It's been an interesting few months for ISTE's 2010 conference keynote project. We have seen twists and turns (what happened to Kevin Honeycutt?), candidates such as Jeff Piontek that were surprising (at least to much of the edublogosphere), more than a wee bit of snarkiness, and, unfortunately, some allegations of vote rigging and some downright rudeness. All in all, it's been very similar to a political election!
Well, it's over. Jeff Piontek has been named as the winner. In many ways, I don't envy him. Now the pressure is on him to deliver a keynote that appeals to the thousands of diverse personalities that will attend ISTE in Denver. In addition, he has to give what may be the most scrutinized ISTE keynote ever. From all accounts, it appears that he will rise admirably to the occasion.
As most of you know, I supported Chris Lehmann for this keynote process. I have no regrets that Jeff was named instead and am looking forward to his keynote (I don't have anything against Jeff; I've never met him; I just know that Chris is great). He may be relatively unknown to the edublogosphere (and I, too, wish he was a more visible user of social media since he writes about and advocates for it), but by all accounts he's a fantastic leader who's doing amazing things for kids in his school organization. In the end, that's all I wanted for the keynote to affirm the importance of leadership and, if possible, to represent the administrators like Jeff and Chris that are creating the new future of P-12 schools.
I challenge those of us in the edublogosphere to leave our preconceptions at home. Jeff deserves an honest chance to win our hearts and our minds rather than us prejudging him before he even gets a chance to speak.
Thoughts on ISTE's process
I'm still not sure how to think about ISTE's process. During Round 2, when we were able to discuss candidates, Chris was the clear leader. During Round 3, when we were not able to discuss candidates, Jeff was the clear leader. What does that mean? I have absolutely no idea.
I know others have been critical, but I'm glad that ISTE took a leap and tried this keynote crowdsourcing project. I've enjoyed observing and writing about the experiment and intend to fully enjoy listening to Jeff this June. See you in Denver!