I was incredibly excited to finally be able to attend ISTE in San Antonio, TX. To add upon that, I was honored to be asked to present Game Design As A Catalyst with my colleague, Stony Evans in Arkansas.
The mug you see pictured, Stony was so kind to gift it to me to bring back to administration. (Thank you, Stony!!! ) I am now blessed to work for a school district that fosters my professional learning. In their endeavors to become world class, they have supported my presentations to various conferences as well as attendance at PDs to grow and develop.
A few summers ago, I wrote an advocacy article for LMC (Library Media Connection) that Stony Evans read. He was so inspired by it that he emailed and befriended me. Shortly thereafter, I suggested he apply for a MIE (Microsoft Innovative Educator ) Expert and he was accepted. Recently, we both implemented Minecraft in our libraries and I wrote a proposal for us to present at ISTE as a team. I was ecstatic when it was accepted since presenting at ISTE was but a distant dream.
As the dream started to really played out, ISTE was initially a little overwhelming. There were 20,000 attendees, the layout was confusing, popular sessions were closed out. You needed tickets or had to preregister for them – all things I had never experienced at a conference. So the first day I attended the makerspace playground and poster sessions to learn in small collaborative groups. I then was able to figure out the trick to getting into the popular sessions …….as the rooms filled up and the line disappeared, there was always a single seat in the corner somewhere.
ISTE was a blast. I learned more about learning commons and redefining the library. I learned about new technology products to test and use. And most importantly, I was able to spend time with my MIE cohorts and continue to grow with Microsoft in this wonderful journey called education. Thank you, Greenburgh CSD, for supporting professional development and thinking outside the box. Thank you, ISTE, for promoting edtech. And a huge thank you to Microsoft for always pushing me outside my comfort zone and promoting a growth disposition and an innovative mindset. Learning is a constant struggle and process and I’m loving every minute of it.