Thursday, July 14, 2022

Day One #CSTA2022

Well it was day one for me. I know that some people got in yesterday or earlier either because they were taking a workshop today or were part of the Chapter Leadership program. For me, today was about getting settled, meeting with old friend (and making some new ones), and the exhibit hall. Wow! has the exhibit hall grown. The conference as well. Apparently there are about 1700 attendees registered. I remember thinking 300 was big some years ago. Looks like about half the attendees are first timers as well. That is amazing and wonderful

My trip was good. I checked in for my flight with an app. I paid for the El (Chicago’s mass transit trains) with an app, and checked into my hotel with an app. Travel seems to be all about the apps these days.

The exhibit hall was open soon after I arrived at my hotel so I went right in after registration. Proof of vaccination is required to attend and wearing masks is required as well. I’m good with that. I hear a lot of people got COVID at ISTE and these measures make me feel safer. It seemed to work at SIGCSE!

I met many old friends while in the exhibit hall and walking around the conference. Catching up was great. We also talked about CS issues of course. So great to have people who share ideas. I couple of people I have not met in person before but who I know from social media visited with me as well. It is so good to put faces with names and be able to get to know each other. If you are at CSTA and are a blog reader or Twitter follower I would love to chat with you.

I walked through the exhibit hall several times to get a feel for what themes there are. I’ll be blogging for about that as the conference goes on but I’ll share a few first thoughts here now. Physical computing is big in the exhibit hall. Lots of robots but also many other programable gadgets. Cyber security was represented by several exhibitors as well. We really need to teach more of that in the US so I was glad to see thing. Several artificial intelligence programs were being highlighted in the exhibit hall. I want to dig into that more this conference.

Lots of curriculum providers are exhibiting which is not surprise. They’ve all be exhibiting at CSTA for several years. The companies with hardware all have curriculum as well. It’s not like the old days when people dumped some hardware and said “here. Figure out something interesting to do with this.” Progress I think.

Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon have booths as well. There is a set of swings in the Google booth (Pictures tomorrow) I’ll write about their programs as well when its not 11PM my body time after getting up at 6AM and travelling all day.

Today was everything I wanted my first day at in-person CSTA. Still more friends to meet and make and lots more to learn.

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