Preparing for #notatiste14

iste2014Okay, I wish I were preparing to actually go to ISTE 2014 in Atlanta but sadly, again this year, it’s not happening. Why am I not going? I want to but I pay for conferences myself and it’s just too expensive for me to do especially with one daughter just graduating college (that we’re still paying for) and another entering college this fall. Instead I plan to get as much out of the conference as I can virtually and for free! There are some paid options for those not going to ISTE and wanting to “attend” virtually including ISTE Live, but for me, it needs to be free options. I should be expert at this by now since most years I’m #notatiste but …

First a Whine

When I first started following ISTE conferences (ahem, they were NECC at that point), there were some awesome options for those of us following along at home including:

  • ISTE Unplugged - Today, ISTE Unplugged does some great things including an unconference the day before ISTE (that I would love to attend) but not for those of us at home. Back in 2012 and before, ISTE Unplugged (and it wasn’t always called that) was set up so that anyone could propose and present a session which was streamed live via Elluminate (what is now Blackboard Collaborate). This platform let viewers interact with the sessions that were being streamed! It was awesome, not always the best quality, but it allowed those of use not attending the conference to be in “sessions” with those who were actually at the conference. Check out the session archives from 2012 & 2011. Sadly, ISTE Unplugged no longer does these type of sessions.
  • ISTE Video on Demand – Some of the sessions at ISTE are video taped and last year (and before) those session were publicly available on YouTube. This was an amazing way to have access to some great sessions even if you had to wait for a bit after the conference was over. Sadly, this year, it appears that the Video on Demand sessions will no longer be free. I understand as an organization that ISTE needs to support itself, but I’m sad I won’t be able to catch up on some sessions (even after the fact) unless I pay for it. Wondering what type of sessions were available in prior years, check these out from last year and check out what’s being taped this year.:

#NotAtISTE14 Plans

So, enough whining about what I can’t do, here’s what I am planning for my ISTE 2014 experience – even if it is virtual!

  • Twitter:
    • Follow along on Twitter using the official hashtag which is #iste2014 and the hashtag that some people are using (because it’s always been that way in the past & it saves 2 characters) #iste14. You can search for both at the same time by typing the word OR (all uppercase) between the two hashtags #iste14 OR #iste2014. I use HootSuite which allows me to save a search in a separate column on my computer and my iPad. TweetDeck also has multiple columns. Alice Keeler has a great post about setting up a column with multiple hashtags on TweetDeck over on her blog and it’s even about ISTE 2014 hashtags.
    • It’s not just the official hashtag that I’m going to be monitoring over on Twitter. There is quite a community of educators not going to ISTE and they also have a hashtag (or more) to follow. For those NOT at ISTE, the hashtags of interest would be: #notatiste14 OR #notatiste2014 OR #notatiste.
  • ISTE Conference Site: Even for those of us #notatiste14, there is a wealth of information on the actual conference site. Here’s just some of what you can find on the conference site:
    • Program - Dream about what you would have gone to if you were at ISTE 2014. That’s what I’ve done and, hey, a lot of the sessions have links to the resources for the session. I’m bookmarking those in Diigo along with other things shared out during the conference. My list of sessions also gives me things to watch out for on Twitter. Want to see what caught my attention?
    • ISTE 2014 Network - I’ve joined the Conference Ning. There’s often great resources and photos posted on the Ning. Pictures are almost like being there, right?
    • Conference News – This is a page I plan to check daily to see what’s happening at the conference. I’m guessing all of this will be tweeted out with the conference hashtag but the hashtag can get really busy.
  • #notatiste14 Google+ Community:  One of the things I really miss by not attending ISTE 2014 is the face-to-face interactions with my PLN. Jen Wagner has set up a community on Google+ for those of us Not at ISTE. It probably won’t be face-to-face unless there are some Google Hangouts (there were last year) or some face-to-face meet-ups set up where they can be but there are already fun things happening! If you’re #notatiste14, join us for some challenges like having your picture taken with someone at ISTE or playing Not at ISTE Bingo with more to come!>
  • TeacherCast Live Broadcasts: TeacherCast Podcast will be broadcasting live every day from 9am- Noon EDT starting Saturday, June 28th. They’ll be interviewing some amazing people and the episodes will be rebroadcast throughout the day!
  • Google Booth Presentations: There always a lot of action in the Google Booth in the Exhibit Hall. You could just sit at their theater for the whole conference and learn so much about Google Apps for Education from amazing educators. In past years, these have been streamed out live (okay GHO on air actually)! I’m really hoping that’s the case again this year! Check out the action from last year:

  • Prizes!: Who says you have to be AT the conference to win prizes?
    • There’s at least one vendor (Tynker) at ISTE that’s offering those not attending a chance at some prizes. You can’t win if you don’t enter, right? I have, have you?
    • There doesn’t seem to be anything in the rules of ISTE’s ISTEgram Contest that says you have to be there to win – at when this was posted there wasn’t. Hmmm, thinking about how to enter this one.
    • There’s been some mention of prizes in the #notatiste14 Google+ Community though I don’t think we need prizes. Badges, maybe we need badges!

That’s my plans for now. Because I’m at home, it won’t be all about ISTE the way it would be if I were in Atlanta. In fact, I know, I’ll miss part of the action on Sunday because I’m heading up the coast to see a friend of mine, Susan Cowsill, at a house concert!

Are you #notatiste14? How are you planning to learn with those at the conference and those of us #notatiste14?

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