Learning in San Diego


I’m back from the ISTE 12 conference in San Diego! My brain has been swirling with all that I experienced at this huge technology conference. I took Pete the Cat with me to San Diego so he could get out and see the world.

I arrived on Sunday and walked over to the conference center. Imagine 10 football fields put together! That’s how big this conference center is! Believe me, I did lots of walking while I was there!

I was a little worried that since I was alone, I wouldn’t find anyone I knew in such a large place! That didn’t last long however! The first person I saw was Mrs.Jacobs from Hawaii. She leaves us comments all the time on our blog and sent me beautiful photos of exotic Hawaiian flowers during our dreary winter months. We had some fun times together while we were there!

The first keynote was on Sunday. A keynote speech is an opening speech that outlines some of the topics that will be covered during a convention.Sir Ken Robinson talked about how to encourage students to find their passion to do well in school.

 I tried to get inside the room, but it was all full. Instead I hung out at the blogger’s café with lots of other bloggers and we watched the speech on a small digital screen set up there.


Photo courtesy of ISTE.


The highlight of the day came after the speech when I meet Mrs. Morris from Australia and her husband Nate and Mrs. Yollis from California! We have been blogging buddies for two years and it was fantastic to see them in person.

 Ronnie and Sue from the Edublogs Team were there too, along with Miss Wyatt who visited us last September from Tasmania, Australia and Mrs. Watanabe from Arizona. We all went out to dinner and had a great time.

The first full day of the conference started on Monday. Boy was it crowded! Between all the conference and exhibiter people, there were over 19,000 people there! If you ever had a question, all you had to do was go to a person with an “Ask Me!” sign, and they would help you!

I spent the day going to hour long classes learning about new ideas and techniques I can use in our library in the fall. I especially like one about fun research projects and another about using Google Earth.

I had lunch with Ronnie and Sue and saw the USS Midway as we walked back to the convention center.

The USS Midway was retired from service a number of years ago and now you can take tours on board and experience what it’s like on an aircraft carrier.

We had more sessions in the afternoon and evenings were filled with social events. Most of the librarians got together on Monday where I got to meet Mrs. Miller from Iowa. Our idea for the Summer Reading Contest came from her and Mr. Schu in Illinois.


Tuesday was a repeat of Monday. Lots of workshops, classes and learning! My head will filled to the top with everything I was learning! We had another keynote and this time I got smart! I was in line at 7:30 am to get inside the conference hall to see Dr. Yong Zhao speak. I got inside this time and was way up front where I could see him up close.


Photo courtesy of John Miller


Dr. Zhao talked about how important creativity is in school. I enjoyed his speech so much, I stood in another line afterward, bought his book and got it signed too

Getting around the convention center took time and lots and lots of walking! Even with the size of the convention space, halls were crowded with everyone going from session to session.

Sometimes I couldn’t get into a class, so I hung out and talked to other teachers. Mrs. Young from the All Kids Can Flourish blog and I had some great conversations.

Outside of the classes, meeting people and talking about our schools and technology ideas was the best part of the trip. I feel so lucky to have met such wonderful people there. I look forward to showing you their blogs in the fall.


The last day of the conference was on Wednesday. Mrs. Yollis and Mrs. Morris had a class on their experiences blogging together.You can read more about their class here.


Photo courtesy of John Miller

Many of their blogging buddies were in their class and we all had our picture taken together to celebrate.Mr.Miller in the back row Skyped with us last year from his classroom in California.

Mrs. Morris brought us a gift too! BB in Australia told us about the Australian Alice Miranda book series. Even though there are many books in the series, only a couple are available here. Mrs. Morris brought us two more to add to our library! Thank you Mrs. Morris! The author, Jacqueline Harvey is going to be touring the US in the future! Hopefully we can convince her to come to meet the Bulldog Readers!

Between classes I had time to visit some of the learning stations. There were student teams showcasing projects they had done in school.


