Education is first about relationships, for our students as well as us teachers. Well maybe food is actually first, so I found “Foods on First” on Arch St. near 15th. Great little diner. Had 3 breakfasts there. I didn’t eat lunch (i did go to Rosa's Wednesday), or I might have gone back for lunch. Reading Market at lunch time is a “little” crowded.
I go to ISTE by myself. No one else from District, not even sure if anyone from neighboring Districts were there. There are many people who do this from around the nation. Do we need a "loners" meetup? I went to #ISTE2015 in Philly to meet up with “old’ friends, meet some twitter friends face to face, and find some new friends. I didnt go to learn about the latest, greatest tool or trend (pedagogy first!). I already have a “to learn” list for this summer and, honestly, none of it was at ISTE. Yes some version, or generality was there (what isn’t there????), but my list is pretty specific what I need to do.
It started right away Friday night when I met up with 3 old friends who had a fourth, new to me educator with them. Then on Saturday before #HackEd15 even started (an edcamp, unconference) connected with another high school math teacher. #HackEd15 had great conversations and even more connections to new friends and meetups with current ones.
Sunday night after the keynote party, just wandering the halls with 2 friends, we ran into 5 soon to be new friends who had just gotten in from New Orleans...our dinner group just grew to 8. Good food, good convos at Maggiano’s. Funny part about that is my one friend kept running into three of the New Orleans group during following days.
Connections continued Monday thru Wednesday. In Bloggers Cafe, in sessions (i did got to a couple), met the friend of a new friend, introduce my new friends to my old friends…..the vast web of Educational Interconnectedness. I don’t know everything, but I know someone who knows…. I didn't get to meet everyone in my PLN f2f, I didn't catch up with everybody I wanted to, I didn’t get to spend as much time with my old friends (I think they ditched me). I DID spend time meeting some new ones and having good conversations in the "limited" time we had (how 5 days can be limited....well when there are 20,000 people there....) But it is not about "didn't', it is more about what I DID get, how I am better today than yesterday. Hope the conversations continue and our web of interconnectedness grows and overtakes the world.
But some questions arise….
- People talk about “if you are not connected, you are becoming irrelevant” & “teachers need to be connected to get their students connected”
What percent of teachers are connected? What percent of ISTE attendees are connected? How many start a connection at ISTE then drop when they get back home? Do we really need to be connected to be an effective teacher? Does that only depend on your definition of effective? Do we have too many definitions of what school should be doing and what being effective means? Why is it my job to help students make connections (“i teach English/Science/…..) ?
-What percentage of Districts are represented at ISTE? Should that be 100%?
Should every Tech Director be required to attend ISTE? How many people are “sent” to ISTE and come away with nothing and don’t change anything?
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