ISTE 2018 Recap

I attended my first ISTE conference this year and I wrote a few blog posts about it.  Check them out!

Day 1

Day 2

Days 3/4

It's about the context, not the tool

It's all about the context, not the tool

While at ISTE last week, I heard this quite a few times - ‘they use Microsoft Office in business, so that’s what we should be using in schools’.

On the airplane home, multiple people around me are working on their laptops, and most working in PowerPoint. After a few minutes of watching them, and thinking about what I heard at ISTE, here is my two cents....

I prefer Google products - which is obvious based on my Google certifications. But if tomorrow we switched to Office 365, would I be unable to do my job? Would I still be able to support teachers and demonstrate how to use technology in the classroom?

The answer is yes. It doesn’t matter which is used - Microsoft Office or GSuite Apps - the skills are interchangeable. If we switched, I would still use Slides/PowerPoint to create my weekly Tech Tips newsletter. Students can still create fake Instagram posts or BookSnaps in Powerpoint, just like they do in Slides.

Case in point - let’s say I teach a statistics class and my students…

ISTE Days 3 and 4

Full disclosure: I am dictating this into my Google Keep app and was pasted in Blogger later.

Day 3: I'm already better. I feel more focused - figured out what to do with down time.

I went to the Google EDU Playground, learned about becoming an innovator, and signed up for a webinar/newsletter.I don't know if I will actually ever do it - but I want information. I also learned about Geo Tools - Street View app especially - and have decided to learn more. I already have the app on my phone but I forgot about that until I looked for it yesterday.

Learning from yesterday, I got in line early for a panel I wanted to attend. I used that time to finish the previous blog, peruse Twitter, and start this blog post. (Definitely something I need to remember moving forward). The panel I attended was pretty awesome - we used the #ditchpanel hashtag on Twitter as a backchannel. I highly recommend checking it out.
Big ideas for me - use Flipgrid with teachers about what they want to lear…

ISTE Day 2

My first session with Eric Curts was awesome! I knew about a couple of his ideas for Google slides, but I definitely learned some new things in his session. I’m convinced I’m going to teach Pear Deck to my teachers in the fall - I think they will really like it. ISTE note - find the sessions with early registration (free) and go to those first. You will feel like you have accomplished something with your day. 

Bathroom lines are long. Coffee lines are longer. I wandered the expo for a hot minute and decided that’s not my scene. I don’t want to waste my time (or the vendors) on products I am not authorized to buy. 
I tried to get into a Google session about PD…but that didn’t happen - 15 minutes prior the line was already super long for the session that started in 45 minutes. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow. (Looking back - my self-diagnosed ADD was kicking in - I was losing focus). 
I sat in a session about Google tips and tricks. I did learn a few new tricks - I didn’t know you could chan…

ISTE 2018 Day 1

Full disclosure: I am dictating this into my Google Keep app and was pasted in Blogger later.
So here I am, my first time at ISTE 2018. I’m a little overwhelmed. There are a lot of people and a lot of things to do. I’ve already taken at least four sessions off my agenda (due to lines) and stood in line for 45 minutes to be the last person allowed into a session.
I’m currently sitting in a session, waiting for it to start. I literally picked it because the door was open and they were still letting people in when I walked by. I have also heard of one of the presenters, so that made it easier to walk in.  
Later that day: so the second session was totally worth it- ‘Let’s Make a Deal’! It was fun and engaging and I won a free book! I learned about some fun Maker options (including some I hadn’t heard of) and I can’t wait to dive into all the resources they shared with us. 
The third session of the day I got to see my friend Melissa from Magnolia ISD. Even though it was directed at elementary…

Struggling to get ready for ISTE 2018

I am getting ready for my first ISTE conference. I have my packing list (layers, tennis shoes, battery charger, etc) and I already hit HEB for the important things (travel hair spray, contact solution, and little half-and-half cups for my morning coffee). 

But the important part - the sessions - I am having a little trouble with. I can't quite decide what my focus should be - more coaching related or more classroom related - and I am struggling with the schedule. I like a visual schedule and I prefer to put it in Google Sheets.  With ISTE, it is a little harder. The sessions don't start at the same time, exporting my schedule is difficult, and the poster sessions are all listed separately. I understand there is an agenda in the ISTE app, but that doesn't help me see what sessions are offered when, to help me decide where to go. And when I put in all the poster sessions I want to check out - those times are now really full in their agenda.

There are definite sessions I want…

My Personal User Manual

One of my bosses, Ryan Smith, recently blogged about the clarity of a personal user manual. As I thought more and more about his post, I thought about how it might help me in my role as an ITS. Something like this might be useful, considering a large part of being successful at my job requires building and maintaining positive relationships with my staff.

So here is my personal user manual:

I'm a pretty positive person and I tend to smile a lot. Sometimes I worry that others will think my smile is fake or looks fake because I do it so much. But I promise it’s not… I can’t really fake a smile.

One of my biggest strengths is that I am willing to say yes to new projects and innovative ideas. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I have a hard time saying no. So if I say no to an idea/project, it is not because I don't want to be involved, it is because I feel that I cannot give it the time that it deserves.

I hate looking incompetent.
I prefer to be "in the know" in or…