Teachers could also showcase their projects in these learning stations. Instead of sitting in a big room, a station was hands-on and you could walk right up to the teacher ask questions about their work.I hope maybe I can showcase some projects we do in the future at an upcoming ISTE convention.


I also went inside the exhibit hall! It was 5 football fields in size with over 1400 booths. I looked a little bit, but was a bit overwhelmed with the size of it all!

We had more time for conversation in the Sails Pavilion. Pictured is Mrs. Jacobs, Mrs. Watanabe and Mrs. Young.We talked a lot about blogging and collaboration.

Pete the Cat joined me for some ISTE fun too!

Before long though, it was time to say goodbye to San Diego and all the wonderful people I met there! I had such a great time and I learned so much! Look out kids, we are going to have some creative library fun in the fall! I also hope that next year when ISTE 13 comes around to San Antonio, Texas, I’ll be there too.


What do you think would be exciting about going to a convention?

What questions do you have about ISTE 12?

Who would you love to meet in person?

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16 thoughts on “Learning in San Diego

  1. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    I would really like to go to conventions because you get to learn something that you don’t know and that you get to see how hard they work. I would like to see all the teachers.
    From Alex.

    • Dear Alex,
      I have never seen so many teachers together in one place before! Imagine being with all your best school friends for a few days. It’s the same thing for us! I love going to school and learning new things. Look out! You’ll see some of those ideas in library class this fall.
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    I really enjoyed reading this post about your trip. You sure did manage to pack so much into this wonderful adventure of learning.

    Your photos were wonderful as they really did capture what it would have felt like to be there in amongst this wonderful convention I just love it!

    The best thing I love is that you Mrs Hembree you finally met up with your blogging pals Mrs Yollis and Mrs Morris plus many others bloggers.

    If had the chance I would love to meet up with YOU and Mrs Yollis now that would just be amazing. I really hope one day this can and will happen.

    Take care Mrs Hembree still have got this awful cold 🙁 Need a bit of the sun to make me feel better.

    From your pal,
    AA 🙂

    • Dear AA,
      I wish I could send you a magic potion through this blog and make you feel better. I’m so sorry to hear you are still suffering from that nasty cold.

      It took me a long time to get my post done. I tried to make a movie of all the photos with captions, but had some silly technical difficulties. In other words, I made the whole video, but forgot to push “save” along the way. Unfortunately, my computer started acting up and then poof – the video was gone.

      I decided that I would have photos with words and it would be better! This method allowed me to explain more too. I can’t even tell you how incredible it was to meet all the people in person that have contributed so much to my own learning.

      I am still hoping and crossing my fingers to find a way to get to Australia to see your family and visit Mr. and Mrs. Morris and Miss Jordan. I’d also like to go to Melbourne to see Miss Yeoman too. Such big hopes I have and somehow I will make it come true.

      I’m sending you some Seattle sunshine to make you feel better!
      Mrs. Hembree

  3. Mrs. Hembree,
    Wow…looks like you had fun and were inspired. I’m glad you got to connect with some of your fellow librarians and blogging pals. I have one of Sir Ken Robinson’s books and find him very inspiring (and funny!) now I’m going to look for Dr. Zhao’s book. How kind of Mrs. Morris to bring you the Alice Miranda books that BB likes so much…I love the art work on the book covers (I’m going have Josa check one out next year just for me…)
    Alex, I always love reading your blog comments : )

    • Dear Judy,
      Yes, you are so right! I think you would have enjoyed the keynote addresses as much as I did! Sir Ken Robinson only spoke for a short time as it was a panel discussion. I wish he had more time because he was so inspiring to listen to.
      Dr. Zhao’s book just came out at the convention. If you don’t find a copy, you are welcome to borrow mine! Dr. Zhao validated my belief that creativity is a vital portion of what makes our educational system strong. We could have a long conversation about it sometime!
      The Alice Miranda books are fun girl books. She’s almost like a modern day Nancy Drew.
      Enjoy your summer!
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Hi Mrs. Hembree!

