Showing posts with label Beth Still. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beth Still. Show all posts

Monday, May 19, 2014

ISTE: What It Is and How It Changed My Life

This week I am giving some guest bloggers the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences. This is a post from Beth Still. 

If you’re an educator and you spend any time at all on Twitter it is likely that have heard someone mention that ISTE is just around the corner. ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education, a professional organization with over 100,000 members from around the world. Their mission is to “empower learners to flourish in a connected world by cultivating a passionate professional learning community, linking educators and partners, leveraging knowledge and expertise, advocating for strategic policies, and continually improving learning and teaching.” ISTE provides numerous valuable resources including books, webinars, technology standards, and a variety of networking and advocacy opportunities. I will argue that the most valuable resource ISTE provides is their annual conference.

Each year around 18,000 educators from around the world make the trek to ISTE which is held in a different major city in late June. This summer it is going to be in Atlanta from June 28 to July 1. Attendees will be able to select from hundreds of sessions which are delivered in a variety of formats including poster sessions (similar to a science fair), workshops, lectures, panels, and BYOD’s. Attendees can also visit the vendor floor to meet with any of the the 4500 reps from over 500 hundred companies.

I had no idea how large of an impact attending ISTE would have on my life when I first attended in 2008. While the sessions and the speakers are fabulous, the one thing that keeps me coming back year after year is the opportunity to network face-to-face. I went from being lonely and isolated to having a huge network of colleagues from around the world!

I selected the image from Adam Bellow’s ISTE13 keynote because it is significant to me. Some of the people in this picture (including Adam) have had a huge impact on my professional learning over the years. George Couros, Summer Howarth, Beth Gross, David Warlick, John Spencer, Lee Kolbert, Scott McLeod, Paul R. Wood and Bob Hastings are just a few of the people who are in Adam’s network as well as mine. Attending ISTE allows me to build deeper and more meaningful relationships that I am connected to online. ISTE is a fantastic place to solidify friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime! The collage below contains my most memorable ISTE moments. I hope you will be able to attend ISTE in Atlanta so you can start making your own memories, but if you cannot make it then you might want to consider attending in the future:
  • ISTE2015 - Philadelphia - June 28-July 1 
  • ISTE2016 - Denver - June 26-29 
  • ISTE2017 - San Antonio June 26-29

Beth Still is a social studies from teacher from Nebraska. She has been an active member of the ed tech community since 2008. She will be putting her skills to good use next year as she begins her new journey as the Technology Integration Specialist for Gering Public Schools.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

7 Tips for ISTE Newbies

A couple of years ago I received the good fortune to attend NECC (now called ISTE) as the NECC Newbie. NECC/ISTE Newbie was an experiment in using social media to raise money. Beth Still organized the whole thing and you can read all about it on Beth's blog.

I won't be attending ISTE this year (my schedule is just too full with other engagements), but that won't stop me from sharing my advice with those of you attending for the first time.

1. Make sure you charge your phone, tablet, laptop every night. Power outlets constitute prime real estate and you might not always be able to find an outlet when you need it. That said, bringing a power strip and sharing it is a great way to meet new people.

2. Say hi to the people you think you recognize from Twitter, Classroom 2.0, and other networks. You might feel stalkerish doing it at first, I know that I did, but trust me no one thinks you're a stalker. Along the same lines, say hello to people next to you in the sessions you attend. Part of the ISTE experience is connecting with other educators to share ideas and learn from each other.

3. Take a lap through vendor showroom, but don't spend too long there. Companies spend thousands to be on the showroom floor and are good at showing off their shiniest newest products. Just ask yourself before you sit down for a half-hour sales pitch, "will I benefit from spending my time here?" For a lot of classroom teachers the answer is probably not.

4.  Don't underestimate the importance of good shoes. You could end up doing a lot of walking during the day. Go for comfort over style.

5. Attend all of the formal sessions you want and can get into, but if you find yourself in a session that doesn't "do it" for you, it's okay to leave early.

6. If you want to see samples of what teachers and students are really doing in their classrooms, go to the poster sessions. I've found those displays to be the source of some great ideas.

7. If you're a cheapskate like me you can fill yourself on appetizers at vendor-sponsored evening meet-ups. See #3 above to find out where and when they are happening. Also see #1 and #2 to make connections and find out when and where meet-ups are happening.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Support ISTE Newbie 2010 by Buying a Book

Last year because of the efforts of many of you, Beth Still, and VoiceThread I was able to attend the NECC/ ISTE conference for the first time. It was an awesome learning experience that I would have missed out on if Beth Still had not organized the fundraising effort. One of her co-conspirators (and I mean that in the nicest way) in organizing the effort was Jason Shrage who is a social studies teacher in New York. Jason has never been to ISTE/ NECC and, like me, his district can't or won't foot the bill. Therefore, Beth organized ISTE Newbie 2010 to send Jason to the ISTE conference in Denver. The fundraising has gone well so far the goal is in sight, but they could use a little more help in getting there. This is where you and I come in.

From now through Sunday night I'll donate any and all comissions generated through my Amazon Affiliate account. I'll also match all book revenues. I typically receive 6% of revenue generated through the Amazon links or widgets that I use. For example if someone buys a $20 book, I earn $1.20. This applies to everything sold through the Amazon widgets and links. So if you were thinking of buying a new book, DVD, netbook, or anything else Amazon sells and you would like to help out the ISTE 2010 Newbie this weekend is a great time to do it. Buy something for yourself, like Larry Ferlazzo'sBuilding Parent Engagement in Schools,and help out a good cause at the same time. (Just make sure you click one of the links or widgets here first).

