Reflections of an ISTE16 Noob...Part 2

If I learned anything from ISTE, its that caffeine is an absolute necessary. With so many activities, sessions, social events, and adrenaline, I needed coffee to stay alert and focused so that I could absorb as much learning as necessary.

Here are some of my final takeaways from #ISTE2016:

No matter your expertise, there is always something new to learn. During Glenn Wiebe's session about Google Tools in the Social Science, I learned about Google Public Data, a resource that gathers public data into one place; Google Arts and Culture, a collection of resources from around the world; and Chronicling America, a collection of US newspapers from the Library of Congress. Wiebe even walked us through a lesson where we determined the relationship between three separate images by utilizing Google Streetview and Google Public data; this ended up being an excellent example of push and pull factors that lead to migration. What I loved about this session is that all of the tools will give students access to professional level sources, instead of ones they find on the first search page; a goal I have for my classroom for next year.

Never underestimate an edtech tool until you've tried it. Over the year, I heard about Google Cardboard and never had the chance to try it. I honestly through it was a little overrated...until #ISTE2016. At the Google for Education booth in the exhibit hall, I got to experience Google Exhibitions, the newest Google tool that allows teachers to easily take their tools on virtual field trips using Google Cardboard and I learned how wrong I was. I got to explore the ocean, the solar system, and the human heart. I can't wait to get a class set and try this out in my classroom so students can explore historical monuments and locations.

This fails to fully capture my enthusiasm. 
ISTE is a marathon, not a sprint. Many people kept saying this to me and fellow ISTE newbies and I discovered it to be incredibly accurate. With so many events during the conference and so many social events after the conference, its impossible to do everything, unless you can teleport and never sleep. I hate saying no or missing out on learning opportunities, but I found it to be necessary so that I could function and learn the next day.

So now that I'm home, I'm faced with the question of whether I will attend next year. Even though I am exhausted, brain dead, and spent way too much again, I can safely say that I plan on attending ISTE next summer in San Antonio, Texas :)


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