The ISTELive Conference is one of my very favorite professional learning events.
In a word, it’s an experience.
ISTELive (International Society for Technology in Education) is a multi-day professional learning event every June.
- More than 14,000 educators participate on-site — with thousands more attending virtually.
- More than 1,000 sessions (“learning opportunities”) are offered by more than 1,600 presenters.
- Hundreds of exhibitors pack a vendor hall bigger than a football field.
I’ve been attending ISTELive for more than 10 years — the first two by following the conference hashtag from home, then almost every in-person conference since.
It can be overwhelming, and it can feel like you’re missing out. Any conference can feel like that.
Here’s a way to rethink conferences so you don’t get swept away:
Conferences are kind of like a big box of LEGO:
- You have tons of different bricks that can be used for a variety of reasons.
- Not every brick is a perfect fit for every job.
- You don’t have to use every brick in the box to get the job done.
- Some people will use different bricks than you, and that’s OK.
Really, you make your own conference experience — whether it’s a huge conference like ISTELive or a smaller one.
You choose the bricks. You make what you want.
After having attended dozens and dozens and dozens of conferences — and all of those ISTELive conferences — here are some of the building blocks I see to crafting a great experience. Pick and choose the LEGO in this “set” as you wish.
If there’s a “brick” that isn’t on this list, please add it in the comments below!
What other tips do you have for a meaningful ISTELive experience? Leave them in a comment below!