I’ve landed at ISTE 2014. For anyone who has never attended, this is an overwhelming conference. There are thousands of people in attendance. The conference is always in a very large city with a massive conference center. This year, Atlanta, Georgia is the spot. The Conference Center has several buildings. The conference begins on Friday and runs until Tuesday.
The start of the conference is the overview of the schedule. This is done using the Conference App. The app itself is very overwhelming. The central issue for me is which sessions can I attend.
- When are these sessions?
- Are sessions offered more than once?
- What is the session about? There are lots of overlapping sessions. There are also lots of extra pay sessions. I have mixed feelings about extra pay sessions. On one hand, I certainly understand individuals being compensated or their expertise, time, and efforts. ISTE wisely has mostly segregated these sessions to the morning of Saturday. I like that. However, notice it is “mostly”. I do wish that the paid sessions were a little more, shall I say, affordable. Lots of the sessions are in the $100-200 range for a half day session. The real truth is, that I feel that many of these sessions are things that you could fairly easily learn on your own. There is some advantage to streamlining these topics, but $100 seems pricy to accomplish that. For example, there is a session that called “Streamline your daily tasks using Google tools and scripting”. The description is: “Discover how to make everyday processes more efficient using new tools and scripts.” This session is $109-$119. The description really isn’t enough for me to make a $100 commitment. However, I may be in the minority (this session sold out). This is not to disparage this session, by the way. This is just my view.
I spent several hours going through sessions so far. I still don’t have a discrete schedule (lots of choices, with many overlapping). This is one thing that I don’t like. Sessions may run from 8:00-10:00am. Other sessions run from 8:30-9:30. Others, 8:30-11:00. I prefer straight forward, simply organized blocks of time. You know 8:00-9:00, 9:00-10:00 OR 8:00-10:00. That way, if I attend a two hour session, I know that it replaces two one hour sessions.
I can imagine that traffic flow is an issue with a conference this large though. Again, this is a huge conference with tons of things going on.