Crowdsourcing #ISTE14

The long awaited ISTE conference has arrived. For those not yet in the know, ISTE stands for the International Society for Technology in Education and once a year they run the largest educational technology conference in the world with more than 15,000 participants, presenters, and exhibitors. This year's conference is in Atlanta and began today. As someone who is Shomer Shabbat and greatly values the peace and serenity that Shabbat gives me to be immersed in family, prayer, and Torah and unplug for 25 hours, I was not able to be in attendance today. I will be leaving early Sunday morning to arrive, hopefully, by lunch time.

One of the greatest challenges of a conference of this scope is there are so many must-see people, sessions, and exhibitors that one cannot possibly accomplish it all. Looking at my tentative schedule of favorite events, I am already double and triple booked for many time slots. Furthermore, there are those who cannot attend the conference this year for various reasons but wish to follow it virtually. What is the best way to be in more than one place at once or a virtual participant in the proceedings? Of course there is always Twitter where you can follow the #ISTE14 hashtag or #ISTE2014. I will be tweeting myself throughout the conference using the #ISTE14 hashtag. I like the fact that it has 2 less precious characters than #ISTE2014. However, Twitter with its 140 character limit can only give you so much information about the different sessions.

For this reason, I am trying an experiment. I have created a Google spreadsheet that is available for anyone in the world to edit without a sign in. The purpose of this spreadsheet is for people to post their notes from the various sessions they attend. What I like about this spreadsheet model is that it allows one to take notes using any online tool, Google Docs, Evernote, Windows 365 etc. Any tool that lets one share a public link will work with this system. Also, the spreadsheet is sortable by notetaker, session etc. It is my hope that through this blog post and my tweeting that this crowdsourced note-taking model takes off and this becomes a useful method to follow the proceedings.

So if you are at ISTE, please help out. Click on the following link: ISTE 2014 Session Notes and start sharing your notes to help yourself and anyone else who may benefit from learning about the various sessions. I have also embedded the spreadsheet below so hopefully we can all watch it grow in the next three days as we add to the knowledge base of the latest innovations in educational technology to the benefit of all.