7 Resources for Attending ISTE12 Virtually

For the first time in many years, I will not be attending one of my favorite conferences –  the ISTE conference.

During that week, on the opposite coast, I’ll be teaching a one week course in an Educational Leadership graduate program locally.

In exploring ways to connect and learn along with passionate educators on the opposite coast at ISTE I wondered:

How can I connect virtually? What resources are best for others wishing to do the same? What resources can be shared with my classroom so that they can connect with some of the ideas at ISTE12?

This year’s theme for ISTE is Expanding Horizons. This theme is a perfect tie in for connecting virtually!


7 Resources for Attending ISTE Virtually

  1. Twitter – If you are not on twitter, sign up for a twitter account. If you are new to twitter, access this Twitter Handbook for Teachers created by those at Powerful Learning Practice.   It contains ‘how to’ resources, basics guides and a list of twittering educators which you can follow and also join. My virtualiste12 twitter list will be located here.
  2. Hashtag #ISTE12 – Follow the hashtag for the conference. Lists will connect you with a certain group but following the hashtags will give you a wide range of results and resources as you will see results from anyone using the hashtag.  If you use the application Tweetdeck to access Twitter, you can create easy to follow columns for any list, search term or hashtag. To connect with others attending virtually use the hashtags #iste12 #virtual or #virtualiste12
  3. ISTE Ning – Join the ISTE 2012 ning. Create a group there or join a few.
  4. Full Program Guide – Read about the sessions, posters and events. Shared presentation materials are linked here. At the main site, you will also find news feeds, video clips and other updates.
  5. Google Reader – Set up a Google Reader account to follow bloggers at ISTE. By following  ISTE Unplugged you will be able to find blogs to add to your reader. ISTE has a blogger list you can access or join too.
  6. Mobile AppsISTE Mobile App has a list of standards and the ISTE Connects Blog, ISTE12 Conference App lists sessions and more.
  7. ISTE Remote – ISTE has a pay option which provides access to certain sessions. See the schedule here http://www.isteconference.org/2012/program/participate_remotely.php

About the ISTE Conference

Sponsored by the International Society of Technology in Education, the ISTE Conference draws close to 20,000 people and is the gathering place for scores of educational technology enthusiasts.

Educators gather to discuss new trends, to talk about what works what does not. Sessions explore best practice and emerging trends. The vendor floor is full of product samples and representatives ready to answer your every question.

Most importantly, it is a fantastic place to connect with people. That is what makes it great. ISTE is about the people – the passionate educators and educational supporters who bring the best of today’s learning strategies to our classrooms.

Though you may feel like a fish out of water not being at ISTE in San Diego, happily you can explore it before, during and after virtually! Taking advantage of virtual learning is more doable than ever before. Connecting with educators around the world is a lesson in 21st Century learning in and of itself!

This list is a beginning. What other resources would you add?

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” Carl Rogers”


Related Posts

Online Options for Professional Learning

This post is cross posted at SchoolCIO a division of Tech and Learning Magazine.

Web Tools Picks – June 2012

In working with technology, we have a seemingly never ending array of web based tools for doing our work. In working recently with teachers, I gathered a selection of top used classroom tools. Though these teachers are Business and Technology teachers at the high school level, these tools are broadly applicable to many classrooms or for organizational use.

Feel free to use these presentations with your teachers or contact me for more information. I’m happy to assist your organization or school either face to face or virtually as you explore technology for teaching and learning.

All resources posted to this wiki.

Below is a selection of tools used with teachers in February. There are some favorites that many find very valuable and will be found in both selections.

Professional Learning and Social Networking

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.
(Galileo Galilei)

In order for educators to keep up with the latest and most effective classroom practices and technologies ongoing professional learning is essential. Professional development has always played an important role in education. However, professional development has an entirely new look these days. Many educators today are finding that social networking helps them to find within themselves and online the means for continuous, effective professional development. The traditional ‘sit and get’ style of professional development is rapidly being eclipsed by new and exciting forms of professional learning thanks in large part to social networking.
Powered by dedicated educators, professional learning via social networking is happening anytime and anywhere. Tune in to Twitter, Classroom 2.0, or to Facebook for example and what you will see is a new but firmly established practice for professional learning for educators. By all indications this will continue to grow.

