What happens next?

We are now one week out from the 2014 ISTE Conference. There’s been quite a few pre-conference posts circulating about what to do, what not to do, and other great pieces of advice that are helpful to newbie and veteran attendees alike. This will be my seventh ISTE conference and I’m always excited to learn, reconnect, and make new connections.

Do you have a plan in place for what you’re going to do with all the new things you will learn? How are you going to take notes and organize them? How will you share them with colleagues and leaders and aren’t at the conference? Here are some suggestions:

1. Create a new notebook in Evernote. Inside that notebook you could create a new note for each session you attend.

2. Create a folder in Google Drive and create a new document for each session you attend and organize them into that folder.

3. Use Storify to aggregate all the tweets you posted during the conference.

4. Use Diigo to collect and tag any resource links you gather from sessions.

These are just a few quick examples that work well. This is something you will want to think about prior to attending. Even if you aren’t attending the conference in person, you can follow the #ISTE2014 hashtag on Twitter to get resources, ideas, and new connections for your network.

However, what I charge to you; what I challenge you to begin asking yourself now is, “What happens next?”.  Yes, before you even set foot in Atlanta we all need to ask ourselves this question. You’re going to learn in abundance; during sessions, workshops, and in the networking spaces. All of that learning without a plan of action is meaningless. I’m not just talking to classroom teachers either. Superintendents, tech directors, curriculum directors, classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and principals all need to be able to answer the question “What happens next?”.

What’s going to change in your practice? Your leadership? Your view of technology’s place in teaching and learning? We all must begin thinking about these things now, and be prepared to take action.

If you’re going to be at ISTE, please be sure to say hello. I look forward to connecting and learning with you!

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi






One thought on “What happens next?”

  1. Thank you for encouraging attendees to have a plan to take action before the conference. While attending conferences is a wonderful ways to learn new content, it is easy to take in the content, make a list of ideas, and then return to everyday life without taking action. Everyone seems to have their own system for collecting content, and the ideas you shared are wonderful places for people to start. I wonder how presenters can structure their sessions differently to help support this collection of content and reflection. As a presenter, I like to set aside time at the end of my presentations for attendees to reflect on the presentation and outline their plan for the next week, month, and three months based on everything they have learned at the conference. I’ve had a positive response from this activity and attendees seem to appreciate dedicated time to stop and reflect.
    Taking action is difficult, especially when it means change. When leaders of an organization want to take action they need to consider the change process and how to involve key stakeholders in becoming part of the shared vision. The notion of taking action can be an exciting process, particularly when it means creating a culture of learning where students are engaged and sharing their learning with others. However, taking action takes time and careful planning.

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