I have been on Twitter for over three years now and I am fortunate to be connected to thousands of educators and technologists from all over the world. I have developed great relationships online and learn/share resources on a regular basis. Some I have met face-to-face at other conferences and workshops, but that has been relatively a small number. For me, I have not been to ISTE in quite awhile, and certainly not when Twitter became a connection vehicle. Now I know it is a bit early to be excited, but with ISTE being in my own backyard in 2012, I can’t help thinking about having so many of my PLN folks in San Diego. It has me already wanting to plan some #tweetups before and during the conference. Anyone interested in collaborating? Gaslamp district has plenty of places for folks to gather and is near the convention center and hotels where everyone will probably be staying. It would be great to finally meet the many people I connect with on Twitterverse. Should we create a Google Doc for those interested in a #tweetup?
The California Charter School Association held its annual conference this year at the Convention Center in sunny San Diego. There were about 3000 educators gathered in a variety of sessions collaborating and supporting one another. There were plenty of notable attendees from Mayor Kevin Johnson who emphasized the need for clarity in the “charter movement”, to keynote speaker Salman Khan from the Khan Academy, who inspired the crowd about how tutoring his cousins turned into a revolutionary idea. Khan’s keynote focused on how technology is humanizing the education experience, which was a common theme throughout the conference. The idea of personalizing instruction resonated in both the breakout sessions and vendor gallery. There were many charter schools showcasing their blended learning model and vendors demonstrating their products that support hybrid schools. As a technologists, I was intrigued by a couple of products at the conference: EduTone and Illuminate. EduTone is a single-sign on platform that provides integration with Google Apps environments. Illuminate offers data assessment tools with a comprehensive reporting capabilities. Illuminate’s doc cam scanning capability of bubble sheets will be a huge hit with teachers. While I enjoyed the content at CCSA, I learned more by hanging out with my fellow colleagues and friends who attended the conference…drinks included!