Just like everything else, ISTE looked a little different this year. Instead of taking place in an expo hall/convention center, ISTE moved virtual for 2020 and stretched a few extra days.
I think the hardest thing was that ISTE was based on Pacific Time Zone which meant things started later in the afternoon and went into the evening here on the East Coast. Even so, I was able to attend a bunch of sessions and meet some awesome people. Even more interesting, after talking in the chat box of one session, I got a DM from someone I had worked with six years ago asking if I was that same Cori. It was nice to reconnect and we're now connected on Linkedin so we can stay in touch moving forward.
The virtual expo hall was truly lacking from the experience of walking up and down rows of vendors. While I did stop to "chat" with a few vendors, it was much harder to explore products when watching YouTube videos or reading PDFs compared to physically holding something. Yes, I also missed the swag, but most of the time I only keep a few key items anyway.
Overall, I missed the in-person experience and I truly hope that 2021 in Texas takes place. However, I understand that the entire world has shifted right now and ISTE did the best they could given the circumstances.
Disclaimer: As a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert (MIEE), I was fortunate to have my registration covered by Microsoft as a presenter using Microsoft tools.