Attending ISTE 2012 is like drinking from a fire hose. With so much to take in, it’s important to schedule some time to relax and recharge. ISTE provides several comfy gathering areas where attendees can connect on a variety of interests and topics.
The following is a brief description of the seven networking lounges, most of which are located in the Sails Pavilion near ISTE Central:
Bloggers Café: The Bloggers Café, now in its fifth year, is a gathering place for established ed tech bloggers and social media personalities as well as beginners. “The Bloggers Café is this really friendly hangout where I think some of the best educational minds can meet up,” said Kevin Honeycutt, a Blogger Café regular. “You have these million dollar conversations there because there is no script. If a great conversation happens at ISTE for me, it usually happens in the bloggers lounge.”
Advocacy Lounge: This is the place to learn how to advocate for education change on local, state, and national levels. Managed by the Ed Tech Action Network (ETAN), visitors to the advocacy lounge can send an email and video message to the U.S. Congress to support technology in education.
ISTE Unplugged: Originally conceived as a “fringe festival” to run concurrently with the ISTE conference, the ISTE Unplugged Lounge now features informal presentations during the three full days of the conference. To sign up or watch the live webstream visit the wiki page for ISTE LIVE!
Global Connections Lounge: Staffed by volunteers from the WORLD TRADE CENTER San Diego (WTCSD), the Global Connections Lounge provides multilingual support and information for attendees from across the globe. According to Elyse Cornett, intern at WTCSD, “We are a wealth of knowledge on the San Diego area and on multicultural issues.”
Newbie Lounge: The experienced ISTE attendees staffing the Newbie Lounge are in the know. Stop by the lounge to discover sessions that fit your needs, pair up with an experienced mentor, or make lunch plans with a new member of your professional learning network.
Social Butterfly Lounge: Interested in learning about new apps for education? Not sure how to use Skype as a learning tool? Concerned about student privacy when using social media tools? The Social Butterfly Lounge is a place for educators to discuss and learn about social media. With presenters scheduled for informal presentations throughout the day, this lounge is a great place to learn about new tools and teaching techniques.
Leadership Lounge: The inaugural ISTE Leadership Conference is still a few months away, but visitors to the Leadership Lounge can get a sneak peek at ways administrators and CTOs will learn to maximize the effectiveness of ed tech. Conference attendees can submit their questions for education leaders for a chance to win a Kindle Fire. The Leadership Lounge Leadership Lounge is located in the Technology Infrastructure Pavilion (TIP) inside the exhibit hall.