Presenting at #ISTE2014 was a great experience, I was lucky enough to be able to do three presentations, granted they were all on Sunday. My first one was in the morning and was an Ignite session. I will admit, I was very nervous about doing this. I had 5 minutes to explain 20 slides at 15 seconds per slide and the slides automatically advanced. I do have to thank a new friend I made, Tanya (@TanyaAvrith), who was also doing an Ignite session, because we were able to practice together on Friday night, and that helped. When I arrived to present, I was happy to see two more members of my Sunday night Google Hangout Group, Nancy (@NCarroll24) and Jennifer (@JennRegruth ), both of whom had come to support me. It meant a lot to me to have them there cheering me on. Not only did they come to support me, but several other members of my Twitter PLN, who I was meeting for the first time face to face, came as well, sending me messages of encouragement. (Thank you @JennRegruth, @ncarroll24, @Kitty_Tripp, @techgirljenny , @Smithke1, @LPralleKeehn and anyone else I forgot). A special thank you to fellow New Jersey educator @ipadqueen2012 for recording my Ignite session so I could see myself. Getting up on the stage and presenting was one of the most astonishing experiences I have had thus far as an educational presenter. It was thrilling and energizing and seemed to fly by in seconds. Of course I did have to do a selfie up on stage to have proof that I really did get up and do it.
Later on that day I did a workshop with Jerry and Paula (@cybraryman1 @plnaugle) - “Connecting Your Students to Collaborate with the World”. We decided to do this low tech, knowing what happens when you have a large number of people on a wifi network. We split the group in two and had them practice a “Mystery Location Call” in the room. The groups had to decide which state they were going to represent and then face each other pretending they were on a video conference call. We had assigned the various jobs that are part of a Mystery Location Call and we explained what each participate needed to do. We then did a simulated Mystery Location Call together. You can learn more about all of this here. Having presented on this topic a number of times before in other venues, I must say this had to be my favorite format.
Now we had a very short amount of free time, and I happened to have won 2 tickets to see LeVar Burton (who was at the conference), so I brought Bruce, yes, another member of my PLN who is a principal in New Jersey, and co-moderates #NJed with me. Bruce has become a close friend during this trip and I was happy to take him with me. It was great to hear LeVar Burton live, and just remember, “Take a Look, It’s in a Book“.
My last presentation of the day was with my Sunday Night Google Hangout Group: The Global Collaborator Network (GCN). Jennifer had shirts made up for us which we all proudly wore. It was great to be able to promote the collaborative projects the GCN has done and encourage others to start connecting their students to the globally community. Being able to have facilitated discussions with those gathered for the Birds of a Feather (BOF) Session on Global Collaboration reaffirmed my commitment to my work in this area. I truly enjoy working and collaborating with my GCN group every Sunday and it was great to share our work with everyone gathered for the BOF.
Presenting at #ISTE2014 was an amazing experience, one that I will truly not forget anytime soon. I truly am grateful to my PLN for being there to support me throughout the day. The people in my PLN are truly special, whether I’ve been associated with them for a long time or just recently met them while I was down in Atlanta at ISTE. It just goes to show you the power of your PLN.