What I did:
Monday, the first full day of ISTE with the Expo Hall open, was a whirlwind! ISTE is organized chaos–it functions like a well-oiled machine–yet, it is like going to Disneyland before the invention of the fast pass during peak season. People are scrambling to find out where to go, things are jam-packed, long lines occur, and you can’t do everything you want to.
That being said–I had a blast and maximized my time in Philadelphia! I started my day off with getting myself breakfast in coffee at a social event for the release of Cate Tolnai’s and Lindsey Blass‘ book: Power Up Your Classroom. It was a great gathering of minds! I got to see so many of my friends from California and had the pleasure of meeting new people from around the country. I am so glad I went because I got to meet Jamie Halsey in real life! We have connected so much on Twitter, and now finally in the flesh, and I am so glad we did.
Expect the unexpected
This unplanned meeting let me to change my plans up a little, and I attended a session called “Joy Hacks for Any Classroom: Combining Play, Content and Creativity.” I loved it! It was all about how to hack what you are already using to make it your own and make it even better. It gave great practical tips like using existing formative assessment tools differently such as Kahoot and Gimkit! They demonstrated how they leverage these tools in different ways to create renewed and engaging experiences. The presenters, Michael Matera & Jonathan Spike, killed it! The session was not only entertaining but educational, as well. I took a lot from their presenting style, and it’s something that I hope to incorporate in my own presentations.
After the session we took a ton of pictures with the presenters and Gimkit founders: Josh (creator) and Jeff (co-founder), which is cool because Matthew talked about using the tool on our TNT Edtech Podcast. After the photo-ops, I hung out with Jonathan Spike. We walked around, got coffee, and chatted! He just recently released a new podcast called The LaughEd podcast, and I just so happen to be a guest on Episode 7, so be sure to check that out. What makes this podcast unique is that it doesn’t focus so much on pedagogy. Rather, it is very light-hearted and highly comedic. It is real teachers telling real stories that are really crazy and quite humorous. Need a break from the struggle of life and education? If so, then dip right into the sweetness of the LaughEd Podcast!
I truly believe that this podcast will go far and that there’s a lot of crossover. I don’t think that you need to be a teacher to laugh with this podcast. Jonathan’s an excellent host and knows how to bring out the best in his guests!
The Expo Hall experience
After parting ways with Jonathan, I went to the Expo Hall, scored some sweet swag, like Rachelle Dene Poth’s book In Other Words (you can find my contribution on pg 156). I connected with Schoology’s EVP of marketing Ivan Casanova and saw my friend Liz Lubeskie present on a #k2cantoo topic at the booth. She rocked it, as she did on Episode 10 of the TNT Edtech podcast! I also connected with the Wakelet team! They have been such a huge part of my journey, especially Callum!
Party for #Flipgridlive!
The later part of the day involved me going to socials for CUE, Adobe, and Flipgrid! I was stoked that I got to connect with Jake Miller! He has amazing tutorials for common tech tools on twitter but in gif format. They are super quick and easy. He is a must follow! Also, on his podcast, Edu Duct Tape, he adds humor to many tech tips with show guests! I linked to my favorite episode with Jen Giffen (Shukes and Giff podcast)!
The evening socials were amazing because I got to interact with EDU Gladiators like Rabbi Michael Cohen, Claudio Zavala, Jennifer Casas Todd, The Hyperdocs Girls, and Michael Drezek! I gained wisdom from all kinds of CEOs and business leader thanks to Adobe, then at Flipgrid Live I chatted the night away with amazing people like DBC authors: Tamara Letter, Tara Martin (just released: Cannonball In), Tisha Richmond, and Elisabeth Bostwick! What a great way to end a busy, fun-filled day!