I want tho thank the folks at ISTE for once again bringing together so many people that continue to help advance my education, knowledge and inspire me to continue doing what I do for the students I come in contact. I am wondering if the show has gotten too large.
Vendors - I was worn out both physically and sensorially by the vendor area. The sights and the sounds were to the point of being overwhelming. Even with a map I had some difficulty finding the vendors I needed to speak with, and yet in the Bloggers's cafe and the ISTE Newbie lounge I had less trouble finding vendors and or people willing to pitch their products or their printed paraphernalia without an invitation. These areas need to be used by the people who they are intended for and not by the vendors. If I am not mistaken, there is a vendors lounge and most vendors also have areas to meet people and work on deals. I hope someone can get a handle on that.
I know that without vendors it is difficult to make this show happen. Everyone wants to make money and no one is in it to lose money. So I truly understand the need for vendors to be present, but because they pay for the privilege, that doesn't mean they can run over folks in different areas. Even in the HackEd unconference on Saturday, people had to be reminded that they could not hawk their own products during the smack down.
What would the difference in the conference have been if instead of 10,000 Surface tablets, Microsoft were to offer 5,000 teachers an opportunity for conference attendance and some money toward room and board while in San Antonio? Would that have been beneficial to some of the school districts or even our student's classrooms? How many vendors that are Tier 1 Sponsors are ever asked to do this? Might be a thought for future ISTE events. That idea came up in the comments section of Lee Kolbert's blog about ISTE found here.
I am still mulling around some other things and hopefully I can get to them soon before this old mind loses them. So happy to see so many good people, have so many great discussions and be able to laugh and share as well as cry with so many of you.
So much to learn and so little time.