In this episode, The Edge podcast folks share some of their best tips to thrive at ISTELive. They also share sessions they are excited to see, sessions they are excited to deliver, and the magic of the Wawa!
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Georgia Terlaje: [00:00:00] It's Time for the Edge, a podcast from the Its D Community leaders. If you're an educator, administrator, or anyone in the field of education, this podcast is for you. Throughout our upcoming episodes, its D Community Leaders will present stories of those who are engaged in the challenging, yet fulfilling work of education.
Today we're gonna talk about our favorite conference. Its D 2023 live. , we're so excited, , everyone's getting ready and in a kind of kerfuffle trying to get ready to get out of town.
I'm one of your community leader hosts, Georgia Slahi. I'm a TK five instructional coach and educator of 34 years, who's currently on summer vacation. So I apologize for not having complete thoughts. And here, and I'm here with my favorite partner in crime, Jessica Pack.
Jessica Pack: Thank you, Georgia. I'm so excited.
It's summer vacation. I'm Jessica Pack, a middle school teacher and ti author, and I'm so excited for today's episode [00:01:00] because big drum roll. We have our very favorite person, producer, Matt Winters. Thanks for, , coming and having a conversation today. Matt.
Matt Winters: Absolutely. I am usually the silent partner on this endeavor and I'm excited to be out and talking about Isti Live 2023.
, and I gotta echo you, Georgia, it's, I I think everyone's brains are a little bit fried right now, cuz the end of the school year. But then add in those of us who are presenting. Multiple times at the conference or across the country as well at other places where our brains kind of get scrambled a little bit.
But I'm excited to talk and hear all about what you guys think about Isti and all the things that are coming up here at the conference.
Georgia Terlaje: And, and truth be told, Matthew, you are our hope for complete sentences. I know Jessica and I were talking earlier about summer vacation brain, and yet you're our hope.
So maybe between the three of us, we can get complete thoughts
Matt Winters: across. Sounds good. I'll do my best to form complete sentences for us. So, Jessica, , let's start, , I saw your schedule, [00:02:00] you and Georgia are jam-packed, but you haven't been to, Philly before and you are a featured voice this year.
Like, you've got a lot going on. So what's your, what are you most excited about for next week?
Jessica Pack: I am most excited just for the STI Live experience. Like I love the energy that's there in New Orleans, it was just contagious to be walking around and talking to people and hearing all these great ideas. So I'm really excited to, you know, be able to talk about what we love movie making.
, we have in particular a session I'm really stoked about on Tuesday. It is culturally relevant movie making, and that's in one 20 BC Convention Center, which is in Hall G building three, according to the map on the Isti, , , app, which I consumed fervently last night trying to figure out the, , Crazy looking
Georgia Terlaje: floor plan there.
Jessica Pack: , one session I'm really, really excited about, which, , you know, How much do I [00:03:00] love going to isti and hearing from people that we don't normally get to hear from. , but it's called Video Vision and it's about video creation for multiverse instruction, and that's from our friend Erica Sandstrom and Amanda Fox and I have been an admirer of their work for quite some time and I'm really excited to hear them live.
So I signed up for that Creation Lab and I think you signed up for it too, Georgia.
Georgia Terlaje: I believe I did, and I'm excited to, , actually get to meet some people in real life that we've been working with over Zoom for the last few years. So Erica is one that we think is probably like a sister from another mother or something, because we vibe so well on Zoom.
I'm sure in real life it could be dangerous. So it's gonna be fun not only to learn from her, but also get to meet her in real life. So that's exciting. What are you
Jessica Pack: excited about, Matt?
Matt Winters: , I'm just excited to go. I'm looking at your guys' schedule and I'm going, oh man, I'm missing some of the, [00:04:00] the big highlights here.
There's some really good sessions. You guys are doing some amazing sessions as well, but, , I'm really excited as always for the main stage. I hope everyone who listens to this takes the time to go to the main stage.
