After spending Sun morning watching the World Cup (ENG was robbed of a goal but in the end I do believe that the better team won – GER), I made my way to the Colorado Convention Center and joined @ron_mill and @dougpete. Together we made our way to the Wells Fargo Theatre for a pre-conference plenary designed to help kick the conference off and let people know about the work of ISTE.
Featuring Mario Armstrong (from NPR), the kickoff was a well produced, entertaining event where we were introduced to the tools needed to help educators defeat the ‘Locked Net Monster” (school administrators and IT administrators who lock down teachers’ and students’ access to the web), the ‘Dollar n Centaur’ (lack of available funds), the ‘Medi-ogre’ (the attitude that good enough is good enough) and the fierce ‘AbominableNo-man’ (representing all the nay-sayers who like things just the way they are). The focus of the day were the resources that are available (cue commercial for ISTE) for educators to help them face these ‘foes’.
The afternoon was focused upon networking and I took the opportunity to explore the area that featured the various SIG (special interest groups) that belong to ISTE. I was amazed at the number and variety of groups that exist.
The evening began with the formal start of the conference the opening keynote. The key note was presented by Jean-François Rischard, His keynote was received with mixed reaction. His powerpoint slides were not very well received – too much text and very hard to read. I should have not been surprised but many people left the theatre before the end of the talk. many complained that his address was not targeted at educators. Personally, I disagree. Global issues are important and they should also be important for our students. It was too bad that he did not make that connection until the end of the presentation when many people had already left.
I ended the first day ‘networking’ with @brendasherry and @peterskillen and some new friends reflecting on the day at the Hard Rock Cafe. What a day to start ISTE 2010.