly put together a Google document that was a shared document for anyone to add to. This is real collaboration and here is the link to notes people have shared about the different sessions they went to over the 4 days of the conference. Looking at that document you will see Evernote is a favourite way of taking notes easily at a conference.

Lots of poster sessions – many led by students – some from Mexican schools. I took lots of photos of these sessions and scanned lots of QR codes to look at their websites etc once I get home. Each poster session was a theme – Saturday night was global connections and I presented with Tracy Watanabe from Phoenix, Arizona on the student blogging challenge. I will probably write a separate post just on the poster sessions.

Even if you were #notatiste14 you could take part. Sue Waters from Edublogs was curating a flipboard magazine including links from the #ISTE2014 twitter stream. Nearly 900 articles as of publishing this post. At one stage Paula Naugle @plnaugle ran a google hangout with Will Chamberlain – founder of#comments4kids and I suggested bringing in Sue Waters as well – hangout was to talk about blogging of course.

But the most important takeaway from ISTE has been it is all about the students – how can we make them independent and life long learners? There were lots of sessions about the tools and apps but also many about how to use technology in your classroom to improve the learning of your students.

Here is the link to the next ISTE conference in 2015 to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 28 – July 1. Maybe you would like to attend and add it into your holidays.

More specific posts coming soon.

Holidays and ISTE2014

As many of you may have realised, I have been on holidays over the last three weeks. I have been touring Ireland doing some family history research on my great great grandmother who came out to Tasmania as a convict. But I have also been a tourist with Davo, the Tasmanian Devil soft toy who has his own blog.

istelogoBut the next week of my holiday is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It is the 2014 ISTE conference – International Society for Technology in Education.  This will be the 3rd conference I have attended and at each I have presented a poster session about the student blogging challenge which I began in 2008 and run every March and September for 10 weeks.

With about 15000 people attending, there are many sessions to take part in as well as many exhibits to look at. I will be attending a lot of blogging sessions. Sue Waters from Edublogs, who wont be at ISTE, has put together a Google document with information from the various sessions I will be attending and I will be adding to her document as will other keen bloggers. Here is a link if you want to check out some of the fabulous resources from other teachers blogging around the world.

The conference has its own twitter hashtag. You don’t need to be a member of Twitter to follow the hashtag – just google search for #ISTE2014 and check out the links people will be adding with images as well as documents, blogs etc they have found interesting.

I have started learning how to scan and save QR codes, so hopefully many sessions will include these to make it easier for the participants to find information. Of course I will be visiting the big expo and putting in my raffle tickets to try and win prizes and to collect any freebies going. I will also be writing a post every couple of days and putting it on both this blog and our new one for all our blogs next year. So by the end of June, and the ISTE conference, I think I will have earned my relaxing holiday in Ireland.

What other pages would you like?

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Creative Commons License Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight

As you can see, I have started to add new pages across the top of our header area. If you hover over the About page, you will find a list of all the blogs created on the eLearning campus setup, also all the categories or tags used on all the blogs.

I think having a blogging glossary is handy for beginner bloggers and I will gradually add links in there to posts I will write like creating avatars and so on.

On our previous campus setup, many people had questions they wanted answered, so creating that page is handy for asking a quick question and I will answer it within a day.

Are there any other pages you think I should create?

  • commenting guidelines?
  • letter to parents about blogging?
  • letter to parents re images etc?
  • how to set up your class blog?
  • how to set up student blogs?

Remember information on a page remains static and might only change from year to year.

 

 

Getting Started!

Welcome to our new site for eLearning blogs.

If you wish to setup a class blog and explore this exciting world of communication and collaboration please contact Sue Wyatt or Kent Poulton.

Happy blogging!

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