ISTE June 30 Recap

Wow, ISTE feels like a whirlwind. There’s been so much good stuff and so many ideas in the last couple of days; it’s going to take a while to process it all. But for now I’ll just focus on one day.

I was exhausted going into this day of ISTE, so I decided not to push myself too hard. I know that if I work myself to exhaustion, I won’t get as much out of things. I slept in til 8:15(!), ate a big breakfast that cost way more money than it should, and then headed off to the vendor hall for a few hours. I tried to pace myself throughout the conference and focused on one section of the vendor hall each day. It made it a lot easier for me to process all the cool new things I was checking out and focus on making good connections.

My first session of the day was a workshop on MaKeyMaKey and Scratch. This workshop was led by Michael Medvinsky who uses MaKeyMaKey in his music classes. He basically introduced the concepts of making and Makerspaces, gave us the tools, and got us going. The challenge was to create a musical instrument using the two tools. It was a lot of fun. Every group had a completely different take on things. My group focused on copper tape, playdoh, and drawings to represent different instruments, then we drew sprites of the instruments and coded them to move when played. One group had musical vegetables, another created Godzilla by attaching foil to the bottom of a stuffed animal, and then using a foil “floor” as the ground. This workshop was a LOT of fun, and I got some great ideas for introducing our new set of 10 MaKeyMaKeys to my students next year.

After this, I checked out the EdTekTalks. These were TED style mini-keynotes by a variety of figures, but I was most excited about getting to see Dale Dougherty, founder of Make magazine and MakerFaire. His talk was great, and I even managed to get a quick selfie with him.

Once I left the EdTekTalks, I rushed to make it over to the Librarian’s Network forum on Marketing Your Library. It was so inspiring to hear some of my librarian heroes talk about the importance of making an impact, reaching out, and making sure that your voice is heard. Our profession is at a critical time right now, and how we handle it will affect everything.

The evening wrapped up with EdTechKareoke, which was super fun. My friends Sherry Gick and Matthew Winner performed in the kareoke contest, and they were amazing. It was a nice chance to kick back and hang out with all my new ISTE friends.

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