So as a first time blogger, I thought I might have time every evening, while attending ISTE2014, to post my learnings and my thoughts. I was dead wrong! I felt like "That Girl" during the shows playing of their their title song. I practically was running and spinning in circles as I entered the convention hall. The building was filled with energy. I felt like a kid at Christmas unwrapping the gift I always wanted, only to find it was better than I hoped! My time was quickly snatched from the moment I arrived, till the time I left.
The registration process was quick and easy. I just stepped up to a computer screen, typed in my name and all my information was instantly printed, bar code included. They handed me my bag, and off I went.
I then saw a crowd gathering in an area, so I figured I would just follow. I was overwhelmed with the crowd of 17,000, and was still trying to get the feel of the convention centers setup. I was not the only one! As I followed, I found my self standing on the down side of an escalator, but what was in front of me could have been diasterous. The crowd was asked to stop, and the amount of people at the bottom of the path was thick. I had to visually scope out my emergency escape as to not be crushed by the people who were coming in behind me. Fortunately people began to shout out and the crowd parted just enough for most of us to narrowly escape a close pounding. A few had to jump the rail, but fortunately no one was hurt, and the staff immediately made sure from that point all escalators were monitored during high traffic times.
I did not allow this event to steal my joy, although I will never look at escalators the same. I next entered the theatre where the keynote was being presented. I was welcomed by the smooth brass notes of the Young Fellaz Brass Band. Our crowd was being escorted to an area a distance away from those New Orleans sounds, so I snuck away from the crowd, dodged past the theater host , and then found myself a seat between two strangers near those young musicians. Not only did I get a seat up close and personal, I was able to conquer my fear of strangers, loud noises, and tight places. Yes, we were shoulder to shoulder. I enjoyed talking to woman on my right who was a doctoral student at a local University. I learned that when you travel alone, you meet some very wonderful people.
As for the keynote, Ashley Judd gave herself permission to tell her testimony to a bunch of teachers, and strangers. She began with prayer, and a moment of silence. Her main point was we need to listen to children when they have something to say. We need to connect more with each one of them. What we don't want to do, is blow off a tale as if it didn't happen, and then that child continues in a string of unfortunate events. I'm curious as to how a whole school of educators never picked up that she was living alone, had no guardian, and was fending for herself over a year!
So that is day one. Well except for my hotel experience....let's just say I now know how to connect a disconnected air-conditioner in a hotel room, rewrite a TV center that had been disconnected, and problem solve a no-dial tone telephone. Glad my tech skills were in gear!
Note for the day: Keep Connected