Staying Home, But Being There

This past week (June 27th to July 1) was the ISTE conference in Philadelphia.

I very much enjoy going to the ISTE conference — but it is usually at least a $900 investment to go — and well, that just isn’t part of my budget right now.    I have been blessed to win awards or received funds to attend 6 ISTE’s (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013) in the actual location.

But for the past 2 years, I have attended it from home — via the NOTATISTE group.

(I wrote about this adventure last year here:

and also wrote a HOW TO HOST A NOT AT here:


So, here are my thoughts from this year:

First off, gotta love — Love — LOVE Tony Vincent — BIG TIME.
He was gracious enough to pretty much DRAIN his phone battery for us daily and wander through the poster sessions letting us truly feel a part.

On Wednesday, I was telling my ADMIN about being at a poster session and what I learned, and he said, where were you, and I said the ISTE conference in PA, and he said when, and I said 10 minutes ago…and he said how — and I said “oh Tony was using periscope.”   IT WAS like we were really there.

He probably does not remember but I met Tony at a TCEA a few years ago…we briefly said “hey” but moved on.   This year, I felt like we were buddies wandering and learning together — and I am grateful — beyond grateful — this WAS one of my top 10 moments of ISTE 2015.  THANK YOU

Huge Shout Out to Kyle Pace and Sarah Thomas and Cori Coburn-Shiflett all shared periscopes too.   I loved listening to the comments during the keynotes — it was as if I was sitting right next to you!!  And thank you to Jerry S for opening a 81Dash for the opening and closing keynotes.

ALSO — the guys from TeacherCast that opened their podcast and invited us in.  Very very kind.  We shared a few door prizes with them to raffle off.  And every day they mentioned out group.  THANK YOU!
Another top 10 moment was when Steve Dembo and Adam Bellow were being interviewed and it was not TECH — it was STAR WARS and then they sang “Everything is awesome”.  OHMIGOSH!!   Oh Yeah!

Our community was FANTASTIC.   Well, our communities.  We have 2 — I tried to urge the NOTATISTE group to merge to the NOTATEDTECHCONFERNCE group — but pretty much everyone wanted to be NOTATISTE — so I relaxed and let it be so.  The conversations were plentiful — the sharing was huge — and everyone had a great time.   It is hard to keep track of all the conversations and make sure that people don’t go unnoticed, so next year — having a team to watch this area will be crucial!!

The day before NOTATISTE began, I put out requests for door prizes. And as I hoped and expected, they came piling in.  If you want to see a list of the companies and the winners — please click HERE!
The generosity of so many to give freely always humbles me.  So thank you — to all the companies who helped with door prizes.

The reason we need door prizes is because we have a challenge — and this year over 100 signed up to play.  It is a wee bit silly — but we try to replicate a lot of the conference — so when the badges (page 1 and page 2) and the pictures of eating philly cheese steaks started appearing, and photo walks — I knew those involved were having fun!!   Huge thanks to Heidi and Vicky for all your help with badges.

We had a VOXER group — thank you to Craig, Sue, and Lisa for heading that up — and ALL who participated.   Though it still overwhelms me a bit — it was nice to chat with so many on my drives into work.  We shared a lot — A LOT — and learned a lot!   For many, this was their “go to” spot for NOTATISTE!!  They also had a Karaoke night on voxer but someone else will have to blog about that….I was unable to attend.

So all in all — what did I learn — what worked — what could work better?

What did I learn — not a great deal techie wise but much relationship wise.  People want to (1) feel included, (2) feel they are being heard, (3) participate!   I believe we were able to help people achieve all 3 with NOTATISTE15!

What did I learn — people want to share.   This year — for the first time, we had IGNITE sessions and they were TERRIFIC.  We did not know exactly what to do or what was going to happen — and thankfully 2 of the presenters hosted the IGNITE’s themselves – THANK YOU!! – but everything worked out they were great.  You can find their links by clicking HERE!  And we will have even more IGNITES next year.

What did I learn — techie wise — there are MANY people hosting quality Online Projects that I need to take a look at….and my OHMIGOSH — CLAPPING — HAPPY DANCE is: – already added it to symbaloo for students to use ASAP!

What did I learn — Even the experienced are learners.  Without going into much detail – both myself and Shelly — both pretty seasoned with presenting — found ourselves on the learning curve.   I think it is VERY important to have people see people learn all the time.   And I learned that I need to learn a lot more about google hangouts…..especially google hangouts on air.

What worked — letting people handle what they did best.  I walked away from Karaoke (it was in good hands).  I walked away from Voxer leadership (it was in good hands).   I walked away from badges/badge ribbons (it was in good hands.)  I trusted people with things I was not good at — and let them shine….and they did.

What also worked — not having ONE watering hole but many.  Some loved voxer, some followed the twitter feed, some only used the community — there was not One Size Fits All.   Everyone learned at their comfort level — some learned new comfort levels — everyone had options.

What also worked — being creative!  Having the badges — where people introduced themselves was HUGE!!!   Having them displayed on a google presentation — GREAT IDEA, Heidi!  It was a WIN WIN WIN for sharing.  Clapping !!!

What will I do better — You have to step back and decide what to worry about and what to let go.  NOTATISTE15, in our 2nd year, is now established and I hope respected.  As we grow, we will have to make a list of who handles what….what gets approved….what needs no overseeing….etc.   There were a couple of times I had to take deep breathes, there were a few times I had to say “wait a moment please” — and there were also times I thanked God for Google Revision.   🙂   But I still worry way too much — and need to chill a bit.

What will I do better — Too many things got lost because there were too many things.   Next year, we will have a REMIND group (however, we will have to figure out how not to send reminds every moment!) — but we need a way to remind people of EVENTS (such as IGNITES, KARAOKE, etc)

What will I do better — Instead of the Buzz Word Bingo, we will make it a more collaborate and picture bingo — where you are teamed with 1 or 2 people at ISTE and you both work on the bingo (maybe visiting a booth, taking pictures w/ presenters, etc)  More collaborative.

What will I do better — Let someone else chair the door prize chair.   Smiles, I don’t mind finding the door prizes — but passing them out, keeping them organized, etc…..yep, I can let that one go.

Finally, what will I do better — I failed — BIG TIME — at managing ET time.  By the time I was up – and to work — and had time to log on to see what was going on — it was almost already 11AM ET.  Next year, we will have people/members sign up for shifts….of watching twitter, watching the backchannels, etc.  Many more people, many more eyes.   This way — more involvement — more ownership!!

So — smiles, this is my reflection of #NOTATISTE15
I am sure I will think of more tonight — especially when I am sound asleep — but for now — I shall hit SUBMIT!

And as always — feel free to share your thoughts







One comment

  1. Next time someone asks why should they be on Twitter I’ll share this #notat link. It was amazing forwards, backwards, and sideways.

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