We have some people from, , Abbott Elementary coming to speak and. I'm, I'm really excited for Kevin Russ this, he hosts the Hard Fork Podcast for New York Times, and it's such a good podcast, and they did a great episode about ai, so like those big names and getting to the big stage and, and seeing that every time is always super fun.
Last year, one of my favorite memories was seeing Cornell West speak, , at Isty, even if it was virtual. And so it's always nice to see those big, you know, name speakers, come to Isti and, and talk to the larger audience,
Georgia Terlaje: I just wanna piggyback on what you were saying about making time for the main stage. Like if you're making a schedule and if you've done the Itsy Bootcamp or been on Twitter and seen people say, you know, make a schedule, have a couple options, put in the main stage stuff cuz it was spectacular last year, the speakers, but also just the theatricality of like, [00:05:00] We were in New Orleans and they had some great bands and musicians to kind of like just get things going with the feel of the place.
And just to be in a room with that many passionate educators, , you just feel, you just feel that vibe of energy and don't miss it. It is completely worth it.
I think that
Jessica Pack: vibe's important for us too. Like that's probably the greatest form of teacher self-care is like taking time to reflect and slow down and be excited and rediscover your joy after the end of the year. Shenanigans. Which, you know, there was no shortage of shenanigans across America in classrooms.
I guarantee it. So it's just nice to be able to be around all of our people and feel that excitement and energy. And I
Georgia Terlaje: think sometimes we, you know, depending on where you teach, you may be in a school where. You don't have as many sort of like-minded, passionate, [00:06:00] crazy wackadoos as we tend to be. And it's nice to be in a room with people that are crazy like us and have great ideas that we can kind of pull from and that we can share.
And that really kind of helps, I think, get us going for the year. And I really do think reflecting, it's why I'm so, another reason I'm so excited to go because here's this place of all of these thousands of people that are like-minded. And, , not in a cookie cutter way, but just in the spirit of educating children and wanting what's best and finding like best instruction.
And that really excites me.
Matt Winters: I gotta agree with you a hundred percent, Georgia. That's one of my. Like I'm, I'm looking at my schedule and I'm going, here's my presentations. And I've looked at the main stage and I've grabbed a few people that I'm really excited to go see. But most of the time, I'm just excited to wander around and find myself in weird conversations with people I haven't either seen in a really long time.
, usually a year or more. [00:07:00] Or people I've never met before. And like we can talk about their work and my work and intersections, , and then find myself in, in weird rooms where people are talking about amazing things in education. I don't know that I go with the word wackadoo, but I definitely think we're all really passionate people about what we do in education and it's always so much more fun for me to sit down for half an hour, 45 minutes, talk to someone either again, like I haven't seen in a long time, or somebody new that.
I learn from one-on-one, like, sessions are great, people are better. So I'm really excited about that
Georgia Terlaje: part. That is a great tagline. I think ti should make t-shirts with that.
Matt Winters: It's not mine, it's Dan Riders, but it's definitely a really good one. I, I, I think that more people needed to adopt that mindset of, it took me a few years, like I, I went to ti starting in 2017 or 2018 and I went, I gotta hit all these sessions.
I gotta go to all these places and. Over the time I went, it's more about just sitting down and I, I mean, I haven't [00:08:00] met you two in person yet, and I'm really excited to have a conversation with you two at some point, so. Oh, us too. Yeah, so it sees a huge conference. Jessica and I were talking a little bit earlier about.
The, the format of the building in Philadelphia, which is a massive space. So we've all been to national conferences before. What are our best tips for surviving a big conference like this? , keeping your mental health and your physical health, like kind of where you need it to be.
Georgia Terlaje: Well, I said before when we were doing the bootcamp episode with Greta and, , Stephanie, , shoes, pick the right shoes for heaven's sake.
You know, don't go pretty, go comfy. I.