The Pew Research Center in a recent Internet and American Life Project study found that Social Networking is on the rise in the adult population. Recent surveys show that 65% of adult internet users now use a social networking site. Pew Research found additionally that mobile access in adults is expanding. They report that 83% of adults now have cell phones and 35% of those have smartphones.

Why is Social Networking for Professional Learning Growing?

1. Time – Teachers can learn what they need when they need it at times convenient to them. They don’t have to wait for the next scheduled workshop for example.
2. Money – Social networks are largely free. Resources are shared openly.
3. Self Direction – Teachers can pursue topics of interest at their own pace.
4. Empowerment – Teachers are empowered to implement new practices in their own schools through support of those in their networks. They can make connections to other educators and professionals who can enhance the learning in their classrooms.
5. Access – Teachers have more access than ever before. Expanding internet access and portable options in computing such as tablets and netbooks make it easier for teachers to connect online.

How Can Educators Learn with Social Networking?

● Share Lessons
● Collaborate on Projects
● Form Professional Learning Communities
● Make Global Connections
● Learn about Emerging Technologies
● Discuss Challenges and Solutions

What Are Educators Saying?

Talk to some educators involved in social networking for professional learning and you’ll notice that they are enthusiastic about the benefits to them as professionals and to their students.
Jim Meredith, Assistant Principal for Academics at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia Pennsylvania has incorporated Twitter, Facebook, Social Bookmarking and online communities into his daily professional learning for the past several years.

‘Social networking is a vital component to professional growth. If Google, in fact, lets us “stand on the shoulders of giants” then social networking allows us to connect with these giants. In these tough economic times, when districts all over are cutting back, often at the expensive of professional growth and development, Twitter allows educators to enhance their PD portfolio, at no cost. When used effectively, teachers can “follow” each other, learn from each other, and therefore, connect with one another. I have used Twitter to connect with and learn from some of the real thinkers in our field today. They have stretched my thinking and, ultimately, not only does that help me grow, it helps my students grow as well. “ says Meredith.

Gene Carboni, Technology Teacher at Fr. Judge High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania feels that social networking for professional development has made a real difference in his professional growth and ultimately for the growth of his students.

“I am very passionate about doing whatever I can to make myself better at what I do – teach. Social Networking along with my three year affiliation with the PLP online community our Archdiocesan schools participated in, have provided me the opportunity to expand my skill set and talk to educators and experts from around the world. I have had conversations or commented on Twitter while sitting on the deck during the summer, in my classroom while on break and countless other times too numerous to mention. Best of all, I am better at what I do because of these online conversations in learning communities and Twitter exchanges. If I am better professionally then my students will benefit as well because of the changes I have made in my approach to our profession. “

Professional Learning Standards

As practices change, professional organizations are also acknowledge this emerging trend. Learning Forward, a professional association focused on student achievement and professional learning made up of over 49 entities, recently released new standards. In these standards, released in August of 2011, they recognize the active role of educators in their own learning and the powerful impact of anytime anywhere learning. Support from sources such as this and from school districts can support educators as they explore a new professional learning landscape.

With student engagement being the goal of all professional learning, dedicated educators and striving school districts continue daily to explore many options on behalf of their students. They may likely find that there is much to be discovered through effective professional oriented social networking. It seems as though the ‘sky is the limit’. Explore them for yourself and you are sure to make a connection that opens your classrooms to a world of learning.

Related Resources

Learning Forward – – New Standards
Pew Data on Use of Social Networking by Adults
Project Tomorrow – Speak Up Survey 2010


Cross Posted on Acer Education Blog