No matter where you live in the world, if you’re interested in edtech, you’ve probably heard of The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
ISTE is a non-profit organization that serves educators interested in technology in education.
The annual ISTE Conference and Expo is the biggest educational technology conference in the world, attracting over 16,000 attendees. It’s held annually in different US locations.
ISTE 2018 is being held on June 24-27 in Chicago.
Living around 10,000 miles (16,000 km) from Chicago, I won’t be attending this year but I’ve learned from Sue Waters and others that there are many ways to participate in the conference remotely!
This post explains 10+ ways that you can attend ISTE virtually (for free!) wherever you are in the world.
Don’t have time to read the post? Check out our summary poster below.
Print it off and scan the QR codes with the camera of your phone or tablet to go directly to some of the resources.
Click on the links below to go to the section that interests you.
9) Live Events
1) NotAtISTE Google+ Community
The NotAtISTE Google+ Community is certainly the first place you should visit if you’re interested attending ISTE remotely. It’s an amazing community set up and facilitated by Jen Wagner, Peggy George, and Vicky Sedgwick.
Social networking is an important part of attending conferences. The Google+ Community is a fun way for those #NotAtISTE to connect with each other while sharing learning and tips.
Each year, the #NotAtISTE community organizes a wide range of activities.
This year’s activities include:
- Community members also create their own badges, ribbons, and t-shirts. You can create your own badge using these templates. Tip: click on tutorials to find video explanations of how to make these.
2) Watch Live Via Periscope
Periscope is a live streaming app that allows whoever is watching live on their mobile device to comment and ask questions.
Best of all, you can watch it after it is recorded if you miss the live broadcast.
Periscope has been an excellent way to watch presentations, visit the exhibit hall, and attend poster sessions remotely for the past few years.
To see an example, check out Tony Vincent’s Live Broadcasts from ISTE 2016.
Read how Sue Waters has used Flipboard and Tweetdeck to watch out for the latest Periscope broadcasts in her #NotAtISTE 2015 post.
Rather it’s the #Badgesummit or #ISTE18 This year’s #PassTheScopeEDU team has got you covered! Here we come Chicago! Bringing you the people’s perspective, voice, and stories one scope at a time! #NotatISTE pic.twitter.com/w0Zv65GG0O
— Brian Romero Smith (@BrianRSmithSr) June 5, 2018
ISTE’s Youngest Periscoper: Baby Savvy
Last year, well known educational blogger Shelly Terrell brought her baby girl, Savvy, to help interview people at ISTE.
They’re doing it again this year and you will find the interviews on Shelly’s blog and on Twitter (@ShellTerrell and via the #PassthescopeEDU hashtag).
Read more about this on Shelly’s blog. She’s also looking for people who are happy to be interviewed if you’ll be in Chicago.
3) #NotAtISTE Voxer Community
Voxer is an app that allows users to send audio, text messages, and photos to each other.
Voxer allows you to interact either synchronous and asynchronous. This is ideal for the #NotAtISTE community as participants are spread across all time zones.
You can join the #NotAtISTE Voxer community by clicking on this link.
Watch this video to learn how to use Voxer.
You’ll find more information on using Voxer in education here.
4) Hashtags And Social Media
Twitter is one of the best ways to monitor what’s happening at ISTE thanks to the large number of educators tweeting from the conference.
Hashtags and handles
The Twitter hashtags to follow are:
The same hashtags are also being used on Instagram.
The official Twitter handle is @ISTE.
Keeping track of social media
There is a range of different approaches you can use to monitor Twitter during the conference. Two popular approaches include:
- Flipboard — Used to monitor content shared when you’re offline (asynchronous). You’ll find a complete step by step guide to setting up Flipboard here.
- TweetDeck — Used to monitor content shared when online (synchronous). You’ll find a complete step by step guide to using Twitter and following hashtags using Tweetdeck here.
Tony Vincent has shared a helpful tip on using multiple search terms in Tweetdeck:
🐦 Catch more of the tweets from #ISTE18 in Chicago by saving a search that contains multiple hashtags.
[Works in TweetDeck too!] pic.twitter.com/Q4BgnvLtPt
— Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent) June 24, 2018
Abbe Waldron is compiling a list of those participating in #NotAtISTE.
Click here to find the list and click on subscribe to follow tweets from this community.
If you’re #NotAtISTE this year and would like to be included in the list, send Abbe a tweet (@AbbeWaldron) or add your details on the map in the #NotAtISTE Google + Community (it’s in the introductions area).
You might also be interested in setting up your own Twitter list. For example, you could create a list of the presenters you’re interested in following. Read more about using Twitter lists.
Check out the 2018 LiveBinder.
Start with the “Getting Started” tab.
You’re welcome to share resources with the ISTE hashtags and the team will add them to the LiveBinder.
6) Flipboard Magazine
Since 2014, Sue Waters and others have been curating the best information and content shared during the conference into the ISTE Insights Flipboard magazine. I’m looking forward to assisting the team with this curation this year!
This video explains how Sue uses Flipboard to find, curate and share content.
