If you are new to the ISTE Conference & Expo, you are in for a surprise! The iconic edtech event will immerse you in things to learn, ideas to share, sights to see and people to meet. It’s impossible to do it all, but you can make the most of your time with these ISTE 2018 starter tips:
Write down specific learning goals. Before you leave, think about 2-3 goals you want to accomplish at ISTE 2018. Maybe you want to check out learning management systems at the expo hall, meet a handful of educators from around the country who teach the same grade level or learn more about ISTE membership. Whatever your goals are, thinking about them in advance will steer you in the right direction.
Invest your time in meeting people. ISTE members are incredibly friendly and social – both in person and on social media. Take advantage of the face-to-face opportunities onsite. Don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with the people around you. You never know what exciting new collaborations may arise.
Set yourself up to catch the fire on social. Twitter users sent more than 151,000 tweets with the #ISTE17 hashtag during the conference last year. Use the conference hashtag #ISTE18 to share your experience with colleagues and friends back home, engage in conversation about sessions or topics you’re particularly interested in or to keep up with announcements about the conference. Be sure to say “hi” to @ISTE!
Plan for the Expo Hall. Make a list of the vendors you don’t want to miss, but reserve time for exploration, too. Keep your ISTE reg bag on hand because there is a lot of cool swag to pick up for your classroom — and yourself.
Be present. You can’t do everything, but you can absorb as much as possible by being present in the moment, whether it’s at a session, in a conversation with a new friend or watching a student engage in a coding product. Limit distractions and multitasking. The four days will go fast; staying in the moment will help you have a richer experience.
Get comfy. The conference center is big. Wear comfortable shoes and plan for walking time between sessions to make your conference experience go smoothly. And pack a sweater if you tend to get cold in air-conditioned meeting rooms.
ISTE 2018 really is what you make of it. Whether you’re going to Chicago to learn, to network or to try a bit of everything, there will be more than enough to keep you occupied for four days.