It has been a great two days so far not being at ISTE. I was lamenting missing out on this year’s ISTE Conference in San Antonio. As I saw the instagram pics and twitter feeds start to light up with tales from the Alamo and the River Walk, I started to sigh. Then came the giddy-filled stories of holding one’s very own, brand new, FREE, Microsoft Surface. Oh my heart started to fill with woe.
But then I found the #notatISTE/#notatISTE13 hashtag on Twitter and Google+. Suddenly, my world was filled with fellow commiserators who, like me, were at home as the ed tech world descended into Texas sucking up wifi faster than you can say “access point”. My social media universe became filled with tweets, videos, and even a meme or two expressing all the cool things people are up to while others are learning and growing in a conference center. Things like hiking, camping, playing with one’s kids, sitting by the pool, drinking home brewed coffee and reading a book. All things I truly enjoy. (As for me, I went to work for 3/4 of the day, started a new book, and spent QT with my sweet doggie.) There have even been jokes about pretending to be at ISTE and making people confused when they can’t actually find you.
All of this social media mayhem reminds me very clearly that while there are some amazing things happening in San Antonio and that the face to face interaction is so important, we don’t NEED to be at ISTE to connect. We are lucky that through our feeds and aggregators, we can experience a lot of the learning happening. Is it the same, no, but is it better than nothing? Yes.
We also need to have times where we step away from the PLN and disconnect. Spend time with our families without the iPhone. Eat a lovely meal without instagramming it. Take a walk in the woods without recording the elevation and mileage with a gps. This is the route that many of my colleagues on the #notatiste13 feeds are going and I applaud them. We cannot be our best teachers, administrators, coaches, innovators, and learners in chief without taking time to recharge and unplug. So why I am sad I’m going to miss Adam Bellow‘s 100+ slides during his keynote and I’ll miss meeting PLN friends in person, I’m glad to take this time for light hearted connections to my pals who are #notatiste13 and re-charge.
How are you recharging this summer? Are you able to completely unplug? Are you at ISTE13? If so, what am I missing-seriously, torture me!