- my "horizons" expanded - I heard about more things at this year's conference than what I knew about. I had heard about the "flat project" but didn't really know about the origin or the ideas behind it. I was fortunate to meet both of the originators of the project. They are dynamic teachers who want to harness the power of web 2.0. I intellectually knew what web 2.0 was but the many examples I saw through sessions I attended made it really come to life. Tagging and geotagging were definitely new to me and I finally got a handle on social bookmarking.
- my thinking challenged - During a session with Christopher Moersch, it dawned on me that I had been approaching some things with my students not really "wrong" but not quite "right." I plan this year, as a result of that session as well as the closing keynote, to work more on problem-based learning in my classroom. Giving kids the opportunities to solve real problems.
- practical ways of impacting teaching and learning that are new (to me) - I enjoyed the sessions on digital storytelling and using digital images to impact learning. I came away with some very specific things I can do with my students to reach today's learner. Also, the hands-on Moodle session was very good. I've already inquired with the head tekkie at my school if we can host it on our server.
- renew my spirit - Wow! My head is spinning, my heart is racing, and I'm working on the information I learned the very next day after the conference ended!
- spark an enthusiasm that is contagious - same as above!
- how to take students and teachers into the technologies of Web 2.0- I plan to use del.icio.us with my students this coming school year. That session offered a practical how to use it with kids approach. It was very helpful!
- gems that will help with 1 to 1 implementation - I attended a session that some folks from Arapahoe High School conducted on the immersion of technology and a laptop program. It was refreshing for me to see and hear high school teachers talk about their experiences. I believe web 2.0 will be intertwined with any effort on our part to successfully implement a 1 to 1 program.
- how people from all over the world are dealing with barriers that present itself as we infuse technology - The discussions in the sessions seemed to all come back to one point. The difference maker is the teacher. We need more teacher leadership in the area of learning pedagogy which will in turn include technology.
- what the future of instructional technology is - The future is undefined. That is unsettling to us. But as one presenter put it (I think David Warlick), this is the first time in history that teachers are preparing students for a world of which no one knows the characteristics. Problem-solving, global citizenship, critical thinking, ethics, compassion, etc., will be the things that carry through to new settings, tools, and societies.
Overall, what a great conference! Thanks, ISTE!