Here are some more places to read out the ISTE 2010 Newbie.
Jeff Utecht's The Thinking Stick
Beth Still's blog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Interview With Beth Still About ISTE Newbie 2010

As many of you know, last year I was fortunate enough to attend NECC 2009 through the donations of many of you, VoiceThread, and the hard work of Beth Still. You can read about last year's project and my experiences here, here, and here. Last year, the fund-raising began in April. The fund-raising for the 2010 ISTE Newbie Project has begun already. In the video below Beth and I talk about the ISTE 2010 Newbie Project, the purpose, and the fundraising.

These are the links mentioned in the video:
Beth Still - Nebraska Change Agent
Jason Shrage - Oswego 98

Friday, September 18, 2009

Social Networks Help People Spread Change

Sacha Chua has once again created an awesome slide presentation. Her latest creation is called Smarter Work: Why Social Networks Matter. This presentation is targeted toward businesses, but the ideas definitely apply to the education sector too. The presentation speaks to the difficulty of being an early adopter (or as Beth Still would say, a Change Agent) and how social networks can help spread change.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Support the Next NECC/ISTE Newbie

It's long overdue that I post something about Beth Still's NECC/ISTE Newbie Project. As many of you will recall, this year I was able to attend NECC/ISTE through the generous donations made by many of you to the fundraising effort Beth created. For 2010 Beth is organizing another fundraising effort. This time it is to send another first-timer to the NECC/ ISTE conference in Denver. Beth selected Jason Schrage to be 2010's newbie. Jason was one of Beth's co-consipirators (I mean that in the nicest way) in the organization of the Newbie Project that allowed me to go to NECC/ISTE in Washington, DC. Jason is a middle school teacher in western New York.

Please visit Beth's blog to read all about Jason and the fundraising efforts for the 2010 NECC/ISTE Newbie Project.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Visual Representation of Bloom's for the 21st Century

Mike Fisher, an instructional coach and education consultant, has created an interesting wiki called Visual Blooms. Visual Blooms inserts web resources into the hierarchical categories of Bloom's Taxonomy. Web resources are placed into the categories of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. For example, Delicious is placed in the remembering category while VoiceThread is placed in the creating category.

Thanks to Beth Still for sharing the link to Visual Blooms on Twitter.

Applications for Education
Visual Blooms could be an excellent resource for teachers who are looking for web resources that can be used to address the needs of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this week’s week-in-review post by thanking everyone that donated to the NECC Newbie project coordinated by Beth Still. A huge thank you goes out to VoiceThread who chose to donate to $700 to send me to NECC rather than spending the money on exhibiting at NECC. If you’re not familiar with VoiceThread I highly recommend that you check it out. You can read some of my posts about it here, here, and here. As you read this I am in Washington, DC getting ready for EdubloggerCon tomorrow and NECC which starts on Sunday. Without all of your donations, your Tweets, and your social bookmarks I wouldn’t be here in DC right now.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last week:
1. 30+ Alternatives to YouTube
2. Five Ways to Visually Explore Wikipedia
3. Learning Beyond the Classroom
4. Ten by Ten - Visual Links to the World News
5. TubeChop - Clip a Section of a YouTube Video
6. Zoho Challenge - Conduct Tests Online
7. Netbook vs. Cheap Notebook Decision

If you’re a new subscriber this week, welcome. I hope you continue to find this blog useful. If you have any questions about this blog or anything that appears on this blog, please contact me at richardbyrne (at)

Thank you to all of the long-time subscribers who have contributed to the growth of this blog. Without all of your comments, Tweets, and mentions it would still be just myself and my mother reading this every week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You Did It! I'll Be a NECC Newbie

Thank you to everyone that donated to the NECC Newbie project created by Beth Still to send me to NECC 2009 in Washington, DC. Yesterday, while I was on a "computer break" a very large donation was made by the kind folks at VoiceThread. That donation represented almost 50% of the goal of $1500. But, it wasn't just VoiceThread that made reaching this goal possible, it was everyone who donated, Tweeted about the project, and blogged about the project that made it possible for me to attend NECC. The full list of public donors can be seen here.

As I mentioned above, I was on a "computer break" yesterday afternoon and evening so it wasn't until this morning that I learned that the goal had been met. Needless to say, I was very excited to read on Beth's blog that the goal had been met. Thank you to all of the folks that Tweeted their congratulations yesterday. I'm sorry that I wasn't online to respond to each of you as the Tweets came in.

Later today I will have more to share about the NECC Newbie project and my NECC plans, but for now I just want to say thank you everyone and I hope to meet many of you at NECC.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I Could Be the NECC Newbie

NECC (National Educational Computing Conference) is a conference that I have considered attending for the last couple of years, but due to the cost I have not yet been able to attend (without giving specifics, my earnings are less than Maine's statewide average). This year was shaping up to be no exception to that rule until I received an email last night from Beth Still. Beth is a social studies teacher in Nebraska and a part of my PLN or you could say that I'm a part of her PLN through Twitter and Facebook. Last night Beth emailed me with an opportunity that I couldn't refuse.

Beth has organized an idea to send a newbie to NECC this year. Through the contacts in her PLN Beth is trying to raise $1500 to send me to NECC. In consultation with another member of her PLN, Jason Shrage, she chose me to be the newbie for this social media experiment. The short version of the story is Beth wanted to give someone who had never been to NECC the chance to go. Beth also wanted to test the power of a PLN and social media. Read the full story on Beth Still's blog. It is also on Beth's blog that you can make a donation.

On a more personal note, this is one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me in my adult life. When I read Beth's email last night I was utterly speechless (that doesn't often happen). My mother raised a boy who has trouble accepting gifts without being able to reciprocate. Therefore, when I'm at NECC I will, of course, blog and Tweet about my experience. And I hope to be able to share some video of my experience along with a video of Beth and I meeting for the first time.

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