    Your recollection of ISTE is enjoyable to peruse! There are fabulous photos here capturing your time at ISTE. I’m at another conference right now, but it does not compare to what ISTE provides. Your post reminds me of the learning and feelings I felt while at ISTE, such fantastic memories!

    Kind regards,
    Mrs. Watanabe

    • Hi Mrs. Watanabe,
      Thank you for reading my post on ISTE. It was such a fantastic experience and I am so glad to have met you in person.
      I hope you are enjoying your conference.Which one are you at now?
      I hope we can continue to learn from each other!
      Mrs. Hembree

  5. G’day Mrs Hembree,
    It was great to meet you again at the ISTE12 conference. You saw a lot more of the sessions than I did, but the ones I attended were fantastic.

    Guess who I found at the hotel when I arrived back on the last day of the conference? Check it out at http://imageaday.edublogs.org

    • Dear Miss W,
      How wonderful that Davo could join you on the last day of the conference! Perfect timing I would say.

      It was wonderful to see you again and all of the friendly Aussie teachers! You are a great group to learn from. I did attend quite a few sessions and am pleased with what I can use now in the classroom.
      Stay warm! I’ve never seen shredded worksheets used as compost before. At first I thought you can snow in one patch of the garden until I read your post.
      Mrs. Hembree

  6. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    Awesome post.

    Thank you so much for including me in your magnificent post.

    I just loved the photos of Pete the blue awesome cat.

    If I had the chance to go to the convention I would be really glad if I met my blogging pals and also doing a speech to show how much I enjoy blogging, why blogging is important for others.

    At the ISTE did you do a speech Mrs Hembree? ❓

    If you did do a speech were you nervous? ❓

    If you did not do a speech what would your topic be about? ❓

    If I had the chance to go to the ISTE I would like to meet two people and those two people are.

    Mrs Hembree and Mrs Yollis

    From your pal,


    :mrgreen: 😀

    • Dear BB,
      Everytime I read your comments you make me smile, smile, smile! You have such a gift for connecting with others! It’s going to open up so many doors for you in th future.
      I didn’t do a presentation at the conference. I hope to next year on making book trailers with students.Another fun idea would be to do a talk on making friends through blogging and I’d do that with you and Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Yollis. Wouldn’t that be fun?

      I hope you are staying warm. Mrs. Morris tells me it’s a bit chilly. We are having sunny weather finally and I am enjoying our days of sunshine.

      I’ve loving my new Alice Miranda books! I even heard from Jacqueline Harvey on Twitter one day! Very fun!

      Your blogging buddy,
      Mrs. Hembree

  7. Dear Mrs.Hembree,
    This will be the last time commenting you on your blog unless I comment back in Vietnam. Keep up the good posts and Shout out to the kids good luck. I made a song just for you and BB. Your excited for your vacation but your going to miss your friends. So make it special until you on vacation. Make it goodbye. Make it a good time in Washington. Until you get back from your fun trip. Well rely before I go to Vietnam. OK
    Your best pal Alex.
    🙂 😀

    • Dear Alex,
      I hope you have a FABULOUS time in Vietnam! Please try to take a photo of you reading there!

      I like your song and your words are so right! It’s fun to go on vacation, but sometimes it is hard to be away from your friends. Enjoy visiting your family. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

      Mrs. Hembree

  8. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    I really enjoyed reading about your trip! It sounds like it was an amazing conference and I can’t wait to hear about it. I have heard some of Sir Ken Robinson’s talks on Ted.com and I actually have my college students listen to him also. He is really inspiring. You are making me think I need to get tickets to next year’s conference! We should plan together. Thanks for posting this and adding the fun pictures. It is great to see everything you did. Your blog is amazing!
    Mrs. Adair

    • Dear Mrs. Adair,
      Maybe we should go on a walk and talk about the future! I’ll bring Reese and he can sniff all the bushes while we talk!
      ISTE was AMAZING! Yes, start saving your pennies! I am hopeful I can go again. Next year is in San Antonio!
      See you soon!
      Mrs. Hembree

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