Wrapping Up the ISTE 2011 Conference

It is hard to believe that it's been over one week since my five days of non-stop edtech goodness in the city of brotherly love. Although my walking shoes have been thanking me for taking a break, I have had some time to reflect with satisfaction on another year of learning new information, tips, and tricks as well as setting job related goals for the upcoming school year.

Nuts and Bolts

For the conference, I chose to use the live blogging tool Cover It Live for every session that I attended. This served multiple purposes. One, for those that could not make a session or even the conference, I offered an opportunity to follow along live or review the archived session. The most popularly played replays included the session on Mobile VoiceThread and Tammy’s Time Savers for Teachers. Second, I didn’t need to worry about pushing timely blog posts since my session notes are already published directly on the site.  Lastly, this made the process of reviewing each session for those golden nuggets that much easier, and enabled me to offer the following:

Golden Nuggets

These snippets were just from the sessions that I attended.  I’m sure you could comb the Twitter feeds (look for the #iste11 hashtag) and find tons of information from every session. Here’s just a smidge of what I gleamed from each workshop or presentation. For more coverage, including links to a lot of great resources, check out all of my live blog replays for ISTE 2011, found here


Transformation using NETS(!T) – some fun role playing and a nice addition of self awareness to the NETS(!T) standards.


Technology Time Savers – Tammy’s workshops are always engaging, and I certainly picked up a few ideas, including the easy sending of audio files through links (Vocaroo) and the plotting of locations from a spreadsheet onto a Google Map (Batchgeo).

Maximizing WhiteBoard Usage – some interesting professional development models to consider when rolling out similar initiatives at our school.

Implementing VoiceThread and Mobile VoiceThread – This was one of the highlights of ISTE – meeting the founders of the web tool and then seeing the iPad version live. It reminded me of being at an Apple event, only less crowded.


Dr. Z’s Creative Cookbook – lots of tips/tools – some new, some old – second time in the conference that etherpad spinoff (http://typewith.me/) was used. I do see the benefits over Google Docs for a specific type of activity.

Tips for Improving Staff Morale – Rushton Hurley impresses with his relevant videos, strong enthusiasm in presenting, and overall solid tips in how to get more school spirit.

Creativity Unleashed: Tablet PCs – very enthusiastic presenter who’s been using Tablet PCs (1:1) for a long time.  Interesting insights and discussion on the future of Tablet PCs if support is weaning and growth in iPad “tablet” market growing.


Climbing the Interactive Whiteboard Mountain – Bret Gensburg, are you kidding me? This man has so much energy, so much enthusiasm, and combines it with humor, knowledge and Pez giveaways. What more could you ask for? Seriously.

Tablets: The Smart Medicine – Interesting look at how Tablet PCs are being used in an Australian school. Some new applications that are Tablet friendly along with the usual suspects (MS Office and OneNote)

VoiceThread for Interactive Projects – great intro and also some intermediate tips, tricks, and lesson ideas for using VoiceThread.  Solid work done by Collette tailoring the presentation to a wide variety of attendees.

Move Beyond the Textbook – some interesting insights from Discovery Education presenter about the future of the digital textbook and where we currently stand.


The All Inclusive Website – a great summary for all things having to do with successful student and teacher websites. Also, a pitch for http://www.editme.com/

Innovative Technology Science Inquiry – learned about a great new initiative for online science lab simulations and real world experiments using probes. Soon to be entirely web based, for now, Java based.

Online Learning – my final session – I was interested to pick up tips for online instruction as many of our teachers communicate and work with students outside of school hours.  Although the session was geared more for preparing teachers for online instruction, I enjoyed seeing the web tool Pixton (an online comic creator) in action.

Again, for more links, notes, and full presentations (where available), click here to search for all of my live blog sessions at ISTE 2011. 

The Social Network

I’m still learning the ins and outs of expanding my professional learning network (PLN). However, I will say that I had a blast playing miniature golf, noshing on mini-bites, and touring the Academy of Natural Sciences with several of my fellow Google Certified Teachers (Woot – DC ’09). It was also a blast getting a taste of what the Philly food scene has to offer (a lot) with my Technology Chair, and the Illinois Computer Educators (ICE) party proved to be a nice meetup for those from the land of Lincoln. Epic times indeed.  Looking forward to ISTE 2012 in San Diego, but first, there’s plenty to apply from this year’s conference. 

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Thanks for your live coverage of ISTE. Good job. Reading through your articles now. This was my first time missing ISTE in years (son's wedding in Italy trumped friends and colleagues in Philadelphia). One of the things I missed most was meeting f2f with GCT and AppsCT. I noticed you were in the Eastern Township. Being from northern Vermont, I wondered how close you are to the border.
chanatown said…
Hi Lucie,
Thanks for reading through the articles. I think Italy would have trumped my ISTE experience as well, as good as it was. I'm actually at Evanston Township, so I'm based in Illinois, but I would love to visit Vermont someday. Heard it's beautiful!

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