As ISTE 2011 comes to a close, I learned a lot about being at a conference like this for the first time. Here's what I've learned:
- Follow advice that you're given. My previous post mentioned all the great advice that I had given to prepare. Some I followed and some I didn't... and there were consequences. One blogger suggested getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated. I was running all over the place and found myself feeling dizzy halfway through the conference. I was also told to leave any session that wasn't serving me and I didn't and that session quickly became wasted time. Bad idea. Someone suggested wearing a backpack. I thought "That's not very stylish" so I brought a laptop bag. Now I'll probably be at the chiropractor for the rest of the summer from carrying around my 10,000 pound laptop. These suggestions are given for a reason so follow them!
- Meet people. I had the chance to meet and chat with the new ISTE president Holly Jobe and she told me one of the great things about ISTE is that there are so many people to meet and she was right. Chatting with people in hallways and other random places, I met people from all over the world with some fascinating stories. I even met another preservice teacher, which hardly ever happens. It's the amazing the kind of relationships that can begin with saying "Hi."
- Have fun! At the Newbie Lounge, someone asked me if I was feeling overwhelmed and I said I wasn't because I was having so much fun! I had my palm read, played phone games, watched dancing robots, learned words in new languages and laughed until my stomach hurt. How can you feel overwhelmed when you're having so much fun?
More thoughts and reflections from ISTE are coming but hopefully my trials and errors will serve others.