A mashup of all things educational! From technology and social media to leadership and international education, this is where I will be reflecting and applying everything thing I learn from the web and my PLN. Join me on the adventure and add your opinion to the mix!

02 July 2013

1 What ISTE13 Taught Me

It's been a week since I left #ISTE13 and I'm just now starting to process all of the information and experiences that I had while I was there.  It was a great experience to share with my colleagues that went with me which you can read in my blog post for the official ISTE blog here.

Along with that initial post, there is another view that has been shared by many that I feel compelled to expand upon.  I've been reading many "ISTE reflection posts" this week and they all have a common theme: relationships.  Amanda Dykes (@amandacdykes) mentions in her refection blog post that the most important tool she found was people.  Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) in his guest blog post for the ISTE Connects blog highlighted the fact that connections matter more than the information that we gain.  Todd Nesloney (@techninjatodd) and Drew Minock (@TechMinock) both list the amazing people that they met at ISTE in their reflection blog posts and how it has inspired them to continue to build their personal learning networks.  And Maggie Hos-Mcgrane (@MumbaiMaggie) explored in her ISTE post the information from the Steven Johnson keynote on liquid networks and how that connects with the relationships that we develop online through twitter.

And yes, relationships and connections do matter long after ISTE is over.  This year at ISTE I was able to organise possible projects with many different people as a way of continuing our learning through relationships.  We're hoping to have skype chats with my colleague Sofia (@sophiesofiamb) and some of the teachers she met like Erin Klein (@kleinerin), Heather Davis (@heatherd1951), and Martha Lackey (@lackeymartha).  I've volunteered to help test the new augmented reality app that Drew Minock (@TechMinock) and Brad Waid (@TechBradWaid) helped create with our 3rd grade teachers.  I made connections with gamification experts like Rory Newcomb (@roryelieen) and Diane Main (@dowbiggin) to help my colleague Julie (@TechGeekFest) get gaming and minecraft started as an afterschool project and inspire our science team.  I introduced my other colleague at ISTE, Renato (@rhamelalonso), to middle school teachers like Lisa Butler (@srtalisa) to try and build social studies connections using our geographical distances as a platform.  And for me, I was able to make many personal connections with leaders like William King (@wkingbg), Jimmy Casas (@casas_jimmy) and George Couros (@gcouros) to help me bring the message of connected leadership to my school via future skype sessions.

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But, what I think ISTE did for me this year was make me reflect on the relationships that I already have.  I'm going back to my school with a renewed sense of hope and inspiration to build stronger relationships with the teachers at my school.  As we in the ed tech world know all too well, it is difficult sometimes to help teachers see the importance in using technology to improve learning with students.  There are many factors that impede that progress, but one factor time and time again helps overcome it: relationships.  I left for ISTE feeling worn down from touting my ed tech message around the school via email, blog posts, and meetings.  I now return from ISTE invigorated to share and chat in the halls, discuss over lunch, and support in small office gatherings the possibilities for learning that technology can bring.  Through making my connections at ISTE, I realised that I need to spend more time making connections at my school as well.  I plan on putting the same energy and enthusiasm that I used to meet people at ISTE into the building and developing of relationships with my team, the teachers, the students, and the administrators at my school.  I believe that the relationships I build will be the bridge to helping others see that connections and learning through and with technology are important in education.

If you atteded ISTE13, what did the conference teach you?  Have you been working on relationships within your school?  What resources have helped you build stronger relationships where you are?

Looking forward to your thoughts,
Jessica :)

Photo Source:  Created in Photovisi, All Photos Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Rodney Turner said...

Thank you for sharing your reflection on #ISTE13.
I love the viewpoint you have taken and the work you put into making it the best for you.
The conference taught me that people are people and all you need to do is ask for help. The majority of the time they will help you.
I have been working on relationships within my schools but need to concentrate on them even more. I have found that my PLN has helped me overcome shyness and unwillingness to step into a classroom and offer help. Next year I will be more assertive.
Thank you for the reminders that people drive our work.

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