Blogger Cafe ISTE 13, Tuesday Morning

If you read my last post on my thoughts on ISTE 13, then you know I came into San Antonio Friday night and spent Saturday at #hacked13. Unfortunately I had to drive back up to Round Rock that night and spent yesterday there. But this morning I got on the road early, arrived at my hotel at 7 AM and now the day can begin. [Side note, thank you to Crowne Plaza Hotel for checking me in that early – did NOT expect that.]

Observation #1: If you end up in the Blogger Cafe then you really don’t need to go many other places during the conference.  Everyone who I was hoping to see during the conference, (ok, so there are a few of you who I didn’t see yet and I don’t want you to think I don’t care about you. Just roll with it.), I saw between 8:30 and 12 today. If I started listing their names you would think I was just showing off, so I won’t. But, trust me, it was a great experience. The networking is well worth the time spent there.

Observation #2: If you talk with the people working the conference, there are some interesting stories you can learn about.  The person I talked with about registering was Paul Hunter who authored No Love, No Charity: The Success of the 19th Child.    19th out of 21 kids, only one to go to and finish college. Now in San Antonio, homeless, and looking for a job. I’m hoping between twitter and this tiny blog post I can spread his name out there. Someone needs to take a chance with him.

Observation #3: Timing is everything. Last night I missed out on 3 different groups of people to hang out with plus a  final game of the NHL season. Unless you come with a core group of people and do everything together, you will be on your own to join people heading to lunch, happy hour, dinner, after dinner drinks, etc.  Last night I chose to be with a good friend and teacher from my school who was at her first ISTE. We went to dinner and then had the unfortunate experience of having to wait over an hour for our taxi to bring us back to our respective hotels. We could easily have met up with people at 10:30 last night but starting at that time didn’t seem appealing to this old guy. [Side note: missed the hockey game except for catching the twitter feed of the last 5 minutes of the game while riding in the taxi.}

Duh Observation: If your hotel wireless sucks or becomes nonexistent, then it ruins everything. When I went back to change before dinner the wireless was out so I missed a couple of key tweets that might have changed my plans and when I got back it was still out and I gave up on getting connected. During that time I missed the last chance to say “What the heck let me just meet them.”

Observation #4: Conferences shouldn’t have great speakers set at the same time.  Yesterday I had to choose between Will Richardson, George Couros, and Chris Lehmann. They were speaking on relatively common topics and were, ironically, in the same big ballroom with dividers separating them. I chose Chris and really got a lot out of his thoughts and interactive approach. As I walked in he was setting up and he even said, “I wish I could be in Will or George’s sessions.” nuff said.

Observation #5: There are a lot of great people NOT here at ISTE.  See this post by Peter Dewitt: Education Conferences are Missing Out on Important Voices and my last post on the ISTE First Day Observations. 

Looking forward to the Tuesday Line Up. Wrap up post will be tomorrow.

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