Up at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, sitting in my family room with my two pooches and my kitty, it's weird to me that ISTE2015 is a thing of the past. Planning for it and looking forward to it is such a part of my life every year that this period of a month or so after it's over is kind of like post-partum blues. I'll be sharing stories with friends and colleagues in Second Life at http://tinyurl.com/istevenetwork this coming Tuesday at 5 p.m. Second Life Time. For the uninitiated, that's SLT, or as most folks know it, Pacific Time (set that way because Linden Lab, the company who created and develops Second Life, is in San Francisco, CA.). Please join us if you can. I hope to take folks to our "My Favorite Sprankle" art show in AvaCon grid afterward, so if you haven't yet entered the contest, this will be your chance to do so with some virtual hands-on help.
I have been at this education game a while. Certainly not as long as many, as I came to it late in life. Actually, I spent the first half (or so--exact numbers to be determined at a much later date) of my life educating myself. Returning to college at the age of 40 I got all formal with it. Now, just last week, my work to help build online learning options for my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee has ramped up a bit. I'm still in the same position, but it's been redefined as half-time actually teaching and half-time supporting teachers and working on the system as a whole. New job title? Yup. How's this for a woozy? "Associate Virtualization Engineer."
I'm fond of saying that my brother, Ed, who is a real engineer, is very proud of me. Here at MNPS Virtual School, which I helped conceive and create, hired in 2010 by my dear friend Kecia Ray to do so, we are still making things up. Associate Virtualization Engineer: Really? Really.
NOTE: Time-jumping re-edit, partly written on the plane home and re-edited and continued at home. Not for the time-challenged!
I've been attending ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) Annual Conference and Exposition since It was called the National Educational Computing Conference. My first was in 2000, in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm sitting on the dead last aisle seat on a Southwest Airlines flight home from Philadelphia to Nashville right now and there is no wi-fi, so I can't google it, but I will try to do that later (I did. It's a fact. The theme that year was "Connecting at the Crossroads."). For now, I want to get my reflections down after ISTE2015, while they are fresh, if somewhat exhausted!
So I'm working on my iPad mini, finger-typing. The guys next to me are asleep, and the seats are tiny back here, so I have unwillingly yielded personal space and need to twist in my seat to keep from establishing full upper arm to full upper…