Jessica Pack: I totally don't wanna, like, this is an aside. Did you see like some of those adorable shoes people are wearing on Twitter? Yes. That they're like sharing left, right? Yes. Some of those shoes I look like. I look at them and I think I would die [00:09:00] if I wore them
Georgia Terlaje: well, especially those, that gal from Staten Island with the giant gold.
It's like I, I would literally die because I would fall off of them and break an ankle or something. But I
Jessica Pack: mean, it's squa goals. I would totally, if I could, if I was capable, but I would, I couldn't. And so know thyself and myself. I am flip flops like that's me.
Georgia Terlaje: And it'll work in case it's raining because the weather right now is, well, okay, here's full, full disclosure.
So I was raised in South Jersey, I'm in Jersey Shore right now, and they always say, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change. So if you're looking at the weather in Philly, wait five minutes, it could change, but it looks like there could, we could be having some rain. So flip flops would be good in the rain.
Matt Winters: I'm wearing, I got a brand new pair of super comfy Tom's boots and I'm so excited to like spend the whole week just wandering around Philly and put like 50 or a hundred miles on them cuz it's just like,[00:10:00] I put 'em on the first time, I was like, yep, these are the shoes. They're like walking on air. , I love that though.
Shoes are so important. You're gonna be walking a ton. I think the first year at ti I did like 11 miles in one day or something like that. It's so easy to, to rack up those miles, especially if you're staying somewhere or farther away from the conference center. , I would also say like food and water.
Conference food is always expensive, but there is the market right outside of the event center, which is really, really cool. So go check that out for sure. , lots of really great food options over there for pretty much anybody, but have a water bottle and make sure you leave it empty before you go through security at the airport, because they will take it away from you.
But have an e having an empty water bottle where you can just like fill it up wherever you're at. That can save you a ton between, you know, sessions and those sorts of things. I've
Jessica Pack: definitely got the water bottle going on. , and it's like fresh space for all the stickers from the expo hall. It's like super excited.
It's like a laying on
Georgia Terlaje: the stickers blank
Jessica Pack: canvas. But I'm also [00:11:00] packing snacks this year because I found last year that the schedule was so tight that there was like, End of the day, I would just be like ravenous and completely like weak feeling. And I was like, what's wrong? And I was like, oh yeah, I haven't really eaten anything since like seven this morning.
So I think having little snacks in your bag is a good idea too.
Georgia Terlaje: Completely agree. Some like protein stuff. , another thing that I put on my phone that I think came off of Twitter or the bootcamp was, , I think it's called Popple, P o p l, where you can do your digital business card on there. And so if you meet people, you wanna share information, it's just a QR code they can scan and it, you know, it's whatever information you wanna give out, your social handles, your, , email, your, , Phone number, all that kind of stuff, which makes it easier than, you know, digging around for cards or other things.
Matt Winters: Absolutely having some way to, like, I have business cards cuz of my day job, but like being able to hand out something or like [00:12:00] quickly scan something to connect with people is so awesome. But also follow up with those people. My first year I went to Esti, I was worried about emailing somebody after I talked to 'em and would they think I'm weird but.
If somebody hands you a business card or says, contact me, most of the time what they're meaning is contact them and you can really develop some cool relationships with that, that person with maybe a larger community because of that. , so I would definitely recommend having like, like I said, this popple card or like a Q QR code or like a business card or whatever you might have.
But then also make sure that you're handing 'em out pretty liberally and communicate with people that you're, you're excited to talk to 'em, , cuz there's some really cool relationships you can blend from that. I do have to say like, one of the best parts of Isti is like getting to hang out with people at night.
, I'm looking at your guys' schedule. , I noticed you're going to a couple parties. There's a couple things going on. , what do you guys think about night events? Is that something that you try to attend and what, what experiences have you had with them in the past? Cuz it's kind of a, I always think of it as like a traditional [00:13:00] thing at HISD as well.
