ISTE 2014 Live
I really like the idea of ISTE 2014 Live as a way of attending ISTE without traveling. Looks like there’s a nice selection of live, as well as recorded presentations for a reasonable price. Actually, it looks a lot less than what I used to spend sending one teacher to a very small in-state conference.
Way back, as a teacher, when I was writing how to use technology with students, some friends asked, “Are you going to ISTE?” I’m sure I used my usual reply, “They don’t let me out too often.” It was an expense to travel to these events, and still is. Later, when I became instructional technology specialist teaching students, teachers, and community technology, I had to make more spending decisions for others. I found that I could send 20 educators to a state education technology event for the price I could send one, or myself out of state. I always followed events like ISTE through friends, who could attend, and in posts and articles, but I, sadly, never did get to ISTE as a teacher myself.
Times were a bit different then. It was more difficult a challenge to get social—without Twitter or Facebook. Internet communications was limited to some very interesting software programs that needed you to be more than just a user, and more of a technical problem solver. Streaming anything was a dream not yet realized fully. Sorry for this trip down memory lane, but I say all these things, because anyone who can’t attend an event, like ISTE, can now—if not in person—at least Live Streamed.
I know that for those teachers, library media specialists, technology coordinators, administrators, and policy makers attending ISTE the challenge will be to take it all in within the short time frame of the event—and then try to take ISTE back to districts, schools and communities for further sharing. Again, today, ISTE will be archived, social sharing immediate in texts, images, and video. Everyone, who has an online place will post something about ISTE and reflect. What I’m getting at, here, is that we can all participate—well—if we want to—that is. You still have to make the effort, and it is well worth that professional development effort.
I know that some will say, “Oh, nothing beats going to an event.” Well, right, but affording that is not as easy for the majority. I do think that districts could have many educators attend the online version or events, and work to send someone different to the actual event, too. To be fair, I sent different teachers to our in-state events each year. It seemed to me that sending the same people each year just wasn’t fair, unless they decided to present. Now, that was a different story. I also had some educators that needed to get to these events and wouldn’t do it without a little push from me. Now, those were where the biggest, and most exciting education technology gains happened—new converts, excited to share and do things they hadn’t thought or seen before.
Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology experience, as well as a blogger on all things education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is a Promethean storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.