Which of your fellow presenters are you most excited to hear/meet and why? Each year at ISTE, my favorite presenters to meet and hear from are the students. This year is no different. A couple of Sunday night student posters have already caught my eye because of their focus on student-led global initiatives, such as Cooley Elementary’s Building Bridges, Obliterating Walls, Eradicating Hatred and Pennbrook/Penndale Middle Schools’ From the Ground Floor Up: Changing Education One Desk as a Time. I’m also excited this year because my own 16-year-old daughter Laney Blair who is a talented filmmaker and speaker, will be presenting three sessions on filmmaking, scriptwriting and memes.
Which social media app will you be using the most at ISTE 2017? And why? You will be able to find me on Twitter @NancyeBlackEdu. I love using Twitter for the ability to receive just-in-time updates and get a quick pulse on what’s happening at the conference. For me, Twitter is also the easiest way to share ideas and resources, new things I’m learning and the fun photos we all take when seeing our favorite eduheroes face to face. And, of course, it’s a great way to identify amazing people to connect or collaborate with both at and after the conference, too!
What’s your top tip for people #notatISTE? Two years ago, I was unable to attend the ISTE conference due to the impending birth of my son. Despite the thousand miles between the conference and me, I used Twitter to stay plugged in. (And plugged in enough that several people even thought I was actually there!) Those #notatISTE in 2017 can do the same. Pick your favorite social media app and keep #ISTE17 scrolling!
How about for #ISTEnewbies? My top tip for #ISTEnewbies is to be bold. Have the courage to walk up to people and introduce yourself, ask questions, share your thoughts. While you will definitely leave the conference with a ton of new resources, it’s the connections you make with other ISTE members that have the long-term potential to truly transform your practice — and life.
What’s your favorite way (or place) to collaborate at the conference? My favorite way to collaborate at the conference is through the ISTE Professional Learning Networks. By joining these networks and participating in their events, you can easily find like-minded educators to hang out with, dream with and even create the next big thing with. And once you’re ready to take it to the next level, you can volunteer as a PLN leader. Most of my closest ISTE friendships were cultivated while serving together on the 3D Network and Young Educator Network leadership teams. I highly recommend it!
Who is your eduhero? My all-time eduhero is the amazing Rita Oates. Years ago, Rita and I met on Twitter and then later in person at a conference. Since then I learned that, as the Miami-Dade technology director, she was instrumental in starting the computer science program at my elementary school. Participating in that CS program launched my journey to the successful career in educational technology I have today. And now, I’m lucky to have the honor to serve with and learn from her on the Board for the Florida ISTE affiliate, FSTE. Rita Oates has my utmost respect and gratitude! She’s a true eduhero!
Want to learn more about ISTE 2017 presenters? Read a Q&A with Reshan Richards.