Jessica Pack: So for myself, I haven't really done night events before, so I'm kind of excited to give that a try. And we're very like in for a penny, in for a pound type people, so we were like, let's try night events every night. , but I, I think I'm excited to just be able to be a little more informal with people and focus on building relationships and, you know, just having fun.
Georgia Terlaje: And, and I'm with Jessica. Last year we didn't really do night events well, and we were in New Orleans. So I mean, I did go out every night like with my husband to like check stuff out, but not Itsty stuff. So this year I'm dragging him to the Itsty night events. , and, but I'm looking forward to it too, like Jessica said, like that informal way to kind of hang out with people and get to know people better.
And to tag off of what you had said earlier, Matt, about. Know, contacting people. That's the other thing that so impressed me last year was just how open and warm [00:14:00] everyone was. There really wasn't that sense. If you talk to anyone of, oh, why are you talking to me? You're not worthy. You know, any of the, everyone was just very open and it was just like a giant playground of like everyone you knew or you didn't know yet, but they were happy to know you.
So I, I think that just sort of helps with that. Contacting people, they're, they're very receptive.
Matt Winters: Absolutely. I, explained to a friend of mine last year that attended with me at, , new Orleans and she was like, you know, everyone. And I went, yeah, cuz I've met them previous years and I've continued those relationships and up kept them through social media or even emailing those sorts of things.
And it's, it's amazing where I think I, I can't remember whether Jessica or Georgia you said, , You might be the only person you're building that feels a certain way about education. Well, now you're in a, a room of, you know, a thousand people or 10,000 people that feel the same way about education as you do.
And it[00:15:00] stands to reason to sit down, chat with them, explore with them, and then maintain those relationships, which goes to like. Post, go to social media, go emails, go check out their websites. Like stay in contact in some way. But then also, like I, I brought up the night events because there's so many great ways to like, just meet somebody that you never would've thought you would've met, and have a conversation with them about something that you never expected to have a conversation about, which is just fantastic.
It's one of the best parts of going to conferences.
Georgia Terlaje: You're hosting one of those nights, right? You're doing game
Matt Winters: night? Yeah, I, I got lucky enough to be asked by Eric Kurtz and Dan Ryder to co-host a, a game night, , which is on Tuesday night from six to. Question mark. I think it's like 11 or 12:00 PM So come, come on by if you, you want a late night thing?
, we're just, we did it at the, the conference I host locally here in Utah called You Set, , where Eric and Dan were at, and they both really enjoyed board game [00:16:00] night with us. And it's a kind of a Utah thing. And so Eric wanted to do it again. So we're doing a, we have a space at one of the local hotels and come on by, we're gonna, we're gonna have food, we're gonna have all sorts of stuff.
And I, it's just gonna be a, a blast of a night. So,
Georgia Terlaje: I think Jessica, and I'll have to do that. We'll grab some caffeine or something so we can stay, stay up. But that's such a great way to talk to people. You know when you have a game and it's like low stakes and you're just like hanging out, , it's a great way to get to know people.
So I think it's a fabulous idea.
Matt Winters: Yeah. , I used to interview bands as, as part of my living when I was in college, and we put people on a pedestal sometimes, and everyone is just a person and talking to 'em can be like one of the most rewarding experience and you don't know until you try it.
And so, low impact thing, like playing a board game. Absolutely. Like you're sitting across from somebody who you really respect, ask 'em about stuff. It's gonna be a really fun time. So it's exciting.
Georgia Terlaje: Very cool. I, I'd like to also encourage people coming to Philly to try some Philly things [00:17:00] like, you know, there's great food in Philly, so like, you know, try to hit the Redding market.
, it, you know, cheese steaks, you know, there's the big cheeses, steak rivalry between, and I can't remember, see you have to Google it. I think it's Gino's cheese steaks and somebody else. And one does cheese whiz and one does provolone. And so you might need to try both of those. And if you've never ever been into a Wawa.
