Humbled and Grateful

This year's ISTE 2016 Conference was unbelievably successful, (which I expected) yet incredibly humbling, (which I hadn't expected)

My hopes going into ISTE2016, where pretty similar to my past conference objectives.  

1.  Connect with new amazing educators
2.  Connect with the many friends and colleagues, I have cultivated over the years.  
3.  Learn about the upcoming trends
4.  Generate new ways of thinking about Edtech based on the various sessions, keynotes, playgrounds, poster projects.
5.  Make this year's Games and Simulation/ Virtual Environments Playground better than ever.

Well, without a doubt, I can say "Mission Accomplished" for my goals going into the conference.
However, things changed drastically on Monday Afternoon! (for the better)

For those who aren't familiar, there is an awards ceremony, hosted by ISTE CEO, Brian Lewis, and ISTE President Kecia Ray. It is a wonderful event where you can see, meet, and applaud amazing educators from all over the world.

There are individual Teacher Awards (i.e. Young Educator Award), School Awards, The President's Volunteer Award, and lastly, the "Oscars" of Edtech awards, the Making IT Happen Award.
It is such a fantastic event to be a part of because within an hour and a half see and meet some of the most engaging and energetic leaders in educational technology. As the Making IT Happen Awards were being announced Mila Fuller (ISTE's Upcoming President) from started to talk about, "The Department of Wild and Ideas" which has been my Motto for quite some time. I was literally in shock as she started to read off a list of my accomplishments. I have never considered myself in the same league as all the others I have seen win this prestigious award. So when I went to have my jacket put on the stage, I really was unbelievable nervous. I can't even remember to much of my mumbling acceptance speech. I tried to convey that what has made a difference for me was the project that involved the Diary of Anne Frank. Anne's inspiration gave me the mindset that I needed to start my educational endeavours with the focus of helping others and not myself, that put me on the trajectory to start doing innovative and creative projects to empower students and teachers.
There were so many great leaders in the audience that have directly inspired me, and I really should have thanked all of them.  It's so rare you get such an amazing collection of educators in one place. 

I am so grateful and honored. While the jacket is such a great recognition, wearing it makes me feel like I have so much more to do!

Thank you ISTE, Thanks so much everyone for inspiring me.
Good buddy Scott Merrick

Kathy Schrock and me!

The Jacket!

ISTE President Elect Mila Fuller, who introduced my award.

Kari Stubbs from Brain Pop