Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Reflections from ISTE 2018 and a Bit of Google Awesomeness

While I am still trying to gather my thoughts, explore some new resources, and figure out what activities and resources will fit in my classroom, I didn't want to wait to reflect on my experience.

The Conference was literally huge. There was a record number of attendees and sessions. Some people even thought it was too big. For me, the size meant more opportunities to connect with my PLN. My favorite part of ISTE is meeting with my PLN friends and connecting with new educators face to face. The conversations in the Poster Sessions, in the Playgrounds, and during the Social Gatherings also helped to make a big conference seem much smaller.

The lines for sessions were long. Many sessions quickly filled up and had to turn educators away. While this was frustrating at times, I was able to have some great conversations while waiting in line or outside of a session I just couldn’t get into. The missed sessions were also an opportunity to spend a bit more time in the Playgrounds, Posters, and Expo Center. These added up to some great learning experiences outside of the sessions.

While the tools were everywhere, most sessions and conversations focused on the essential skills enhanced with EdTech. Most sessions I attended were about helping students build what we sometimes call “soft skills, instead of a race through the tools. The 4 Cs of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity were everywhere. Throw in a dash of curiosity and some problem solving and we had some great recipes for learning.

If you know me, you know I love to create. I have a few things that I am still working on that I will be sure to share in the future, but I was able to finish up a Google Drawing Project with Matt Miller in his 5 Brain-Friendly Google Drawings Activities Session that I would like to share.

Need more Google Awesomeness? Check out the Google Smackdown Presentation by Matt Miller, Kasey Bell, Eric Curts, and Vicki Davis.

Have a top takeaway from the conference? Please share it below.

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