ISTE 2014 Day 1

"Up and adam" this morning at 3:00am and on the road to the airport by 4:00. It was an early morning for sure! Thankfully the weather held off and only a few bumps of the clouds were felt as we ascended to our cruising altitude. I had the pleasure of sitting by a young soldier on his way to Germany for his first assignment. A short flight and we landed in Atlanta.

As I made my way out of the airport, I was greeted by a huge "Welcome ISTE participants" banner. Which I should have taken a photo of, but didn't...too focused on where to find my shuttle ride to the hotel. Not only did I find the shuttle ride booth, but also a fellow Kansas educator. Not just any old Kansas educator, but Dyane Smokorowski (2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year). And you know what? She knew my name, we shook hands, and had fun conversation on the shuttle! This is why I love conferences....seeing those that we connect with on social media, in person.

The next stop was my hotel. Let me tell you I LOVE my hotel! It is literally about a "hop, skip, and jump" from the conference center. Not only that, but even with my early (9:00) arrival they were ready for my check in. This was a huge relief for me to find my room and dump my stuff. Here is the view from my room:

You can see the Centennial Olympic Park in the photo. I wanted to see it from the ground level! So after checking in at the conference, I decided to do a little sightseeing. Here are some of my photos from this adventure:
 This is the outside of the conference center.

This is from the Olympic park. There were several of these torch like structures.
 You can see the CNN sign, but to the right is a less clear sign that says Omni (which is my hotel). This is the view from the park.



 My lunch stop in the park.

 
No "tour" other than through the gift shop.



Lastly was the first ISTE session: ISTE Ignite Session. This is a fun session where presenters have five minutes to share their information. One that really stuck with me was "PD is not a four letter word" (Professional Development). This presenter shared the idea of having IEP's for teachers....Individual Exploration Plans. The other that made an impact was "Rebrand Digital Citizenship". Big idea there was that we need to be purposefully and actively (hands on) teaching students how to use social media, blogging, and creating citizens that are online.

I am skipping the keynote. I know "bad girl"....but you haven't seen the lines! People were lining up at 3:30 for the 5:45 keynote. Seriously people, my feet could take no more! Not to mention my patience with waiting. So off to the hotel to catch you all up on today and put my feet up. Did I mention how much I love having a close hotel?!

One more trip back to the conference is set for around 7 to see some of the poster sessions. I am specifically looking for "Create a world class robotics program at your school". I will let you know what I learn from that later.

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