I used to be a really big fan of virtual PD. Until the pandemic, when all I ever experienced was virtual PD. Not to say that sitting in my office or my bed or on my couch being talked at wasn’t useful, it just grew old extremely quickly. The pandemic taught me something about professional development: appreciate the moments you get to hang out with your tribe to do your learning.
appreciate the moments you get to hang out with your tribe to do your learning.
So, gingerly and with much joy, we are returning to live PD! As always, my June is filled with much to do (New Adventure Alert: I got a new job! More later) So, all the training, learning and assorted professional development this month is so anticipated as I’ll be in rooms full of other human beings, talking in real time, with all sorts of side conversations and momentous experiences. To top it all off, I’m going to New Orleans for the first ISTE Live event in 3 years. YES!
With this in mind, I’d like to take a moment to prepare any noobs coming this year on the best way to prepare for this experience. Yes, you need to pack summer clothes because, well, it’s New Orleans in June. (I used to live there, trust me, no long sleeves needed) Because the venue will be air conditioned, however, I do recommend a sweater or two to kill that chill.
As far as electronic devices are concerned, I recommend the following:
- A backpack or satchel to haul your stuff around in. I’ve seen people with rolling bags; I think they kinda get in the way unless you’re carrying things for an exhibit or session you’re participating in (as I did in ’19. I was so glad to hide that thing away)
- A laptop, preferable one that is pretty lightweight as you’ll be carrying it around in your satchel or backpack and don’t want things to get too heavy on your shoulders.
- A tablet, just in case you need to draw or write longhand or if you’re the sort that doesn’t carry a laptop around.
- Your phone, because, you need to be able to tweet your little heart out and take pictures of you and all your cool new ISTE friends, get contact data from people, among other things.
- All the assorted cables, cords and chargers to go with these devices. I’m also bringing my wireless charger for my phone, to charge in my hotel room overnight. That will free up an HDMI port on the nightstand.
- I always carry a surge protector strip. At least once a day, I find an outlet usually against a wall, plug in and become the best friend of everyone passing by. “Oh, may I PLEASE charge my phone for a few minutes?” Sure. BTW, my name is……
- A water bottle, with water in it of course.
My backpack has an internal cable plug. I bought a portable charging unit and am able to charge as I go. That’s how I keep my phone going all day. I do recommend getting one. I purchased this one a few years ago: Anker Portable Charging Unit
Other stuff you might want to pack:
- Lip Balm
- A hat if you’re walking around outside alot
- An umbrella (it usually rains about 2pm daily… the science geeks can explain why)
- A good pair of walking shoes (gym shoes, sandals, whatever)
- That sweater I mentioned earlier
- A supply of masks (cus, dammit, it ain’t over yet, and the only thing I want to bring back with me is new knowledge.)
I think that’s it! If you see me wandering around, say hello. (I’ve decided to wear my locs in a Mohawk style, so, look for the weirdo) If I’m not in a daze, I’ll say hello back to you! If you aren’t going to the live event this year (#NotAtISTE22) I’ll trying to keep you posted on what I’m learning. Just check my Twitter. I plan to be more “extroverted” this year. HA.