ISTE 2016 is almost here! We’re super excited to meet with teachers from around the world next week in Denver, but we also know that ISTE can be a little overwhelming. So, here are our tips and tricks for making ISTE an awesome learning adventure.
ISTE is a huge conference, in order to get the most out of it, it helps to go in prepared. First, make sure you’re physically prepared. Remember that the Colorado Convention Center is enormous and you’re going to be walking around a lot. Wear comfortable shoes and layers – you never know what the AC situation is going to be. You may also want to make sure you have a water bottle and some healthy snacks on you to keep your energy up. And definitely don’t forget your charging cables and battery packs. You’re going to be taking notes, snapping pics and Tweeting away. Make sure your devices don’t die halfway through the day.
You can also prepare yourself mentally by taking a look at the schedule of events ahead of time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed once you get to the conference. Spend your plane ride picking out the sessions, keynotes, meetings and events that you absolutely don’t want to miss. Going in with a rough schedule will make everything easier once you get there.
Going from session to session to meetings to parties is exhausting, and once your brain is fried, it’s hard to keep taking in everything there is to learn. It can be tempting to keep powering through for all four days, but taking a break now and then to get a cup of coffee and reflect on what you’ve learned so far may help it all stick a little better.
Meet Your PLN IRL
Conferences like ISTE bring together educators from all around the world. Do you have a great online professional learning network? Reach out and see if any of them are also attending the conference. You can arrange to attend some sessions together, or organize a meetup.
Let’s face it – even if you go in with a schedule of everything you’d like to attend, it’s probably not going to work out. Someone may mention a session you didn’t see ahead of time that you definitely want to go to, or you may get to a session and realize it’s not what you were expecting. Remember that it’s ok to be flexible and switch things up as you go. And if you find yourself sitting in a session you don’t like, it’s also ok to get up and leave. Just make sure you do so quietly and respectfully.
Follow Along On Twitter
There’s no way you’re going to get to every interesting session or meet everyone you wanted to. But luckily, it’s easy to follow along with everything on Twitter. Be sure to keep an eye on the official ISTE hashtag, #ISTE2016. Many presenters will also provide their Twitter handles, so you can stay connected after the conference is over.
Hapara wants to help you get the most out of ISTE. Check out our event page for more tips and for a schedule of everything that’s happening at the Hapara booth (#3319). And don’t forget to stop by to say hello, check out a quick session, and grab some swag!