Okay, the conference is in full swing now! We spent the whole day there, and it sure wasn't hard falling asleep last night. We attended sessions, visited exhibitors and took part in a discussion about bringing your own device to school. Many of the people in this discussion group already have a 1-1 school (a school where everyone has their own computer), and now they are adding 'bring your own device' to that. It can be a Smartphone, a tablet, or mobile device such as the iPod Touch. They have no 'restrictions' except that it must be a 'powerful' device.
I have to say though that my favorite part of this day was actually using a SmartBoard table! Wow! What a neat tool to have in your classroom. It can be used along with a SmartBoard, or as a stand alone. You can have up to 8 people on it at one time, and unlike our SmartBoard, everyone can touch it and do things at the same time :-). You can run the Smart Notebook activities on it, and it also has its own software with even more tools to use. Pretty darn neat!
You sure have to be aware of the time when you are at ISTE though. There are only a few sessions that you actually have to sign up for. The rest are open to all, so if you get there early enough to get a seat, you are in, but if you wait too long, the room gets filled and the door closed! With the huge size of the building, you really do have to head off to find the rooms quite a bit before the scheduled start time. Mrs. Maley and I have become quite the power walkers.
I have never seen so many iPads in one place before. I figure about 95% of the people there have an iPad, and the other 5% have a iPhone! We are not the only ones with 'wireless' issues. Even ISTE isn't perfect. I have lost my Internet connection a time or two :-(, but it always comes back :-)
All in all, it has been a wonderful experience so far, and I am sure it will be even better each day for the next two days, as we figure out all the things to do :-). I am heading over there early this morning, as there is a session I don't want to miss on how to use the iPads for 'inquiry learning.' We are going to use the apps Doodle Buddy and Sonic Pics in this session.
I hope you are having a wonderful time with Mrs. Schweitzer, and I know you are all behaving yourselves. Kirk told me that the bike tour was fun, but also hard! Good exercise, and I bet the Grade 7s all slept well last night. Have fun at our Tech Buddy wind-up this morning.
Mrs. P. :-)
This is about 1/3 of the exhibitors who are there. I did get to meet one of the owners of the Conceptua Math site, and he is a very nice man. He really appreciated hearing how much you guys used his site this year and how it helped you to become 'fraction experts.' He even gave me a T-shirt!
This is just one of several 'exhibitor mascots' I have seen :-).
This is the view that Mrs. Maley and I had as we sat outside eating our lunch. What a beautiful city!