That statement resonated with me in many ways. At present I resemble Miriam's remark as I am intentional in my professional learning and growth, an information omnivore at times. But I was struck by this statement and was in awe of this woman next to me who was a voracious learner. I can only hope to have her hunger for knowledge and connection when I am 73. We talked at length about how much we both love technology and our devices, so I encouraged her to start a blog and share her amazing story. She laughed and said I was probably the 45th person who had encouraged her to blog. Then Miriam looked at me and quietly said that she had written a book once, it was titled, The Courage to Be Real. I told her it was the perfect title for her blog.
My ISTE experience began with an inspiring and meaningful conversation that formed a new friendship. I walked off the plane in San Diego feeling confident that I would make the most out of ISTE. Miriam gave me that extra push, the courage to be real, to be open to the unknown experience that was before me. I met so many friendly, charismatic, welcoming, talented people and shared amazing experiences and stories with them. My new learning is tremendous and will have lasting impact on my professional practice. Presenting my poster station about student blogging was exhilarating and satisfying to engage in professional and pedagogical conversation. ISTE was a place where we all spoke the same language and were passionate and enthusiastic about the same things. I loved the energy each morning as a new day of eager learning began.
As I waited for the airport parking shuttle at 2:30am this morning, a gentleman and I were discussing our flight's hour wait on the tarmac when we realized we had both attended ISTE. Our mutual excitement led to yet another meaningful conversation. My ISTE experience is wrapped in a tapestry of remarkable conversations held on common ground and in unexpected ways.
I am leaving ISTE with a remarkable PLN who are all so truly supportive and inspiring, and taking with me a deep appreciation for the courage to be real. I am so grateful for having connected with Tracy Watanabe, Joan Young, Jerry Blumengarten, Rurik Nakerud, Jena Sherry, Paula Naugle, Lisa Sjogren, Heidi Ellis, Matt and Dan at Kidblog, Angela Seits, and Caroline Haebig. I can't wait to see you all again at #ISTE13!
Miriam and I have a lunch date planned and we'll be setting up her new blog.