I just returned from attending my first ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), conference, if you have anything to do with technology in education this is a must attend conference. I thought I would share some of my experiences and advice for attending the conference.
I was expecting to attend the conference to gain some valuable information to help me with my professional goals. When I looked at the scheduled sessions I was overwhelmed with the amount of offerings at this conference. I did look through the 1500 or so sessions and picked out the ones that I was interested in (some require advance tickets and may have a fee) I was planning on getting a “lay of the land” before I finalized my selections so that I could plan my days without having to spend a lot of time traveling between session rooms. Unfortunately this may have been a mistake as I discovered when I tried to sign up for several sessions they were already full.
TIP #1 when you get the schedule sign-up for the sessions that interest you most ahead of time and then fill in openings in your schedule when you arrive with secondary selections that are nearby.
I was looking forward to attending the vendor exhibits – I knew there and be some great information and innovation brought to the ISTE conference and displayed by the vendors here. I had allocated myself 4 hours to visit all the vendor’s will/exhibits.
TIP #2 4 hours is not nearly enough time to see all the vendor exhibits, I would suggest leaving yourself at least 4 – 2 to 3 hour time slots to stroll through vendor exhibits will in multiple shifts. There is too much information and too many vendors to take in all the information in one pass.
TIP #3 Go to the conference expecting to make great connections! If you can find a group of people in one of your sessions or an ISTE group that is trying to solve the same problems as you will receive more help, suggestions and examples of how other people have these problems from the groups of people. Bring a lot of business cards!
TIP #4 If you are unable to attend the conference participate in it virtually from your office. ISTE has been adding to the virtual presence of the conference every year.
TIP #5 Use the ISTE conference app…it is very useful finding session, rooms, and people “On The Fly.”