This time last year I was in Atlanta, Georgia for ISTE 2014. I certainly found it an astonishing experience in so many ways; not least at all because I had the opportunity to meet “face to face” with members of my Twitter PLN. The opening of ISTE 2015 has been all over my Twitter feed this morning and I’m prepared to admit to a good deal of envy. By now, some attendees will already be weighted down with ‘swag’ whilst others will be preparing for karaoke and buzz word bingo.
What I’m missing the most however, is the opportunity to attend practical learning sessions with awesome educators. Last year, I chose well, attending sessions with Bill Selak (@billselak), Kyle Pace (@kylepace) and Steven Anderson (@web20classroom). If they are there this year and you have the chance … sign up to learn. I’m also disappointed to have missed seeing in person the keynote from Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien), the CEO of Starfish Media Group. By all accounts, she wowed the audience with Google Cardboard (if you don’t know, find out and buy them for your classroom!) More importantly one of her key messages focused upon the need to bridge not the poverty gap, but the “information gap.” Technology as an outcome in itself is a complete waste; it needs to be about arming young people with the skills to bridge the gap. In my view, education is about building capacity.
What else am I missing about Philadelphia? Well, of course, as a History tragic there would have been so much for me to explore; bring on that Liberty Bell! But I’ve also received two emailed invitations; I could have been bowling with Graphite or enjoying Philadelphia’s best Irish pub with Showbie App. Never mind; there’s always Denver, Colarado in 2016.