ISTE is just around the corner, and it’s in Texas this year! I loved Nicholas Provenzano’s post about ISTE tips, so I thought I’d share a few of my own.
- Bring a re-usable water bottle. Texas is HOT in the summer, ya’ll. Most conference centers have water inside, but if you bring your own bottle, you can refill it and take it with you on your walk back to the hotel.
- Make a plan. Pick sessions (and back up sessions) ahead of time. Be flexible about running to a different session at the last minute, but you really need to pick some “must attend” sessions before you even leave home. (See this helpful ISTElib guide if you are feeling a tad overwhelmed.)
- Visit the Playgrounds! The playground sessions are super fun and mostly not run by vendors. Play with gadgets and concepts and move on when you are ready. (Plan these too, they change up by time and by day! I missed the STEAMPUNK playground last year and I’m still sad about it.)
- Attend workshops. They might seem pricey, but most workshops come with free SWAG. (And if they don’t, you’ll still get your money’s worth in learning.) I’m pretty excited to help Jie Qi with this paper circuit workshop.
- Stay and play! If you attend a maker session and it is hands-on…. STAY AND MAKE STUFF! The best way to learn about maker education is to immerse yourself in it. I love attending hands on sessions and learning with my peers. In fact, I’m pretty stoked about attending a #computationaltinkering workshop with the infamous Tinkering Studio peeps and Mitch Resnick. (#makered #fangirling)
- Say hi to tweeps! If you see someone you follow on Twitter, don’t be afraid to say hello. It might seem weird, but it is actually fun to meet your tweeps face to face.
- Sign up for evening parties. Don’t go overboard, but sign up for fun parties/dinners/drinks/etc. (Like maybe this Maker Ed one on Monday night…. ) Networking is one of THE BEST things about ISTE.
- Eat tacos. Eat tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. REPEAT. In Texas we take our tacos seriously. And don’t ask for Tabasco sauce. Just. Don’t. (Salsa and Sriracha are acceptable Texas taco accoutrements.)
- Take breaks. Don’t overdo it. Take sit down breaks to catch up on social media, or just chill for a bit. ISTE is HUGE and there are so many people. It can seem really overwhelming. So ask a friend to go get an iced coffee and chill on the riverwalk for awhile.
- Visit the Alamo! Take an afternoon, go visit the Alamo, check out other cool San Antonio stuff (list one or list two), and save your river-walking for the evening when it’s not as hot outside.
Did I forget something? Post your own suggestions for surviving ISTE (or attending sessions) in the comments.