Journeying towards ISTE 2011

Right now I am sitting in a hotel room in Los Angeles.

It seems odd that I haven’t blogged about this trip earlier. I’m on my way to ISTE 2011. What’s ISTE? Only the biggest technology in education conference there is! It’s HUGE! In fact, it’s so big that I’ve been too overwhelmed and scared to even select the sessions I want to attend. I know I’ll regret that this Sunday when I discover the sessions I like are all full, haha.This year the conference is being held in Philadelphia and I get to go?

So why do I get to go? Ten weeks ago I was lucky enough to be selected as one of edmodo’s ‘Featured Bloggers’. Every week since then I have written a blog post for the edmodo blog. Edmodo are sending me and four other bloggers to Philadelphia to attend ISTE as their guests! You can read all of my posts by clicking on the blog post titles below:

The D-I-Y teacher

Are You Connected Deeply?

Moving Freely Between Learning Spaces

Teaching is manic – bring it!

Innovative, Free and Easy

PBL + Edmodo = Awesome

Keeping Busy Parents ‘in the loop’

Matching learning spaces to physical and online spaces

Create a course in edmodo

Yesterday afternoon I caught a plane to LA with my husband and my two boys. We chose to fly Air New Zealand to LA via Auckland. The flight from Sydney to Auckland was, for me, terrifying. The crew were all so lovely but the turbulence was more than I could cope with. The volcanic ash cloud that had settled above New Zealand meant that Air New Zealand chose to fly at a lower altitude – making for a very bumpy ride. I was very glad to get to Auckland, despite having black lines of mascara down my face – the result of my embarrassing sobbing each time the plane shook!

I am happy to say that the flight from Auckland to Sydney was awesome. The plane was this great big new thing that Air New Zealand has decked out – it felt like we were in some chic cafe or apartment. The boys and I had a SkyCouch which was great – the boys got to lie down and sleep for 8 of the 12 hours we were flying. Once again the staff were super friendly and attentive, making sure that we were comfortable, well fed and happy. I loved this fight – it was smooth and for the most part I didn’t even feel like I was thousands of feet up in the air. This afternoon as we came through the clouds into LA I was so overwhelmed – seriously I AM IN AMERICA! This is a country I just never thought I would visit, and it is sweet being here.

So tonight we hopped on to a ‘Trolley’ and headed down to Manhattan Beach. It is so pretty there! In America you can have fires on the beach – the council even provides the fire pits. I wish we had this in Australia – seriously, what a cool thing to do on a cool summer’s evening?

The houses are a patchwork quilt of dilapidated Spanish-inspired terraces and newer more modern beach houses. The narrow streets and array of colours made me think we were in Europe rather than the US. After walking along the Manhattan Beach Pier and seeing some dolphins breaching, we grabbed some tacos as Wahoo Fish Taco. The meals were HUGE and we’ve made the decision to only order one meal between the two of us from now on. Both boys fell asleep on the trolley home.

A big day. I can’t believe I’m in the United States of America. ISTE 2011? Bring it!!

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