You need to check it out because Wawa is like angels singing of convenience stores and every time my husband and I go back to the West coast, oh I see. Preaching to the choir here. , you have to experience a Wawa. It is like nothing you've ever been, you go into a seven-eleven in California, like we're Jessica and I are and you're like, why is this not Wawa?
, cause it's just so sad. But, , Wawa has everything and it generally is open 24 hours a day, so, Try it.
Jessica Pack: This is excellent advice for me because I've never been to a Wawa before. Oh, I can't wait
Georgia Terlaje: to hear your experience. [00:18:00]
Jessica Pack: I totally was like Walking Street View, like from my hotel to the convention center and I was like, oh look.
Oh Wawa. I wonder what that is. So now this makes total sense.
Georgia Terlaje: It's where you can pick up those snacks.
Matt Winters: I could not agree with you more. Ge, Georgia. I love that you brought up Wawa, cuz like literally last time it was in Philly, that was every night like 10 o'clock. I was like, I've done conference all day.
I need to eat. I'm gonna go to Wawa, get a sub and some mac and cheese. It was. It's delightful. It's the best store ever.
Georgia Terlaje: It has a legit deli in it, that's the thing. Yeah. It's a convenient store with a legit, not sketchy deli where you can get hogie or any kind of sandwiches or hot like it's I You have to experience Jessica, I cannot wait to hear your take on the Wawa
and the best pretzels, Philly soft pretzels. Wawa has the best soft pretzels.
Matt Winters: I will also throw down that if you have the time, we're within a couple blocks [00:19:00] of seeing the Liberty Bell, independence Hall going and seeing some American history. Like even if you just go for a nighttime or a late evening, walk down to Independence Hall and just walk by it.
It's a beautiful space and it has this old timey feel with cobblestone streets and all sorts of stuff. First time I went to Philly, that was one of my big things that I had to go do. And it's fantastic If you have the time to go do a tour, I think they do tours of Independence Hall completely for free.
You just have to sign up in advance for 'em. So, and it's pretty
Georgia Terlaje: cool to see it cuz it's really set up exactly the way it was when they signed the Declaration of Independence. I mean, from the chairs where people were sitting like the whole thing. So it's. Pretty impactful. , I know my husband and I booked a Viator tour on Saturday night, , a double decker bus tour of Philly just to kind of get the feel of the city.
So that's something, you know, if you don't have a lot of time but you're in on Saturday, you can check out, you know, a quick little bus tour around town to see where things are and it will go by the Liberty Bell and all that kind of stuff. [00:20:00]
Matt Winters: Absolutely. , I'm so excited. I can't wait. It's just a couple days away.
, any last thoughts, any last things that we need to know about SD 20 for 23?
Jessica Pack: I think we would be remiss without drawing attention to the fact that the most compelling, exciting session that I'm stoked for is actually coming to us from Matt Winters himself, and it is a d and d in school session, like for real.
Where else would you get that other than a C Live, Matt?
Matt Winters: It's very, very true. , I'm so excited about that session. , one of my educational, heroes slash good friends, Dan Ryder and I are running the session. It's on Tuesday at 1130. , We're gonna play live d and d, so we'll do the whole thing.
We're gonna talk about why it's important to play games with your students in class at any level. We're gonna talk about, , how to level d and d as well, like, so you could do it [00:21:00] with, you know, young, young kids or middle schoolers, or play pure d and d with your high school students, , and make your own game and those sorts of things you don't have to stick with, warlords and dragons and things like that, you can do some really fun stuff differently. , and then, , we're gonna play live. , so if you're a d and d fan or if you're just into gaming or you just wanna see, , Dan and I run around talking about d and d for an hour, which is gonna be really, really fun.
, drop by, I'm not sure which room it is, but it's on the schedule. You can look it up. I'm sure we're probably very, very few people are saying d and d in their, their. Description, so jump in with us. So I'm excited. Thanks Jessica. That's very kind of you.
So yeah, I'm super excited about that session, but there's some really cool sessions that if you're listening to this, you may not have ever heard of. They're called Expo sessions, but, , Jessica, Georgia, you guys have a bunch of those.
