Sunday, June 26, 2011

ISTE 2011 - Philadelphia : Day 1

Well, I made it. My trip to Philly was great. Very hospitable people in both Minneapolis and Philadelphia. I arrived Saturday night, around midnight local time. After a short cab ride, I was at my hotel and ready for bed.

When I got to the Pennsylvania Convention Center Sunday morning, I was shocked by its size. I knew it was going to be big, but the was incredible. Again, the friendly nature of the local people helped to find my way
to registration and get started.

I spoke with a few folks, but mostly sat and watched. Education technologists with every kind of technology you can think mingled. I found it incredibly interesting how few people walked with their technology in front of them, like I see SO many students do. Most would find a spot to the side, then get their technology out.

After some people watching I attended the convention kick off. This was incredible! "Mission Possible" was the theme and that made the kick off a lot of fun. The MC had numerous analogies of teachers and special op's agents, he was entertaining. A capella group kicked it all off with live music and custom music video of the #iste11 conference.

After the kick off, I did some touring, ate my first Philly cheese steak in Philly (my all time favorite sandwich) and took a few pictures. A friend suggested I hit Gino's Steakhouse, but I never made it. I will try tomorrow. As I took pictures and listened to street performers. I found myself drawn to two teenage boys beat-boxing and singing many of my favorite 90's songs, many by Jodeci. After listening to these two for awhile, I headed back to the convention center for the best part of the day.

The student lead poster sessions were AMAZING! I teach public speaking in my ELA class, but nothing I teach can make a teenage public speaker as interesting as these students who spok
e with the key ingredient of public speaking, passion. Listening to these kids speak about learning with different technologies and more importantly, how passionately they spoke about their teachers and their opportunities. I got talking to three guys from Mexico about using Skype in their mechanics classroom. They loved it! The talked about asking questions of students in Canada and the USA and other countries and how they simulate a mechanics business with their international student partners. Mock ordering parts and sharing expertise. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of the teachers and students at the poster sessions.

I am looking forward to tomorrows sessions:
  1. Creating a Mobile Learning Initiative Using QR Codes.
  2. Resources for Emergent Literacy Teachers
  3. Google to the Max: The Power Users Guide
  4. Infographics in the classroom as a Creative Assessment
  5. A Gardner's Approach to Learning: Cultivating your Personal Learning Network
  6. International Networking Reception
I hope I make it to all of them. I am very excited about #1, #3 and #6.

More blogs to come or you can follow my tweets at eldongermann

1 comment:

Morag Riddell said...

Sounds like you are having a GREAT time. I'm looking forward to the rest of your blogs. Hearing students excited about their learning is so rewarding. Have a fabulous day! :)