Not at ISTE…and that’s okay

Not a recent photo. (From September 2008.)
Not a recent photo. (From September 2008.)

Some of my colleagues are in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, this week for the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). I admit that I’m a little jealous: it’d be nice to go home to Texas to get some real summer weather, some great Tex-Mex food, and some awe-inspiring views of the Alamo. However, I’ve got a great way of following a lot of it through Twitter and the conference’s hashtag, #iste13. It’s a nice way to see what’s going on at the conference: I can read other educators’ thoughts on the sessions they’re attending and the things they’re learning.

Meanwhile, though, I’ve got work to do: the sun never came out today in San Francisco (welcome to summer!), so I spent about seven hours working on the syllabus, website, and blog for my class next fall. I worked a little on my blog and on properly tagging my documents in Evernote and Notability. I’ve posted this to Twitter, and as I was reading some more of the #iste13 posts when I then found the #NotAtISTE hashtag. This turns out to be a group of people who, like me, aren’t in SA but who are still excited and interested in the ed tech conversations taking place. We’re following the conversation and we’re also doing all the things that we teachers do in our “summers off”–that is, we think hard about what we can do  to improve our practice and better serve our students.

If you’re doing it right, you never have time off as a teacher: everything around you is an opportunity for inspiration. Conferences like ISTE are full of such inspiration. Luckily, Twitter has become such a gathering place too, and I’m grateful to have this tool to help me learn from committed, innovative, and creative educators around the world.

So my agenda this week sadly won’t be on the Riverwalk, but it’ll still be full of many productive hours thinking about my students and building new ways to engage them. It’s exciting to know that I don’t need a plane ticket to join the conversation.

Happy summer to all!


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