San Antonio, Texas
For a conference that hasn’t even officially begun, ISTE2017 is already packed. For those of you that don’t know, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is a massive, global organization dedicated to improving digital citizenry and integrating relevant, purposeful technology into the classroom. At the conference here in San Antonio, over 10,000 attendees are expected to participate, and over 500 companies are represented.
I’ve been wanting to come for over four years now. Last year, as I was eagerly following ISTE2016 in Colorado, I promised myself that I would somehow make it happen this year.
My first workshop is today – a pre-conference experience with the Global Education Network. It starts at 2, but I’ve been told to get there early just in case. So I’m early, and spending some time in the “Blogger’s Cafe”, a space set up for attendees to do some writing, charge some batteries, and network. Within minutes, I met two digital education specialists from Louisiana and a podcast producer from Oklahoma. There’s a group here now discussing how to redesign their classroom spaces for next year.
The Global Education Network conference has over 300 attendees already registered, and the wait list was at 50, last I checked. They’ve got a google classroom set up. The workshop is set up to be a collection of digital round table discussions focusing on digital tools and diversity in the classroom.
The vast majority of attendees represent the K-12 sector; higher education is also well-represented. I’d hazard a guess that I am in a small minority of adult non-credit ELT. Regardless, I’m here, and my goal is to discover what is happening in educational technology that is relevant and meaningful for ELT.
I plan to talk with digital education specialists, edutech companies, other educators, and anyone else, basically, that I’m sitting near. I also plan to connect with members who would be willing, potentially, to deliver webinars for TESL Ontario.
Like I said, the conference hasn’t even really begun yet; this is the pre-conference. Three more packed days of workshops and presentations to experience!