Hi! I’m an ISTE Newbie.

I was attending the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference for the first time past week. I had no idea how big this conference was before my arrival. To tell you the truth, with the exception of my presentation, I was not at all prepared for its enormous everything. With 12K+ attendees and exhibitors the Pennsylvania Convention Center was one busy hotspot (this is an unofficial number. I’ve also read other attendees mention 18K…)!

With many conferences under my belt, I thought this conference would be just like the others. The truth is that I felt quite out of place as I wondered around the crowds and (what felt like) endless conference space. But all was not lost!

I is for Interaction:  F2F Conversations

 I am connected to a lot of educators online and have been “conversing” with many of them over the last year and a half. But meeting these people in person is one of the greatest moments I will experience. I have had the pleasure of seeing and hugging many of my friends for the first time. It was incredible to match their faces with their voices. What was more fascinating was that many of our edu conversations continued on. I enjoyed every conversation whether it took place in the conference lounges/cafes, over dinner, or right after some sessions. Passionate learning and thinking together in person beats any virtual space. I am also thankful to have met new teachers with whom I can learn from.  

S is for Sharing: Arts are Alive in the Mix

ISTE panel
E.Peterson, Y.S.Lim, M.Baldwin, & K. Pace @ISTE11

Presenting at ISTE was something quite special. I was honored to present with  Elizabeth Peterson, Michelle Baldwin, and Kyle Pace for the Music and Tech: Harmony in the Making session. Although I was a presenter, I learned much more. I really appreciated how my co-presenters shared about how they help their students to make deeper connection to learning through music and tech.

I am so glad for those teachers who were hesitant at first, but decided to to come to our session. My friend Doug Peterson (@dougpete) came to our session and wrote this blog post. I was quite nervous to have friends like Doug in the crowd, but also was empowered by their support. So thank you, Doug, friends, and all those who attended our session! It was especially great to meet @musictechie, @dougbutchy, @rdammers, and @DoeMiSo from my MPLN (Music PLN).

I was reminded again that many teachers are looking to the “arts experts” for creative ways to teach. I hope I can continue to do my part in sharing ideas and advocating for the arts education. I was thankful to see many arts offerings at ISTE and feel tremendous honor to have had the experience. I hope to encourage and partner with many arts teachers to consider presenting in the future. Kudos to all educators!

T is for Telic: Taking Notes

There are several things I want to remember if I ever get another chance to attend ISTE.

  1. Read the program & add handful interesting sessions at least to the ISTE app. I did not look carefully or plan well. I, unfortunately, did not get over the enormity of the conference. It was hard for me to know what to pick on the spot. Next time, I will at least have a list of sessions I want to check out.
  2. Know the layout of the venue. I was clueless where things were. I would not have wasted a lot of time if I knew at least where some things were. I was thankful for the many volunteers who were everywhere who helped me. Next time, I will look at the map!
  3. Enter the exhibition with a goal. I had some kind of allergic reaction (not really, but figuratively) when I entered the exhibition hall that made me come right out. It was just so big and I didn’t know where things were. Next time, I will seek out specific companies to check out innovative ideas.
  4. Set aside time for poster sessions and special workshops. Again, there were so many that I’ve missed because I was so tired! 
  5. Talk to more people. I may not get another chance to talk to a presenter or someone from the PLN ever again. I need to make time for more f2f and make effort to talk to more people. They just might be as lost as me!

E is for Excogitate: Now Think Out {Loud}

So what am I going to do now that I have attended, ISTE? I am going to remember what great experience it has been to connect and learn. You, who are in my PLN, will be there to excogitate (to think out; to find out or discover by thinking; to devise) with me. It comes back to building relationships and conversations, doesn’t it?

I’m thankful for you!

~Yoon

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8 thoughts on “Hi! I’m an ISTE Newbie.

  1. Yoon,
    You were one of my first face to face connections, and I was thrilled to be able to see you even if we didn’t get to talk much. Next time I get the chance, I would love to see you do a session. I was bummed that I missed it! I am inspired by your clear voice, vision, and passion for what you do. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    1. Joan,
      It was so great to connect with you however brief! Thanks for your kind words. I love how you encourage teachers daily with your positive outlook.
      Love learning with you!
      Cheers!

  2. It was awesome to meet you face to face and how could I not attend your session. After all, you were kind enough to pick me up with the LIM-ousine at the airport. You did a fabulous job in your presentation – it was one of the highlights of the event for me.

  3. Great post, Yoon! I love your post! The first ISTE I went to had my head a reelin! I don’t generally like mob crowds but somehow being in the ISTE vibe running into people in the hallways, sessions, & keynotes warmed my cold little heart! I hope to meet you in Cali when ISTE goes to San Diego next year! Cheers! (who isn’t afraid to use a couple !!’s) LOL
    ~Gwyneth Jones
    The Daring Librarian

    1. Gwyneth,

      Thanks for reading! Appreciate the resources you share & the your passionate voice in our PLN.
      I look forward to meeting you!
      ~Yoon

  4. The excitement of my first ISTE (then NECC) came flooding back as I read your post. You did an excellent job distilling your experiences, and offering tips for future ISTE newbies. Nicely written. Even veteran attendees would be well served to take your advice to heart. Congratulations on a successful presentation, too!

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