Getting Ready for ISTE 2011

About a week ago I took a challenge promoted by Angela Maiers to blog about the upcoming ISTE Conference. Knowing that is going to be an awesome conference again this year, I had to jump at the chance to interact with other bloggers writing on the same topic. As we each attend a conferences, we each have different “take aways.” Sessions and dialogue with conference attendees, presenters, vendors, etc… provide us with a wide array of tech advice and ideas.

I am getting ready for ISTE in a unique way. I am not buying a plane ticket or reserving a hotel room. I am cleaning out by spare bedroom/office. Instead of traveling to Philadelphia, I will be attending as much of the conference as I possibly can – virtually, just as I did in June of 2010.

Last year at this time I was just starting to get acclimated to Twitter, even though I had registered an account on October 6, 2006. My account sat dormant because I didn’t understand the nuances of Twitter. Why did I need a venue to tell the world I was sitting on my deck enjoying a glass of ice tea? Throughout late spring and the summer of 2010 I attended several conferences virtually by following the hashtags. As an engaged learner, I was thrilled to find new learning at the tip of my fingertips whenever I needed a daily learning fix! Connecting with educators around the world has been an eye-opening, inspiring process.

Unfortunately the ISTE conference falls during the same time as the Learning Forward-Iowa retreat. As the incoming president, I’m expected to be there (and of course I want to be!) Tech integration is on our learning docket. But, the conflict makes it impossible to attend ISTE in person.

The spare room/office still has to undergo some finishing touches, but it is well on its way of becoming a relaxing spot to attend the conference. ISTE does offer a few options to attend the conference besides following the hashtag. Information can be found here. Chances are I’ll only be following the hashtag when time permits.

Pros of attending virtually:

  • Economical
  • No crowds
  • No long lines at airports, restaurants, restrooms, etc…
  • Attend from the comfort of your own home or a relaxing get-a-way

Cons of attending virtually:

  • Not being able to meet so many members of my Twitter PLN in person.
  • Not being able to share in the learning through ongoing dialogue after sessions.

I will “see you at ISTE.” Look for me in your Twitter stream. I’m thankful this conference will not be void of numerous TWEETS! With the room about done, next up – getting better at social bookmarking so that I can organize all the beneficial ideas that will be coming at the end of June!

I know I’ll have an abundance blog post ideas coming my way during ISTE. Thanks, Angela Maiers for the challenge! I look forward to reading other ISTE bloggers’ posts!


  • Aviva (@grade1) 30 May

    A great post, Kathy! ISTE is our last few days of school here, and I don’t want to miss that either, so I hope that attend as many of the sessions virtually as I can. Glad that you’ll be attending this way too, and I hope that one year, we can both go to ISTE for the real thing.:)


    • Kathy Perret 30 May

      Thanks, Aviva. Whenever we do have the opportunity to go to ISTE, let’s make sure it is the same year! Summer is a busy time. It is always hard to fit everything in. I’m glad we have the virtual options! ISTE is never lacking in the Tweet category!


  • Robin 30 May

    I am so glad I read this. I almost did not because I am so jealous that I can’t be there. I just wanted to block it out and pretend it was not happening. You have opened my eyes and now I can’t wait!

    • Kathy Perret 30 May

      We can attend virtually together! I know we’ll still learn a lot.


  • Neene Shields 22 Jun

    And don’t forget to search through Flickr. Many people upload photos from the conference. You can “see” what’s going on even if you can’t be there in person.

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