Thursday, June 29, 2017

Monday, Monday...ISTE17 Day 3 Afternoon

Day 2 of my ISTE17 Adventure started off with an Uber ride from Days Inn Airport, which had enough shortcomings for its own blog post, to the Wyndham Riverwalk, where I would be staying until Thursday.  I was just hoping to store my suitcase, but my room was ready, so I was able to unpack and hang up clothes, etc.

My husband, youngest son and I have come to San Antonio the past two years in February, so I am somewhat familiar with the Riverwalk and headed to one of our favorite breakfast places, Market on Houston. My waiter, Rey, was a sweet smooth-talker who did everything to make sure I was comfortable and well-fed.  I had bacon, scrambled eggs, and country potatoes. Since I had only had snack food the day before, it tasted delicious!

After brunch, I walked around the block then headed to St. Mary's for the noon Mass.  I was there more than a half hour early, but I thought some extra prayers of thanksgiving were in order after my experiences the day before.  I was also able to pray the Rosary, which is something I need to do much more often.  As a convert, I still don't have all the prayers quite memorized, but I have a handy app on my phone called Laudate (available for both iOS and Android) that has an interactive Rosary, along with anything else I might want to know or pray. 

After Mass, I headed to the Henry B. Gonz├ílez Convention Center.  What a beautiful facility!  I found the registration desk, put on my name tag and looked around the lower level, before making my way upstairs.  I sat in on a couple Ignite presentations but was pretty restless, so I left to look around a bit more.  A little before 3, I made my way to the Lila Cockrell Theater to hear Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo presentation entitled "Open the Curiosity Door."  I'm pretty sure Steve was one of the first people I followed when I joined Twitter in 2007.  

They shared many great ideas, including Dr. Robert Dillon's new book The Space: A Guide for Educators, a thought provoking quote by Don Wettrick, Chris Lehmann's advice on how to build a school, and Monica R. Martinez's  Deeper Learning: The Planning Guide.  We were left with two important thoughts:  "You can't change everything in one day, but you can change one thing every day," and "Keep the big picture in mind...."
Next, it was time for the opening keynote.  People were in line 45 minutes early, so I followed the herd.  The Tiarra Girls were the opening act, followed by new ISTE CEO Richard Culatta.   He was a very engaging speaker with an impressive background.  I'm excited to see the growth of the organization under his guidance. The keynote speaker was Jad Abumrad of Radio Lab fame.  

Jad's story of how he got started,  including those who had been an inspiration to him was fascinating.  It was a great example of grit, perseverance and growth mindset.  It was also a testament that dreams aren't easy.  My favorite quote was "Sound is touch at a distance," when he was speaking about how mothers all over the world essentially sing the same tunes to their children when calming them to sleep. 

My day ended with a reception sponsored by the Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) and the promise of more exciting learning in the next three days.

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