Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Preparation for ISTE 2014

By Dr Will 

ISTE 2014 is right around the corner. Next week to be more specific. This will be my first time going to the conference, which is the biggest Edtech conference in the world. 

I decided to write a blog post to share my experiences in preparing for ISTE. If you are going as well, please let me know if I left off anything. Also, feel free to leave comments or any advice you have for maximizing my experiences at the conference.  

My Tech: G2, Nexus 7, Jetpack, and Flipcam.

I will be bringing my cell, my tablet, and my Flipcam with me. The cell will be used to both take pics of my surroundings and the obligatory selfie with folks I know from Twitter. I will also use my cell to tweet about what I see and do, as well as to backchannel during sessions. I plan on using my tablet to take notes, pictures, and upload content. As for my Flipcam, I am bringing this gem to interview folks I have wanted to meet offline for years. The Jetpack is to make sure I have access to the internet when I need it. 

My Attire: Polos, shorts, Sketchers with Memory Form insoles, two dress shirts, two dress pants, and one pair of black dress shoes with matching suspenders.

I am ditching my normal "investment banker look" for a more laid-back one. Being in Atlanta in late June, I gotta be comfortable during the sessions, so I am going casual all the way. I am also bringing along a couple of dressy outfits for a couple of nights out on the town. 

My Agenda: Google, Google, Google, More Google, and 1:1.

My mission is to learn everything I can about Google from some of the best in the game like Jennie Magiera. My motto is: Go Google or Go home! Using the scheduling guide on ISTE's website, I have already favorited the sessions I plan to attend. That said, with 900 sessions in play, I am open to experiencing what the many, many, many sessions have to offer. 

Going 1:1 is important to me because we are going 1:1 with Chromebooks in the Fall in the middle school. I have to learn as much as possible to stay on top of my game and to feel confident enough in my abilities to be my usual laid-back self.

My Side Gig: Networking like I'm getting paid to do it.

Getting my sessions in are extremely important. After all, I am about business when it comes to my professional learning. However, I will be networking at every opportunity that presents itself. I want to get to know the folks in my PLN away from Twitter. In addition, I am looking forward to meeting some vendors and seeing what tech is out there. Most importantly, I want to develop relationships with people that is going to enrich my life.

My Reminders: Power cords, Prilosec, Aleve, First Aid Kit, and Power Strip. 

You understand. I don't need to get into why I am bringing those.

My Hopes: ISTE will be everything I heard it is.

Everyone I have spoken to has told me how amazing ISTE is. I have been planning to go to ISTE since I missed out last summer. I am so excited, ridiculously excited. I have registered for several events, arranged to meet particular people, and mentally prepared myself to be in awe. I really hope that ISTE lives up to the hype. 


  1. I am so jealous enjoy yourself

    1. Jason,

      Thanks. You will be there next year. Keep an eye out on my Google+ page for pics, videos, and updates.

      Dr. Will

  2. Here is some other tips:

    Make sure you have a comfortable back pack to carry your gear as the days are long. Carry your chargers or bring a portable charger and remember to charge all devices at night.

    Internet access can be variable especially in sessions and you can have issues accessing with your mobile data plan (due to number of devices) so use Evernote if you want an option that provides offline access.

    Pack snacks and drinks for the day. Lines are long and days are tiring. Having some of your own supplies means you can sit and network with others while getting a rest.

    Look out for Bloggers cafe and Newbies lounge. Great places to connect with others.

    Make sure you monitor #iste2014 and #iste14 in your Twitter apps. There are lots of free nightly events that you can attend and people will often tweet about them. Sign up for EdTech karoke.

    Wear comfortable footwear :)

    Hope these help.


    1. Sue,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. ISTE will take place during Ramadan, so I will not be eating or drinking until it's time for Maghrib prayer.

      I will be sure to stop by the Bloggers cafe.


  3. Dr. Will,
    I hope you enjoy yourself and learn everything you've ever wanted to know about Google!

    1. Kayla,

      Thanks. You should plan to go next year. It's in Philly.


  4. Something tells me you are going to enjoy a spectacular experience! I enjoyed your humorous sharing of your ISTE 2014 preparations and packing. It sounds like you definitely have got it covered!

    I look forward to reading your posts from ISTE and to hearing more about it when you get back. Have a safe trip, a good time and learn, learn, learn!

    Anne Shaw

    1. Anne,

      Thanks, Anne. I will be posting pics to Twitter all day, everyday during the conference. At night, I will upload all of the photos to Google+.