Thursday, June 27, 2013

#ISTE13: Much more than a conference!

As I sit back and try to reflect on the past 5 days at ISTE, I find myself with a HUGE smile on my face.   Brad and I knew coming to ISTE was going to be a highlight of our year and a chance to meet amazing, but it was much more than that. This conference, as our new friend Todd (@TechNinjaTodd)  says, has changed everything! 

Usually when I attend a conference, I research all the sessions I want to attend, go to the sessions, and then go home. I learn great new ideas I can use but often leave disappointed. Our ISTE experience was the exact opposite of every other conference I have been to. I attended exactly 1 session (The Tomorrows Toolkit by role models Erin Klein, Adam Bellow, Kyle Pace, and Michelle Baldwin) the entire 5 days I spent at ISTE and learned more than I ever knew was possible. 

Brad and I were able to meet and connect with not only some of the best educators in the country but in the whole world! It was so exciting to meet friends from twitter and educators we have always looked up to. Here are some of the MANY highlights from our ISTE trip:

ISTE Rat Pack

We have been very lucky to meet and become great friends with Erin Klein and Andrew Vanden Heuvel before our journey to ISTE. Erin has been a role model and major inspiration to the three of us boys. She has given us amazing advice and shared her knowledge with us. It was our nights together I will always remember and really cherish. It gave us time to learn more about each other and become even closer friends. We value every bit of advice we receive from Andrew and Erin and know we are very fortunate to call them friends. 

Todd Nelsoney (@TechNinjaTodd)

Brad and I got to meet Todd Nelsoney aka @TechNinjaTodd on Sunday morning in the Blogger's Cafe. We hit it off immediately and struck up a great friendship. Todd is a teacher from Texas who is doing amazing things with his flipped classroom! We spent a lot of time together over the past 5 days and hoping he and his wife can make a trip north to visit us here in Michigan! He is a must follow on twitter and has a great site 

Michael Lindsay-Three Ring CEO

Three Ring has been one of our "Game Changing" app from the beginning. I have had contact with Three Ring's other head honcho Steve Silvius for the past few months so it was great to finally meet someone from the company. We hit it off right away and struck up a great connection. Michael gave us a great behind the scenes view of Three Ring's future goals and plans. We are very excited about staying connected with Michael and Three Ring in the future. It is definitely an app that has changed everything for Brad and I so we recommend it to everyone. 

Kevin Honeycutt-Our Yoda 

Kevin aka Yoda, has been a great mentor for us young Jedi. He has given us priceless advice and has always been very approachable and willing to help. Kevin has introduced us to many amazing people and is the reason we attended ISTE this year. We can not wait to hangout again at Podstock in a couple weeks and continue building our friendship. 

Sam Patterson- Founder of #Patue chat

We have connected with Sam a lot of the past month and I had a chance to co-monitor a #PATUE chat about augmented reality a couple weeks ago. We only got to chat for a couple of minutes after Sam's presentation but it was a pleasure to finally meet Sam in person. We will be working together this next Tuesday when Brad and I help co-monitor another #PATUE chat on augmented reality in education. It takes place at 8pm EST so please join us! 

Jessica Allen- Chile Sensation! 

It was so amazing to meet Jessica at ISTE! Jessica is a director of technology from Santiago, Chile. She noticed she was doing an iPad pilot very similar to ours so contacted me on twitter. We hit it off and meeting in person was even better! Jessica has amazing energy and passion to help students develop and grow into lifelong learners. She has tagged me as her "virtual boyfriend" which is a great honor! haha. We are very excited to stay connected with Jessica and work together in the future. 

The EdReach Team

It was an absolute privilege to meet Dan Rezac and Scott Weidig from the EdReach Team this past week. We felt lucky and honored when they asked us to join their live show on Tuesday morning. It was great to talk about what we are doing and hope it helps educators around the world. Dan and Scott are doing some amazing things at EdReach and we hope this is just the start to a great friendship. 

More Game Changers and New Friends!

Here are some pictures of more amazing friends we made at ISTE!
 Some of the top "Game Changing" educators in the world! Matt Gomez @mattBgomez Kyle Pace @kylepace Amber Teamann @8Amber8 Ashlie Smith @smithsciencegms Brad Waid @techbradwaid Ryan Vanden Heuvul @techsavvyclass Steven W. Anderson @web20classroom Nicolas Provenzano @thenerdyteacher Timothy Gwynn @tgwynn 
 Lunch with great new friends!
 EdTech Karaoke with amazing people!
 Hanging out with Amber and Ashlie at EdTech Karaoke
Founder of TechChef4u Lisa Johnson
 Brad doing an interview with education reporter Tanya Roscorla.
  Getting my chance to interview with education reporter Tanya Roscorla. This is after the marching band came rolling through! 

  Wendy Wells-Gallagher from iSchool Initiative and iExplorers

Jayne Clare- Founder of
Brett Kopf from the great website and app Remind 101
 Great new friend and 2013 ISTE Kay L. Bitter Recipient Karen Lirenman

 StudyBlue CEO Becky Splitt
Lunch with amazing friend Andrew and Ryan!

We also met many more amazing educators at ISTE including the  amazing Jimmy Casas, Amanda Dykes, Jon Samuelson, Shawn Rubin and Michelle Baldwin!


  1. Great recap of your highlights!! You can always look back and say "wow, that was greatness"! It doesn't get any better than that. Glad to have met yall both

  2. Thrilled for you Two Guys...iPads or not, you guys ROCK!

  3. Great recap from ISTE! I think you hit on something that is still hard for some people to accept. So much of the learning and meaningful experiences at ISTE (and other conferences) do not happen in the sessions. Many people who attend 4 or 5 sessions each day walk away feeling like their experience is incomplete. The best conversations tend to happen spontaneously in the lounges or after hours at the social functions. I'm not saying people should not attend sessions. I attended several and they were outstanding, but the most meaningful interactions happened outside of the formal sessions.

  4. Thank you Beth! It was amazing how many great educators we were able to meet and learn from at ISTE. Incredible learning experience for both of us.

  5. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.
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