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ISTE12 Reflections--Conclusion?

I already described the Tuesday Yong Zhao keynote (a couple posts back) so maybe Tuesday will go quickly. It certainly did at the time!

I was up and exercised and to the SIG Leadership Breakfast just a few minutes late, and thankfully Andy had saved me a seat at his up front table. Kind words by Holly Jobe and Leslie Conor led to the awarding of President's Awards, certificates for service to ISTE and its mission to forward the integration of technology into education for all the right reasons. Several of my acquaintances and friends "did the paperwork" for the award, which I hope to do this year, and received the award, signed not by ISTE President Holly Jobe, but by the head guy himself, President Obama. Cool. Included in the recipients were ISTE President-Elect Kecia Ray (a dear dear friend and the reason I came to MNPS to work in the first place), SIGVE rising Lowly High Grand Poobah Bob Vojtek and his lovely and dynamic wife Rosie, and my newest Brit immigrant friend, North Carolinian Helen Crompton. I snapped this picture while the group pose was being set up:
2012 ISTE Presidential Service Award Recipients

We finished our breakfast and to our surprise were lined up to follow the lovely Sarah Chatzkel, who led us en masse down to the morning's keynote. Just a little extra recognition for volunteerism as we were sat in a prime up-front block of seats. Though I have already more than chronicled that session, and indeed embedded Yong Zhao's address itself, which if you have not yet viewed please place that rewarding task on your to-do list, in an earlier post. But I'd like to note that prior to the celebration of our Anita McAnear which led to Dr. Zhao's address, there was the most beautiful violin concert, the self-same young lady who had so pushed my lounge-lizard memory button at the President's Reception Sunday night. Watch for her--she's remarkably good, and though I don't have her name and Google is failing me (an indication that she did not receive an iota of the credit she is due) I will find out that name and update this post accordingly. Here's an iPad snapshot:
The amazingly talented entertainer at Tuesday Keynote--name on the way
After the keynote, invigorated, I did something that in many past years at ISTE/NECC conferences I simply have not had the time to do. I spent an hour plus cruising around the Exposition floor. Hundreds of vendors hawking their wares, schwag giveaways galore, plus the chance to bump in to friends, like Julie Lindsey and Vicki Davis at their book signing:
Julie and Vicki awarded me a signed copy of their book!
and Kevin Honeycut at his booth giving away (typically Kevin) creative "Bling your Nametag" glitz:

Kevin jams in his artsy booth
I also picked up a nice Dell tee-shirt while chatting with the manager of project consultants (I lost your card! Please email me! lol) and other booth workers and what I thought was a pretty cool Google plastic water bottle until the Google on it flaked off after about 10 hours of use.

The best part of this experience was running into new Aussie friend Lauren Sayer just as I was calling Andy to arrange lunch. She joined us at Bub's for a long lunch (this is one of the best food/beer hangouts in San Diego, y'all) where I learned more about her exploits as a consultant/trainer in her neck of the woods, including (it must be rough) Bali and (it does sound rough) the Australian outback.

With Lauren and Andy at Bub's

After the late lunch, I made my way over to the Marriott Hotel to learn about Oba, Dr. Zhao's new learning community platform that is part Facebook, part Moodle, part Open Courseware, and geared up to be offered to teachers for free and to students for a dollar a head. You'll be hearing much more about this soon as I took that lure fully. Just stay tuned, I tell you. No links here--a fuller exposition at a later date. Suffice it to say that it looks facile, secure, and empowering. Stay tuned.

After that, I rushed back to the conference center for the second annual ISTE SIGVE EduMachinima Fest.I don't need to describe that because it's all detailed at our wiki. Congratulations to our winners, listed there, especially to the student winners, who can now claim to be international film festival awards winners! Thanks to everyone who took leadership roles to make this a wonderful event, especially Kae Novak, Chris Luchs, and Andy Wheelock onsite, Marianne Malmstrom via Skype in New York, and Tanya Smedley remotely via Second Life. 

After the Festival Andy and I headed over to the SIG Council Reception at Cafe Sevilla for tapas and collegiality, then to the Goodbye Don and Anita party (with Bob, Rosie, and Helen) where there was an open bar that led to our own early retirement in our hotel rooms. A good time was had by all. I'm just realizing that I think I shared a little about that party in my last post and for the sake of accuracy I will fix that later today by moving it over here, if in fact it does exist there, in which case it's in the wrong place and needs to be fixed. If you read that last sentence you 1) have too much time on your hands and 2) deserve an apology from me. 


But I'm not sorry for the time I spent running around and learning at ISTE12 in San Diego, California. My earlier post about the Online Learning Institute details my day Wednesday, so guess what? It IS the Conclusion!!! Yay. Now to find those paper thank you notes and put a pen to them. I have so many people to thank for what may be the best conference of my career. I do want to leave you with one graphic from Dr. Chris Dede's inspiring OLI presentation. Something to chew on:
Dr. Chris Dede is on a track you need to follow. Real change?
Yes, I'm a member of the choir he is singing to, and if you join that choir, and sing in your own way, maybe we can actually make some substantial changes in the way education is carried out in our world. 

In summary, I totally enjoyed flying under the radar (after last year's awards awards awards) and just attending to things, getting my annual hugs from colleagues and friends dear to me, and then taking the train north to Ventura and spending an amazingly relaxed few days with my dear brother James and my godson Seamus and the amazing Riad, then, dear reader, coming home. Which is where you find me now, finishing up this post with an hour on the exercise bike and closing the book on ISTE12. 

Peace, and keep the faith, whatever that means for you.

Over and out.


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