I began the final day at ISTE 2011 attending the session, "Writing for an ISTE Publication." I am not sure if people are aware just how many publications that ISTE has in circulation, but I suggest checking them out here, there is something for everyone.
I waited until the final day to really spend any meaningful time in the exhibit hall. I was discussing with my colleagues the days when we used to attend Comdex in Las Vegas during the height of the tech boom. Vendors had gigantic exhibits, some with live music, showgirls, one company even had people high in the air swinging around like Cirque du Soleil! It really was over the top and hard to figure out what some were even trying to sell. The ISTE 2011 exhibit hall was very nice, easy to get around, and had a nice vendor presence. I was able to make some meaningful contacts with a few of the vendors we use and put a few names to faces.
The closing keynote was amazing and started off with the group Street Beats Group, who performed an amazing glow in the dark percussion piece. Their performance was followed by a well done animation by Youth Voices, "Who Do You Think You Are" (both can be watched in the video below).
Chris Lehmann was the closing keynote, but before he took the stage, he had a group of his students present their poetry slam and that was a very emotional piece that moved the entire audience, I would recommend sharing with your staff and not just teaching staff, but any staff in your district. The importance of my technology staff understanding today's students is monumental in helping to clearly define our role in the organization, I believe this applies to every person working on a school campus.
It is difficult to describe Chris Lehmann's keynote in just a few words, but I will just say that he is very passionate about kids and learning and a great inspiration for all educators. It is very obvious that Chris wants to see our kids not just become 21st Century workers, but 21st Century citizens. Take the time to be inspired and watch his keynote address along with the other closing performances below.
You can never doubt the wisdom of the voices of students
Thanks for following my blog this week and I hope to be attending ISTE 2012 in San Diego. Feel free to follow, comment, and share your thoughts here at "this and that" and follow on twitter @jcastelhano.