VSTE 2011

I recently attended the Virginia Society for Technology in Education’s (VSTE) Annual Conference.  It was an amazing experience for so many reasons!  A few of the highlights, in no particular order:

  • Digital Sandbox – An area set up throughout the conference that served as a comfy place to hold conversations.  It was structured as an unconference within a conference.  I loved spending time here to Tweet Up with my fellow Twitter folk, talk education, be part of a DTLT Today show, attend an iPad Smackdown, discussion on Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), and recharging my laptop while sitting in a comfortable chair. 🙂

    iPad Smackdown

DTLT Today Broadcast

  • Bonding with my new team – The conference was a great opportunity to build deeper relationships with the other ITRTs that attended, as well as getting to know my director better.  We had a ton of great conversations about where we are in our county and where we want to go.  We were all excited to share what we learned with each other at the end of each day.

Two of the other rookies with Santa

  • #pinechat – So much fun to catch up/meet some #edurockstars in the Pine Room at the Hotel Roanoke.  Paula White, Becky Fisher, Corrie Kelly, Jen Orr, Tim Owens, and Chris Lehmann just to name a few #pinechatters.
  • Catching up with old friends – A group of my former colleagues and former principal attended VSTE.  It was awesome to see them to reconnect and reminisce about the school, teachers and students that I miss dearly.  Ferry Farm will always have a piece of my heart.
  • Keynote speakersChris Lehmann, Adam Bellow and Travis Allen gave passionate keynotes on how we need to change education.  Powerful, motivating speakers.  Lots of great ideas shared.

Chris Lehmann Keynote - School 2.0

  •  Excellent sessions
    • Saw my director present on TPACK.
    • Got to hear how Salem City Schools is using Google Apps for EDU (and completely got rid of Microsoft Office).
    • Making IT Click with Hybrid Learning Modules – learned how Stafford County is offering blended PD, online and face-to-face, for their teachers.
    • Tech for Tots with Jen Orr – lots of great ideas for integrating technology with the little ones.
    • Chris Lehmann’s session was in a unique format – he posed questions and we talked with different partners each time for 2 minutes each.  Allowed for lots of perspectives and ideas in a short period of time.  Not your typical sit-and-get.
    • Inspired by Henrico’s work with 21st century learning.
    • And many more…

I was extremely pleased with my first VSTE Conference experience; I’m so thankful I was able to attend after many years of wanting to go!

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