I'm not talking about the little giveaways from the vendors, friends!
I did not pay to attend any of the formal ISTE conference. Why? 1) It's somewhat expensive. 2) I have a 5 month old.
I did, however, come to Denver for some of the conference aspects that were free!
I attended EduBloggerCon. This was my first EduBloggerCon, and I was in love with the organization of the day. People just signed up for what they want to talk about on big sheets of paper. Then, people signed the papers to show their interest in the sessions. The sessions were organized into time slots and locations and off we went to discuss!
I had some AWESOME conversations with people and also did a great deal of just listening. I was involved in conversations about personal branding (which got me thinking about what happens when you google me, but that's a whole different blog post), best practices in student blogging (check out some notes from the session here), and probably the discussion that got the most people fired up was the conversation facilitated by Jon Becker about the term PLN.
I attended two tweet ups and got to meet many people I "know" from Twitter. A tweet up sounds like a silly thing, but it was awesome to be able to sit and converse with people who have the same nerdy/educational interests as me in an informal environment and in more than 140 characters! I mean, who knew I'd end up having a conversation Google Docs at Hard Rock Cafe at 9pm on a Sunday night?
Tonight I am headed to #edchat. This weekly conversation usually happens on Twitter each Tuesday night and the topic is selected by the participants. I don't even know what the topic is, but it is always great conversation! This week, people at #iste10 are getting together to have a live #edchat!
My FREE experience at #iste10 was FULL of conversations! I know I missed out on so much by attending the actual conference, but I already told Russ that we are saving up and both attending #iste11!