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My ISTE highlights (Part 1)

I am just back from ISTE10 in Denver.  Though our ranks were split again between ALA and ISTE, TLs in Denver were there to represent, to share our roles and our values in the school edtech ecosystem.

Some of my Conference highlights:

At Edubloggercon I participated in a lively group of unplugged and unpracticed discussions with passionate and very smart educators.  We talked about Crap Detection and Student Research, Personal Learning Networks, Technology Literacy, and the future of the Ning platform.  (More good news on the Ning thing later this week.)

Here (below) we are at Tuesday’s TLSmackdown.  Though the concept–fast and slightly competitive resource sharing–may be a little confusing (we’ve blogged about that), it again allowed us to achieve a couple of important things, and kinda sweetly, IMHO.

Led by me and that very daring librarian, Gwyneth Jones,  the session allowed us

  • to reinforce the importance of wikiness within our profession–of collaborating and contributing to each others’ knowledge.  And that the person in the front of the room is not necessarily the smartest person in the room.
  • to solidify our Geek tribe–both near and far.

The Smackdown stage was powerful.  And the room was powerful.  The presenters on stage, both vintage and newbie, shared enthusiasm for their new discoveries about TL practice.  While I worried the audience might be shy, the very wiki audience shared like crazy.  And that audience included a couple of very new librarians, Dr. Loopy (AKA Doug Valentine, whom I’d never before met), a couple of super-wonderful administrators brought by Shannon Miller.

Here’s a list of presenters and topics:

Reading 2.0 &
Digital Storytelling


Timekeeper and duck whistler
Prize Giver
Audience Wrangler
& Cheerleader
Back Channel
Jennifer Garcia Phil Goerner Dawn Nelson Gwyneth Jones Brenda Anderson Jeffrey Riley Andrea Christman Hadley Ferguson
Karen Kliegman David Loertscher Nancy White Chad Lehman Jenny Luca
Amy Oberts Joyce Valenza Bridget Belardi
Shannon Miller

At the end  David Loertscher led us in a  BigThink learning reflection by asking us to fill in the blanks, “Because they used ?????, they learned  ?????.

The TwitterFeed and the wiki’s sharing walls demonstrate just a little bit of the energetic sharing.

I had thoughtful and productive lunches with David Warlick (who was planning his keynote)  and David Loertscher and a group of others (who are planning Treasure Mountain).  I picked up a few new ideas attending Tammy Worcester’s session on Favorite FREE Web Tools.   I enjoyed, as always, Doug Johnson’s big ideas and humor at Change from the Radical Center of Education.  And I was provoked and inspired by Gary Stager’s Creativity 2.0: The Quest for Meaning, Beauty, and Excellence.  One idea that particularly resonated from Gary’s session:”If you need to be reminded of what young people are capable of, watch So You Think You Can Dance.”  (And read this related article on creativity and talent and feedback by Cathy Davidson.)  And I participated in the lively FilterClimateCheck panel, in which the ISTE audience came through again with their insights.  (Check out the backchannel, the polls, and the resources.)

And then on the plane on the way back, I discovered a way to further extend the Conference with Mike’s (and others’) Curated ISTE Apps Lists.

Please be sure to visit our TLSmackdownWiki and don’t miss the highlights of a hugely popular event shared in the SIGMS Media Center Playground Wiki (SIGMS–and all its officers, Lisa, and Laurie and Shelley, and all the others–rock!) and the resources for the keynote I couldn’t stay for: David Warlick’s Cracking the Native Information Experience.

(Photos from Brenda Anderson)

And then there was the Google Block/Dance Party.

I am still processing and reflecting.  More on ISTE in a later post.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Wish I had been there – next year in Philly, for sure!

  2. Doug Valentine says:

    I enjoyed the Smackdown a lot! It was a great time that went by far too quickly.

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