What are expo sessions? Tell us a little bit about those and tell us a little bit about your expo sessions this year.
Jessica Pack: Well, I feel like expo sessions are kind of like [00:22:00] the underground, , super secret sessions that you wouldn't necessarily see in the program for Isti Live. But, you know, just walking around the expo hall, a lot of the different companies have like demo spaces with, , big television screens and seatings and you can just kind of like sit down and learn a lot from some really awesome folks.
And so, Not withstanding, Georgia and I are, , doing a couple demo sessions in the expo hall for WeVideo and we'll be talking about the brain science of storytelling and, , some different, , ways that you can integrate storytelling with your curriculum, whatever you teach, kindergarten through 12th grade.
, but there's a lot of expo sessions that I've seen popping up on, , The hashtag, , hashtag issu live on Twitter and Instagram, like following that, there's a ton of really amazing people doing amazing sessions. , somewhere in the expo hall. So I would say like in addition to the regular program, schedule some time to, you know, surf social media and [00:23:00] try to find some other stuff that you wanna go to as well.
Georgia Terlaje: I think we also have to mention playgrounds cause we really didn't talk about that. And how like if you find a playground with a topic you're interested in, that really is kind of a walk up and walk around sort of thing. It's not where you have to be there. You know, a lot of times they're scheduled for two hours.
That doesn't mean you have to be there for two hours. You can just sort of tule around and, you know, see and talk to and learn what you want and then go on to something else. So they are really, , fun and impactful and a great way to meet people as well.
Matt Winters: So, And you're presenting at the digital storytelling one?
Georgia Terlaje: We're doing Wednesday, we're doing the digital storytelling playground, and then Sunday we're doing a digital storytelling forum, and that is kind of like a playground and forum. So I think there's some conversations in the beginning around storytelling, and then there's a time built in to actually go play at the different stations.
From my understanding, That's
Matt Winters: awesome. I'm presenting at the Learning and Disguise [00:24:00] playground as well as, , the librarian, playground, but then also check out poster sessions. It's the same deal. You can meet a lot of people really quick, steal a lot of really cool information, and there's no set time to come and see them present.
It's just during that two hours you can go and see all that great material. It's a great way to capture ideas and get some really cool, work done. Well. So I'm excited. I know you guys are excited. , any last minute pieces of, , amazing information for our audience about Isti Live? 23? I would say
Jessica Pack: just if you see people that you recognize from social media or from other things that you consumed, like you've read their book or you know, you watch their pod, you watch their podcast on YouTube or whatever it is, like, don't be afraid to go up to people and say hi, and you know, We're all excited to meet each other, so this is gonna be a super fun time.
Georgia Terlaje: And I would say rest up the next couple of days. So you're ready for, , really long days of [00:25:00] lots of fun and interaction. , I think that would be helpful.
Matt Winters: Absolutely. And I, I just, if you see any of us or if you're in one of our sessions, say hello. We'd love to sit and chat with you for a few minutes.
Jessica Pack: Well, that just about wraps up this episode of the Edge Podcast. We hope you tune in to Isti Live. If you're not at isti, follow that hashtag on social media.
And if you are at Isti Live, we're wishing you the very best conference experience. Hear from the Edge team.
My name is Jessica Pack, and you can find me at Pack Woman 2 0 8 on Twitter and Instagram.
Georgia Terlaje: And I'm Georgia Tlai. And you can find me at Georgia tlai on Twitter.
And both of us at storytelling saves the world.com.
Matt Winters: And I'm Matt Winters. You can find me on, , teacher winners on Twitter, or you can check out my website teacher winners.net for [00:26:00] all of my SD sessions. We'll have all their materials on there, which I'm very excited to share that with everyone.
Jessica Pack: behalf of everyone at Ty's the Edge Podcast, remember to keep fostering your creativity, explore your passion, and continue taking risks, all things that can bring you to the edge.