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ISTE 2014 – Day 2 – Opening Day + keynote

June 28, 2014

These are my notes from the various sessions and conversations and activities at the ISTE 2014 conference in Atlanta

Day #2 started pretty good. I actually got close to eight hours of sleep, finally catching up in a big way! Met up with my good friend Dave Sloat, and we toured around the Convention Centre to get our bearings, got our registration done, and generally had a great visit.

We were both invited to the ISTE Board luncheon and that was fabulous! We met up with some great people, had some great conversation, and the food was absolutely out of this world! You know when sometimes you have hotel food it’s “okay”. This lunch was stellar! Can’t say enough!

I had to rush through my lunch, and head off to a volunteer orientation, more on that later.

As soon as orientation was over, the plan was to attend the first ISTE Ignite session. Dream on Todd! The line up was all around the inside of the building. We stood in line, but it didn’t happen. We weren’t anywhere close to getting in.

So instead we went across the street to the CNN building for a snack. We ended up visiting with a local police officer who was having his lunch and had a most delightful conversation!

Then it was off to the Affiliate networking event and PLN conversation. We met up with literally hundreds of other people and learning about the different PLN’s and collecting our ribbons for our name badges, I think if we put them all on, it would be ten feet long!

We wanted to head to another session, but we discovered the keynote line was already getting substantial. Needless to say we got in line at about 4:30 PM and ended up visiting with folks from all around us, from all over the world. It was a great conversation and we had a good time, before we were finally ushered into the hall for the keynote presentation by Ashely Judd.


Of course it wouldn’t be a keynote without some beach ball entertainment! So I inflated a beach ball, and got everyone around us to write their secret code with a sharpie on it, and we sent the ball off on it’s adventure around the room! The beach ball spent the next 45 minutes going from place to place while others added their information, took pictures, and passed it along!

Starting keynote evening with Kecia Ray and Brian Lewis! For the last 45 minutes we’ve been hearing some awesome Second Line music from an incredible band. Young Fellaz Brass Band – you have to look up their music, it was fantastic.

Kecia welcomed everyone, as so far over 14,000 attendees. Brian introduced the amazing and incredible jazz band, out of New Orleans. There are over 1,000 volunteers who make the conference happen.

Brian and Kecia recognized outgoing board members and introduced new board members. They were certainly appreciated.

Kecia also talked about the social media presence.

Brian and Kecia announced the new online strategy, by a short video. Connected Learning in a Connected World. ISTE has developed a new website with a totally new design, intended to be used by everyone, and incorporate a pile of sharing and innovation. EdTekHub online, Entersekt – new magazine, first issue out today!

Then they gave away a bunch of t-shirts! Nothing makes a bunch of grown-ups scream like a chance for a free t-shirt!

They then introduced Diana Neebe, Dr. Laurie Barron, and interviewed both of them.


Todd’s note, sound was really not great. The band sound was excellent, but the audio from those speaking was less desirable.

The brief interview allowed each person to talk in general about what they were doing to be successful, and what’s happening in their schools. Especially as it relates to digital learning. Really asking teachers and schools to embrace the 21st century skills that we expect students to have and use. When Laurie started in her school, no one on staff had any idea what Twitter was. Now they are starting to get it. She suggests that educators dominate Twitter over anyone else!

We were reminded that educators (like everyone else) need to know that they are being supported and encouraged to try different things, and help them along the way. Finding good support as people buy in and move along.

Diana indicated her school has reduced everyone’s teaching time so they would have time to learn and do new things.

Laurie suggested that learning for adults also needs to be differentiated, just like we do for students.

Need to teach kids before we teach content. Technology plus relationships can be powerful, but can’t have technology without relationships.

Keynote – Ashley Judd


Kecia and Brian introduced Ashley Judd.

Application of mental energy can only take you so far, you also need compassion.

Interestingly Ashley started her presentation with thoughts on prayer and specific prayers. And she told her story.

Anything that is LESS than nurturing to a child, is abusive.

It is incumbent on us to notice when something is up with a child and to believe them.

Ashley says we should never underestimate our ability to encourage a child, and how it will be received.

Ashley Judd’s presentation was very personal, honest, and important. I appreciated her candor and a couple of times she struggled to keep her composure as thoughts and memories and feelings washed over her.

One of the cornerstones of her conversation was not “look at me, and feel sorry for me” rather it was “Pay attention to the children around you, encourage and care for them – and they will grow!”

Some pictures from today:

Todd and the inflatable dinosaur!

Todd, Dave with Treva at her volunteer shift:

Getting the volunteer orientation tour

Another one with the dinosaur

I found Wilson!


A very small part of the line leading up to the keynote!





Here it is! The first #atle2014 keynote beach ball!




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