Friday, July 1, 2011

I Can Do That!

Like many who attended ISTE11, I'm still processing what I heard and saw and learned.

This was my second such conference, the first being NECC08, in San Antonio. Three years ago, I was frankly overwhelmed by the size and scope of the gathering. My approach has changed, and the result has been a richly-layered experience.

In 2008, I spent most of my time in the Bloggers' Cafe, connecting with people from my slowly-developing network. In 2011, I only visited there occasionally, preferring to wander. While face-to-face interaction with my PLN is still very important to me, I also took the opportunity to strike up conversations with "strangers" - the Vermont technologist who asked to share a table, the photographer taking ISTE portraits, the magazine writer whose photo I snapped when he asked for directions. These random encounters added an element of the unexpected, and served to broaden my horizons.

During one of her presentations, my friend, Shannon Miller, recalled how, early in her career as a teacher librarian, she had heard Joyce Valenza speak and left determined to follow her example. Shannon wasn't discouraged by Joyce's depth of knowledge and innovative approach to librarianship, she was inspired by it.

It was a theme I heard repeated more than once: this person has embraced technology to benefit his/her can I.

Another friend, Buffy Hamilton, spoke of a participatory culture that encourages, supports, and inspires its members, ultimately creating involvement and enchantment.

In many ways, ISTE11 followed this model, empowering attendees to say, "I can do that!" And believe it.

Here's a link to the video of the Learning Tools Family Feud session in which I made a guest appearance.

And here's what I looked like on the prowl with my camera (thanks to the very talented Robin Henson for this great portrait!)

"ISTE 2011: Unlocking Potential" by dmcordell
"Portrait" taken by Robin Henson


Cathy Jo Nelson said...

Well NO WONDER I coud never tack you down friend!! I'm glad you had a rich and rewarding conference!! After my first two days I think i was determined to have a different conference experience too. I purposefully stayed longer, arriving Friday and leaving Wednesday, giving me five full days plus one short evening to really interact. It was great. Not sure I want to stay quite as long next year in San Diego (we have a brother in Seattle so plan to front end our trip in Seattle) but it was truly a conference that is still resonating in my head. 3 blog posts later, Im not sure Im done...

It was SO WONDERFUL to have the honor of spending time with you, one of the charter members of my PLN. I love your no nonsense brutally honest thoughts all the time. And that photo--who would have ever thought someone could capture your essence at conference so well? It is my favorite photo of you!!

diane said...

Thanks, Cathy. I'm always torn between spending time with personal friends (some of whom I only get to see once a year, if that) and interacting with new, potential friends. Unexpected bonuses, like getting to chat with - and be photographed by - Robin add a touch of Buffy's enchantment to the mix.

I hope you can make it to AASL in October and/or EduCon in January. The freedom that retirement offers is wonderful, but it's so much better when I get to "play" (and learn) with my friends.