ISTE is flying by! It’s already the end of day 2 and I am totally exhausted! I flew out of Seattle Saturday night and got into San Antonio on Sunday morning. Luckily I got to meet up with my friend Elizabeth Rossmiller of Tech Out my Class on the second flight from Dallas to San Antonio. Elizabeth and I have been friends on Twitter for a long time and got a chance to meet a few months ago in Portland at NCCE 2017. She is a Tech Coach in Gresham and has an amazing blog! You can find her on Twitter at @techoutmyclass and make sure to check out her blog here: http://www.techoutmyclass.com/
After getting settled in at the hotel and freshening up, I got to meet some of my #xplap crew face to face finally! I was so sad that I didn’t get to hang with one of my fav twitter peeps Carrie Baughcum for longer as she had to jet. 😦 She is just as amazing in person as she is in the Twitter-sphere! Speaking of totally geeking out on meeting my Twitter PLN, take a look at all of these outstanding educators who are part of my Personal Learning Family (as Sarah Thomas likes to call it) that I have met in just the last two days:
These people right here have all had a significant impact on me as a person, a professional, and an educator! I cannot overstate the fact that Twitter is by far the most powerful thing I’ve done for my professional development in my entire career. It is amazing the connections, support, encouragement, inspiration, resources, ideas, and relationships that have come out of being active on Twitter. It’s not that I don’t find conferences like ISTE to be valuable, I find them to be extremely valuable. It’s just that these conferences are so much more impactful when you get to connect with the amazing educators that you talk to in the Twittersphere everyday face to face! It’s one thing to go to sessions and walk around the Expo hall but it is such a different experience to know the presenters, go out to lunch with your PLN, and play games with them until 1 in the morning! The connections you make are powerful and continue on into your Twittersphere and on to the next conference. The other thing that makes Twitter one step higher on the PD ladder is that it is daily, take it when you need it, differentiated, personalized professional development like no other. I’m so excited to see what adventures my PLN and I are going to go on next!
When I wasn’t just meandering about chatting it up with people (although that did happen quite a bit), I actually did go to sessions and visit the Expo hall! I went to a session today that Joanna VanRaden did on Blending the Writer’s Workshop and it was fantastic. I really like the idea of creating content in video form to teach my students the writing lesson and then having more time to spend with students one on one or in small groups. It really is the number one issue that teachers have in all things: TIME! In blending your workshop, you are able to in a sense create more time for yourself by creating a writing master clone of yourself. Then you can use the time you would have spent teaching the lesson, answering questions (Can I go to the bathroom?? When’s lunch??), and otherwise just managing children to actually spend quality time working directly with students on their writing. If you want to check out more about Joanna and her fantastic writing ideas, you can find her on Twitter at @joannavrteaches
Keep an eye out tomorrow for another blog post! It’s late and I’m tired…so this gal is off to bed!