Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hello #ISTE2014

A little more than 24 hours in Atlanta and I have already drank more Coke than my body should allowed, put my hair straightener to the test and completely broken one pair of shoes. Must mean that ISTE is in Atlanta this year! With the first official day of the conference before us, I first want to welcome all the first timers. If you have never attended ISTE, welcome. Proudly shout from the rooftops that you are a first timer and watch the networking begin. So very many in the ISTE community are happy to welcome you and guide you through this overwhelming couple of days that we call a conference. 

You may want to start at the Welcome Lounge. Once you pick up your badge, turn around. The Welcome Lounge is right behind you. There you are sure to find a smiling face and someone wanting to welcome you and get you settled in for an amazing professional experience. 

If at any time during the conference, you start to feel overwhelmed or that you aren't sure really where to go next, look for someone in a red ISTE volunteer shirt. The people in red are your volunteer champions and have dedicated at least one full day to volunteer for your benefit. Put them to the test. If you can't find a red shirt champion, the ISTE volunteers in teal abound and they too are more than willing to help. 

Officially, the hashtag is #ISTE2014. Use to tag photos, posts, and more on social media. Aren't really sure what the whole fuss about social media is all about? Ask almost anyone walking and using their device at the same time. Chances are good they are checking in, posting, tweeting, favoriting, or more. Ask them to help! You will find the entire ISTE Community ready to help at a moment's notice. 

While you are almost guaranteed to be challenged and filled with new ideas every moment for the next few days, take time to reflect too. There is even a refresh and recharge station set up for that very purpose. Write, blog, think, meditate, or just sit still for five minutes. It will do your mind and body good. 

Mostly, just learn and then do. Find at least one thing everyday to bring back to your school and students that you can immediately implement. Make at least one new colleague. Enjoy yourself. 

Welcome to ISTE!

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