ISTE 2013 (San Antonio, June 23-26, 2013) defeated me. It was hot, too hot; it was big, too big — except that I am sure it generated a lot of money. The attendance was huge, national and international and local. The venue was so large that it made for sore feet.
There were busses to take you to the center, but the weather was so hot that you would rather walk to the site than wait 20 minutes for the next bus. Some meetings were so distant from each other that it was time impossible to get to the sessions.
Many people had just a few participants in their sessions. I felt like I do when in the airline lanes. These lanes would be: Vendors, Corporate Sponsors, Officers of ISTE, SIGS, Youth, SETDA. State Affiliates, Distinguished Apple Educators, and so on. Separation by funding, importance. And lost in the mix were new teachers who come to learn, make associations, and to benefit from ISTE membership.
A strand of kids were involved. There are people who think all kids are digital immigrants. I don’t fight them. I tolerate them because they have the microphone and most of the funding. Perhaps ISTE is growing a new audience. The kids were everywhere, too. They did poster sessions and workshops, too.
A number of SIGs were involved. (See photos below.) We are at this time volunteers. We had a SIG open house. That’s a good thing because the meetings all overlap. Significant interest groups work throughout the year and do professional development for ISTE. It was a good thing to see the people you talk to, if only briefly, in the course of the meetings. We networked at an Open House.
There were SETDA meetings, state affinity meetings. There were SIG-sponsored workshops and keynotes and bloggers’ cafes. There were international gatherings… Does it sound like all too much? It was!
There were tourist distractions, but they were crowded too. Very crowded. I walked less steps in Rome. People in San Antonio walk all over the place, not just left or right. I fully expected someone to fall into the San Antonio River.
I think this is the very first time I gave up on the exhibit hall. It was too big, too many exhibitors, and crowded. I tried.
I have a black belt in exhibit halls, but this time I lost.
A disappointment. The first keynote was “entertainment” on gamification
I did not go to Richard Culleta’s keynote. I saw him at SETDA (San Antonio, June 21-24, 2013) and got his message about data. Boring. He did reference that the groups he profiled were funded from Race to the Top.
Twenty thousand people were at ISTE. I guess it was a marketing success.
Filed under: Conference |