Thursday, June 28, 2012

#ISTE12 - Relationships, Connections, & Conversations

I am starting off my posts on ISTE by focusing on what I think it most important: relationships, connections, and conversation. By far the best part of ISTE was connecting with people I have been chatting with online for the last 6 months in person.  

I'm normally a huge picture-taker, but for some reason I didn't really take many pics this week :(. I'm kinda disappointed in myself that I don't have pictures with all the amazing people I met!

Also, these pictures also serve to prove that yes, I have brown hair.  I've always had brown hair :).
Some of you may be wondering what my "blonde hair" tweets were about.  My husband knew how excited I was to meet my tweeps in person, but the last thing he said to me before we left was, "You know that nobody is going to recognize you because they are all going to think you have blonde hair".  I kinda laughed and didn't believe him. So we made a little bet about how many people would think I had blonde hair. And I think my husband won.  Oh well :) I took him to In-N-Out when I got home. And made him breakfast this morning :)

Case in point: On Sunday, I was walking to the conference and saw a guy walking in front of me. I thought it looked a little like Brian Bennett (twitter: @bennettscience Blog: ), but you can never tell from people’s twitter pictures what they really look like [hence the blonde hair controversy].  So, when we both were stopped at the stoplight I made some friendly conversation and as soon as I heard him talk, I knew it was him (must be that Indiana accent??).  So, I said, “Are you Brian Bennett?” (I must have sounded like a stalker :)). Then I said, “I’m Crystal Kirch”.  Brian then says, “I thought you had blonde hair”.  That was only the beginning...

Sometimes I think we "celebritize" these people in our heads when we don't actually know them in person.  This week only served to remind me how real these people are and how blessed I am to have them in my PLN.  They truly are brilliant, amazing, fabulous, rock-star, and so incredibly fun :)

So, here are a few of the amazing people I met, either for a short time or throughout the week.  I've linked their twitter handles and blogs so you can follow them as well!

Owly Images Owly Images
Eric Pitt from MentorMob. I've been chatting with Eric for the last 6 months or so, and it was great to finally put a real face to a name. Eric and the rest of his team are a blast to be around!
And, of course, the rest of the MentorMob Team (with two other MentorMob Innovators that were at ISTE). (R to L) Vince, Kristin, Erin, Charles, Eric, and James.
Taylor Pettis (twitter: @tpettis) from  I've also been working with Taylor the last 6 months and have even done a couple of webinars (May and June) as well as contributed to their Flipped Classroom Certification program.  Taylor was super busy at his Sophia booth (giving away awesome free t-shirts!) but we got to chat a few times.  I am glad that next time we chat I will actually know who I am chatting with!
“The Nerdy Teacher” (twitter: @thenerdyteacher blog: )  and “Cybraryman” (twitter: @cybraryman1  Blog: )  – Two people that I follow on twitter.  Cybraryman has an awesome website with so many great resources.

Jodi Kerble (twitter: @fabmathtutor blog: and  Pam Patterson (twitter: @PamLPatterson blog: ) two amazing math teachers!  We ran into each other at the #edchat booth and ended up talking for a while and then going to dinner.  It is amazing that even though we come from very different schools, we still deal with the same things and could share our experiences.

I also ran into Jodi at the EdTech Karaoke Rooftop Party on Tuesday night, so of course we had to PhotoBooth it!

Dan Spencer (twitter: @runfardvs website: and creator/curator of one of the best Flipped Classroom resource pages I have found here.  It was great to meet Dan and be able to chat for a bit - he's so friendly and fun!  Help him out by giving him your examples of how you personalize learning in your classroom here.

My favorite Canadian Flippers! Graham Johnson (twitter: @math_johnson blog: and Carolyn Durley (twitter: @okmbio blog:, the hosts/creators of #canflip.  We got to spend quite a long time together throughout the week and it was wonderful share ideas, stories, and thoughts from our "flipping" life :)

Kristin Daniels (twitter: @kadaniels blog: ) was one of the first #flipclass people I met at the Flipped Learning Network partner booth in Sails Pavilion. I was very disappointed to miss her Flipped PD session with Wayne Feller (twitter: @fellbop), but the doors literally closed 20 minutes before the session began because it was so full!  Kristin is one of those people who you feel you already know as soon as you walk up to her... and she had no problem making fun of my color coding addiction :)

And of course, I got to hang out with my amazing colleagues that came to the conference with me.  Here we are at the EdTech Karaoke Rooftop Party:

My colleague Margaret and I made the front cover of the ISTE Daily Leader on Tuesday...

Some other #flipclass tweeps I met, that I so wish I took pictures with!
  • Jon Bergmann (@jonbergmann) and his wife, Kris. It was an honor to finally meet Jon in person - he is so friendly and humble!  Check out his blog and great resources at I now have two copies of his & Aaron Sam's book "Flip Your Class" so I can't wait to read one and share one!
  • Aaron Sams (twitter:@chemicalsams blog: , Stacey Roshan (twitter: @buddyxo blog:, and Jac De Haan (twitter: @techwithintent blog: ), and Ramsey Musallam (twitter: @ramusallam Blog:  ). Four amazing #flipclass folks!  It was great to connect with them for a little bit.
  • Troy Cockrum - Troy does the Flipped Learning Podcasts that I have really been enjoying, so it was great to meet him in person as well.  We got to chat on several occasions.
  • Kari Arfstrom - Executive Director of the Flipped Learning Network. It was kind of funny when I met her because I had seen her all last week virtually at #flipcon12 that I knew exactly who she was that I almost forgot we had never actually met!
  • Michael Schultz (twitter: @schultzwjhs blog: - Michael is a Middle School Math Teacher in Arizona.  We've chatted on Twitter on several occasions this year, so it was great to spend a little time chatting in person.
  • Chris Long (@clonghb) from HBUHSD.  Chris and I connected last week via twitter.  I don’t know how he found me in the crazy Networking Lounge, but he came up to me near the #edchat booth and we were able to talk about the flipped classroom quite a bit.
  • Troy Stein from Techsmith. I met Troy a few months ago when he came and filmed my classroom, so it was great to see him again.  He is so full of energy and ideas - the passion he has for his career overflows in everything he does!! It's inspiring!  I also got to meet some others from the Techsmith team, including Dave and Rachael! So great to meet them :)
  • Tina Moricz, a 4th and 5th grade science teacher from Arizona.  I went to the “Kickoff Celebration” on Sunday afternoon and was in a room with thousands of people.  So, of course, we started talking to people around us before it began and introducing ourselves to them.  I introduced myself to the two ladies in front of me and after I said my name, one of them said, “Kirch? As in Flipping with Kirch? I read your blog!”  Turns out it was Tina, who commented on my ISTE post a few days ago about coming and hoping to run into me.  What are the chances we would be sitting right next to each other?? It’s such a small world. Tina is launching a new blog soon at

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