Monday, June 22, 2015

ISTE UNPLUGGED Special Newsletter - Change in Maker Day - Hack Education - Party - Global Ed Day Waiting List - Poetry Slam - More

The annual conference starts at the end of this week in Philadelphia, and for the NINTH year we have a set of grassroots-organized "unplugged" events that you can participate in for free, centering on the Hack Education unconference all day Saturday, June 27th. Oh, the fun!

Friday, June 26th, Maker Day: Well, this attempt at a first pre-ISTE maker "fair" just never got off the ground. Lots of interested parties, but we needed someone on the ground in Philadelphia to make it happen, and no one was able to. So sorry. Anyone who was planning to attend this and still has the day available, email me ( and we'll plan some alternative social / deep-dive activity, maybe explore cool food and conversation?

Saturday, June 27th, Hack Education: 8:00am - 4:00pm, Pennsylvania Convention Center. #hacked15 or #hackeducation

Part of the EduBloggerCon tradition, Hack Education is the ninth all-day unconference held the Saturday before ISTE, and it's a great event for beginners and regular attenders alike! Come join us for an amazing community experience filled with interesting conversations in a highly social environment. Our special guest host will again be Audrey Watters of Hack Education!

Hack Education is free (thanks to the amazing generosity of ISTE and our sponsors). IMPORTANT: There is no formal signup, but for planning purposes, communication, and connecting with others, it's helpful to have you indicate your attendance at the Facebook event page here. If you are juggling other activities or travel, you are welcome for any portion of time you want to attend.

Honestly, this is a great event, and many will tell you it is the event to attend at ISTE because it's all about connecting and sharing. Hack Education is based on the idea of an "unconference", and is organized by the participants in real time on-site. It's maybe better referred to as a "collaborative conference." There are no formal presentations, just "conversations" that you or others facilitate. Those who lead sessions are not expected to prepare material but just to facilitate discussion. If you're not sure what to expect for Hack Education, take a look at the photos and schedule from Hack Education 2014. Every year is different but equally fun!

Saturday, June 27th, Evening Party: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Grand Ballroom D, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hack Education will wrap up at 4 pm, and we hope you take some time to enjoy the tastes of downtown Philly for dinner before heading to join fellow Unplugged attendees for networking and drinks at the 2015 Hack Education After Party. The two-hour event will feature hands-on activities, door prizes and a chance to continue conversations with ed tech community members. The first 100 guests to arrive will receive a free drink ticket.

The Hack Education After Party is free for attendees, thanks to the support of conference organizers and sponsors:

Sunday, June 28th, Global Education Day:  An extension of our annual Global Education Conference, Global Ed Day at ISTE is proving to be super-popular. In our third year, last year we had to get a room that would accommodate 250 attendees, and we still had to turn away close to 100 people at the door. This year ISTE was generous enough to provide us with a room for 400, and even so we are already in wait-list status. A good problem to have, but tough for those who can't attend... You can still get on the waiting list here, and more information is here and here. (Do come by and say hi to us at our booth in the Global Poster Area after the Sunday keynote.) Special thanks to sponsor VIF International Education.

Monday, June 29th, Slam Poetry – The Education Experience:  Join us from 5:30–6:45 pm in room PCC 113BC as students from the Philly Youth Poetry Movement do a mini-poetry slam on education. (This is a Birds-of-a-feather session.)

Tuesday, June 30th, Technology & True Learning - Ed Tech to Liberate Learning or Enforce Compliance?: Join us from 5:15–6:30 pm in room PCC 103A, Table 1, for a conversation about the core values of ed tech. (This is a Birds-of-a-feather session.)

All Conference, Bloggers' Cafe: look for signs for the ninth-annual bloggers' cafe gathering area, and find folks to have great conversations with. The Bloggers' Cafe is a location set aside by ISTE as one of their "lounge" areas for the conference, and is open the full duration of the conference. Often filled well-beyond the seating capacity generously provided, it becomes base camp for some, a landing place for others. The "BC" can often be intimidating to the beginner as they recognize the names of well-known bloggers or social media folks--but the name of the game in the BC is "EVERYONE'S WELCOME!" If someone doesn't notice you or introduce you to the group they are with, it's not for lack of manners, it's just because they are so involved--so please, introduce yourself!

OK, so there you have it. If you're going to Philadelphia for ISTE, I hope to see you and that you enjoy the conference and our events. If you're not going to ISTE, I know it's not fun to get this kind of an email. We feel your pain. Because these events are so very much face-to-face oriented, they don't get broadcast; but do remember we have a lot of other events on that are broadcast, and we'll "see you online" soon!

Steve Hargadon
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