It is amazing that an entire year has passed since I attended ISTE in Philadelphia last summer. It was a mega-conference that allowed me to meet a number of folks from my professional learning network, attend an incredible Google party, and feel better about the work that my school has been doing surrounding the integration of technology. In the end though, it made little to no impact on my school, and I'm worried about ISTE's overall impact as a conference if it's definition of success is innovating and changing the way that education is done.
I know that the conference will be fun. Friends will see each other, drinks will pour, and sessions may or may not be attended, but I'm not sure that ISTE does a lot to move forward educational innovation. Certainly there are stories of connections, projects, and progress, but antedates aren't part of the silver buckshot needed to move education forward. I wish I was there. It would be fun, but it will be a extra expensive vacation for most in attendance, and I worry about the future of mega-conferences especially one like ISTE that struggles to truly have a voice, mission, and leverage to infect the educational landscape.
I welcome your thoughts about whether ISTE has a larger impact yet to play on the educational landscape. For those in San Diego, enjoy the week. For those of you that can't attend, take the money that you saved make some microloans, donate to a local shelter, notice the invisible people in your community as each of these actions may have greater meaning in the long run.