This year’s ISTE conference will mark a significant event for me in terms of making connections with people I have met “online”. I have been active on Twitter and Blogging for less than 1 year. During that time I have connected and collaborated with numerous educators from all over the world. However, I have had little actual face to face connections with members of my PLN. I was able to connect with a handful of these people at edcampchicago, but ISTE will be a much bigger deal due to the sheer number of people attending that I have connected with through social media in the past year. With that in mind I have a few goals for my time at ISTE this year.
Shake Many Hands
I want to physically meet as many of the great people that I know will be at ISTE as possible. If nothing else, just putting a name with a profile pic/name will be helpful in taking online connections to the “next level” of collaboration.
Keep an Open Mind
I am not naïve and understand that I will not agree with everything I see/hear, nor will every session be my cup of tea. In addition, I am not going to hit it off with every person I meet initially. However, I want to remain open to new ideas and invite new perspectives into my own thinking. While I have a great group of people in my PLN, I want to be open to learning from others that are not currently on my PLN radar.
Be A Sponge
As with most conferences I go to, I want to be a sponge and learn as much as possible. This will be different at ISTE this year because I suspect I will learn more from the various social gatherings and impromptu conversations with my PLN than actual sessions themselves. I have a certain obligation to bring ideas and “new stuff” back to my school and district and I highly doubt that will be a problem. I am specifically looking forward to participating in edubloggercon as well as presenting at ISTE Unplugged.
Don’t Be the Hangover 2
This may seem like an odd goal to have on the list. If you have seen Hangover 2 and you are like me, you were probably let down a bit. The original was so good and the expectations were very high for the second. In most viewers and critics opinions, it underwhelmed most audience members. I am hoping to not be a Hangover 2 myself. I will be meeting many people for the first time and I hope to at least meet their mediocre expectations of me as an educator and as a person.
As with just about anything I do, I like to have fun doing it. If my interactions with other attendees prior to the actual conference are any indication, I doubt this will be difficult to accomplish.
If you are a reader or a follower and are planning on attending ISTE, please track me down and at least say hello. You might walk right past me and I would be none the wiser so please don’t hesitate to stop me! More than likely I will be wearing a Superman T-shirt or other graphic T that I find humorous…