You’ll find a complete step by step guide to setting up Flipboard here.
7) Shared Google Doc
Since 2014, Sue Waters has created a shared Google Doc for sessions she wanted to attend. She prepared her own notes by:
- Reviewing the handouts and links provided by the presenters
- Reviewing blog posts or articles on the sessions attended by people who are at ISTE
- Adding any photos shared from the sessions
Here are links to Sue’s Shared Google Docs for the last 4 years:
- Blogging Sessions at ISTE 2014
- Blogging Sessions at ISTE 2015
- Blogging Sessions ISTE 2016
- Blogging Sessions ISTE 2017
My Google Doc
Following in Sue’s footsteps, I am setting up a Google Doc this year with notes on some of the sessions I’d love to attend.
With over 1000 sessions available, this is far from an exhaustive list. I favorited over 20 sessions in my ISTE account and have decided to write notes on 10 of these.
You can check out the progress of my Google Doc here!
Sessions I’ve chosen are based around blogging, online tools, digital writing etc.
Make Your Own Google Doc
Here is the process Sue has followed in previous years if you want to make your own document. The example images are from 2017.
1. Work out which sessions you would have attended if you were at ISTE by searching the conference program by title.
If you log into the ISTE website you can mark your favorite sessions.
When you’re logged in, you’ll also have access to a ‘digital tote’ where you can store all your conference materials like session handouts and resource lists.
Here’s an example of a session page.
2. Check each session page for links to the presentation website, handouts etc. and use these to write notes about the session.
Click on “Add to digital tote” to store all session handouts, resource lists, exhibitor information, and more for easy access.
3. Check each of the presenter’s profiles by clicking on their name to see if they include their Twitter username or links to their website.
On Carol’s presenter’s details page she has included her Twitter username.
4. Transfer information about each session you would have liked to attend into a Google Doc including links to the ISTE session page, presenter’s Twitter usernames (or websites), and a summary of the session.
Below is an example of what it looks like from Sue’s Google Doc.
5. Before the session, add any additional notes by checking the presenters’ resources, websites, and Twitter accounts.
6. After the session, check if anyone is tweeting information about the presentation by checking the presenter’s Twitter accounts. Work through any relevant information shared.
— Vickie Morgado M.Ed (@vickiemorgado1) June 26, 2017
You can check out how Sue added her own reflections and notes in her shared Google Doc for ISTE 2017.
8) ISTE 2018 Crowdsourced Session Notes
Sue has been collaborating with Tzvi Pittinsky to help crowdsource notes shared at ISTE since 2014. In 2015, Tzvi and Sue presented at ISTE on using Crowdsourcing in the Classroom based on what they learned from the process in 2014.
Tzvi is crowdsourcing again this year.
Click here to find the Google Sheet where you can view and add notes.
9) Live Events
A number of groups and brands have organised events that people who are #NotAtISTE can attend for free.
We have compiled this in a Google Doc and will update it if more information becomes available.
10) OnEducation Podcast
OnEducation Podcast is a popular new edtech podcast by educators, Mike and Glen.
They will be doing a daily 30 minute special edition podcast from ISTE from Saturday 24th to Wednesday 27th June. The podcasts will include discussions on the sessions as well as interviews with presenters, attendees, vendors, and ISTE executives.
You can subscribe here on Apple Podcasts or search in your podcasting app.
11) Curate with Wakelet
Take a look at Tony’s collection, or create your own.
There is so much content shared during ISTE, and so many activities you can join as a #NotAtISTE participant. It can feel overwhelming and lead to information overload!
Here’s Sue’s advice based on her 4 years of participating in #NotAtISTE:
My most important tip is don’t place a time limit on your learning!
People often feel that they have a set time to achieve what they are trying to learn based on the duration of a conference.
I take the opposite approach attending conferences virtually. I break what I want to learn into manageable chunks and focus on what I want to learn before the conference starts, during the conference and after the conference finishes.
I also break up activities based on what needs to be done synchronously vs what I can do asynchronously. I accept that with a conference like ISTE, even as a NOTAtISTE participant, it’s impossible to participate in everything so I prioritize what I do based on achieving the maximum outcome for the time I have available.
Here’s a summary of Sue’s approach:
- Before the conference — Organize your Google Doc by working through the ISTE program and the resources shared by presenters while also researching different options for participating as a NOTAtISTE participant.
- During the conference — Participate in the different NotAtISTE communities, curate resources into Flipboard, and focus on any synchronous activities I want to learn or participate in. My goal is to try one or two new things I haven’t tried previously. For example, in the NotAtISTE community in 2014 I learned how to use Voxer and in 2015 I was introduced to Periscope. Add notes to my Google Docs.
- After the conference — Work through the resources that have been shared and continue to research topics that interest me. Numerous participants at ISTE and NotAtISTE will curate the best links which makes it easy to follow them up after the conference.
Time wise, I look for ways I can multitask to work smarter and not harder. For example, with Voxer and Periscope I can listen on my daily walks or when I’m doing work around the house.
Have any more ideas? Please leave them in the comments below!