Well, you know what they say about good intentions. Tuesday was day 3 of ISTELive, and I had it planned out to be a lower key kind of day. This is when I had most of my volunteer hours planned, so I knew it was going to be a different experience than the previous 2 days.
Higher Ed Collaborative
I got to start off the day with the very first meeting of the Higher Ed Collaborative. It was so much fun to get together with other folks in higher ed who are part of ISTE and begin collaborating. This is a group that several of us have been working to put together with the help of the amazing Margret. One of our group was unable to make it due to a medical issue, but she was there in spirit. While we missed her, it was still very exciting to be able to begin the process of developing all the ideas for things that we want to do .
ISTE Main Stage/Community Leader Room
I started to head to the main stage after the meeting of the Higher Ed Collaborative, but there was a huge line of people waiting to get in for that, and then I remembered that we had a Community Leader room that Margret had set up for us to have a place to sit down and chill. We headed up to that, and quickly realized that we could see the main stage (and Margret had snacks for us)!! Several of us sat at a table (lovingly called the Vegas table) and spent some time just being together and having lovely conversation.
Hybrid Session Moderator (Volunteer Experience Number 1)
After watching main stage and spending a ton of time talking and collaborating, I headed off for my first long volunteer shift. My first shift was to serve as the chat moderator for some sessions that were considered hybrid because they were being streamed live for people that couldn’t be at ISTE. This went pretty smoothly. I am used to working in a hybrid style setting after going through the pandemic and based on some of the things I did pre-pandemic.
ISTEVerse (AR/VR Experience) Volunteer Experience Number 2
Once I was done moderating, I headed over to the ISTEVerse for my second shift. This year, ISTE set up this really cool room called ISTEVerse where people could try out all different sorts of augmented and virtual reality. This is where I was going to spend the rest of the day, and I was pretty excited (but also super tired). Luckily, my job for the afternoon was simply to greet people and count them. I spent my afternoon doing that and learning more about AR and VR. By the time my shift was over, I had decided that I was going to head back to the hotel and DoorDash some dinner. The introvert side of me needed som quiet time to recharge, so I decided not to go to any of the social events or parties that night. Dinner was pretty interesting, so I ate a little bit and then packed up and got ready to head to the next day.
Day 4 – Volunteering at Discovery Museum
Another super early bus ride and I was checking in for my last volunteer shift. This time I was going to be at the Discovery Museum. I wasn’t super sure what I would be doing, but the Discovery Museum was a really neat place. There was artwork there that had been made by students in varying different ways. There was a wall where people could write or doodle. There were tables where people could make things or do more art. Then I got to help set up for people to paint using sphero minis. If you have never done that before, it is really fun. You can paint using several different modes. I tried drive mode and draw to code mode. They were both really fun. This would be a really neat way for students to work together to make something.
Digital Wellness Session
This was my last session for this year’s conference. I was really interested to hear some new ways to teach digital wellness to my students and hoping to find some new ways to monitor my own digital wellness. One of the things that I learned about is a new project called #WinAtSocial that is geared to help towards some of these issues. They have lots of good ideas, one of which is to change some of the vocabulary that we use. It was a very neat presentation and I am glad that I went. After that session, it was time to tell ISTE goodbye and head to the airport. I caught my Lyft and headed that way.
This has been a great trip. I have learned a lot of things, met a lot of people, and had a lot of fun. I’m exhausted, but also excited about all the possibilities that I can use when I am building Ed Tech for the fall. It really was incredible to be surrounded by people that were thinking the same ways about technology in the classroom. It has been an incredible experience and one that I won’t soon forget. I can’t wait until next year when I get to go to Denver for ISTELive 24. There are several new projects that David and I have in the works, and I can’t wait for us to get those to a point where we can share them with everyone.
Until next time, remain calm in your perfect chaos.