I totally agree with how valuable the community has become to me. I have been unable to attend the big league conferences but have attended local and regional ones. I also attended Iste virtually. Through Twitter, Plurk, and Facebook I feel like I have so many great online educator friends and that I have really gotten to know them over the years. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I haven't met the in real life yet. Luckily through our travels, I have been able to meet some face to face and that is a really special time for me. Maybe someday I will get to meet you too! Thanks for this great post!
Very well written! I can agree with so much of this... In fact, this year at this ISTE I attended more sessions than I have at any conference in a long time.
I haven't had time yet to sit and collect my reflections to put into a blog post, so I'm not sure I can clearly articulate this yet -- but something felt different this year...
Sure, there were many sessions that covered "basics" -- but in every session I attended, even if it was a topic that I know very well, I learned something. Even if I disagreed with some of the points of the presenter, I still learned something -- including the need to question my own assumptions as well as theirs.
Without a doubt, the conversations outside of the sessions were the best part of the conference for me -- but for some reason, unexpectedly, I did get much more out of the formal sessions this year than I have in the recent past.
It was so good to see you again face-to-face and I look forward to next time