Attending ISTE is always a highlight for me. I have been fortunate to attend several ISTE conferences over the past few years, but I've never been able to fly in early enough to attend the unconference. This year, I decided that it was time to experience what many people say is the best part of ISTE. It was amazing to see so many of my GCT and ADE friends as well as all of the Edu Tech Super Stars. Coming to events like these gives you a chance to connect with people that you only talk to on Twitter or see virtually.
#HackEd13 began with a group meeting for general directions and time to socialize and meet new people. The energy was buzzing and you could feel the excitement as the crowd grew. We were then instructed to go to a room where we would contribute ideas and vote using stickers to decide which topics would make the final schedule. What I liked most about this process was seeing what types of trends and interests people have in the area of ed tech.
Thank you to those who worked hard to create the schedule after tallying up all the dots. I know from experience that it isn't an easy task given a short amount of time. You can check out the schedule at: http://wiki.isteunplugged.com/. The best part about an unconference is that it really gives you a chance to have conversations with other educators and hear opinions, thoughts, and questions. It isn't a presentation, but a discussion to really hear from one another.
Overall, it was an amazing experience and I enjoyed every moment. I now see what I've been missing all these years. If you've never attended the unconference, I'd highly recommend it. We left with a cool shirt with an inspiring quote, but more importantly...we left with new ideas to inspire and ignite our students and an extended network of amazing educators.