I arrived to the Georgia World Congress Center around 1:45 pm today. My goal was to go the opening Ignite Session. I had NO IDEA how popular an event this would be! When I walked in, there were people everywhere. It was a much different atmosphere from yesterday’s #HackEd14. I saw a very long line and wondered what it was for. I realized pretty quickly it was for the Ignite session. I realized pretty quickly I would not get a seat, so I spent the time networking instead. There is a great networking game in the ISTE app, and you’ll find small groups of people huddled around their phones swapping codes. It’s actually a great way to meet people!
I ran into my colleague, and we walked around to get our bearings and to figure out where the opening keynote address with Ashley Judd would be held. We found our way, and then we headed to the ISTE networking session and our Gwinnett meet up. It was a great time learning about the ISTE communities, meeting up with other teachers from my county, and best of all, finding my TK teammate, Krissy!
Around 4:30, we decided to make our way to the forming line for the opening keynote address. Once we found the line, we joined in and wondered if we would ever make it to the hall. Well, once the line finally started moving, our fears were alleviated. We got into the hall, and it was massive! It really helped me to see what a large conference ISTE truly is. Early this year, I went to the NSTA National Conference in Boston, but the size of that event could not compare! We learned that there are over 14,000 attendees this year representing all 50 US states and 73 countries. Wow! There was also an awesome jazz band from New Orleans kicking off the keynote: Young Fellaz Brass Band. Ashley Judd was the keynote, and it was very interesting. I even had an Instagram photograph featured on the big screen!
After the keynote was the welcome party. There were some great poster sessions to walk around and see. There was food for everyone to enjoy, and Eric Hutchinson was playing. Overall, it was a great day kicking off the official conference. Tomorrow, the real fun starts with playground, sessions, and the exhibit hall opens.