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When Wakelet went to ISTE

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We loved attending our first ISTE in Philadelphia, meeting the #WakeletWave community and taking to the stage at Flipgrid Live– it was an unforgettable experience! Here, Misbah Gedal tells the story of the trip

Sadly, our first ISTE experience is over – but what a trip we had!

When we set off from Manchester International to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia (with a quick stop in Atlanta), I didn’t know what to expect. It would be the team’s first conference in the US and my first ever time in the States. The one thing we did know was that this was going to be our greatest adventure yet!

Experiencing the #WakeletWave

We were excited to be taking part in Flipgrid Live and have a chance to meet members of the Wakelet Community, but nothing could have prepared us for the overwhelming welcome we received when we finally made it to the Philadelphia Convention Center. Within minutes of hitting the conference floor, we heard our first, ‘Oh my God! It’s the Wakelet guys!’ – a phrase we’d get used to hearing throughout the trip! Experiencing the passion and enthusiasm the educator community has for our platform first-hand was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.  As the designated team selfie taker (thanks to my freakishly long arms), I really had my work cut out!

To finally meet our Community and Ambassadors in person was a phenomenal experience – a chance to share memories, hear feedback, and most importantly make real-life connections. Callum and James proved very popular with the educator crowd and it was great to see them interacting and engaging with the people they’ve been forging relationships with on Twitter over the past year. The sense of real community we felt was powerful.

Awesome announcements

One of the highlights of our trip was the Wakelet session held by Brad, Amy, Kathi and Kristina – some of Wakelet’s first Ambassadors. Sitting in the packed-out hall and hearing how these passionate educators use Wakelet was one of the most inspiring moments of my Wakelet career so far. It also gave us the chance to see our Ambassadors doing what they do best: teach. It was incredible to see how our Ambassadors were able to create a sense of intimacy and accessibility for the audience and spread the #WakeletWave with such enthusiasm despite being on such a large stage with so many people in the audience.

Next came Flipgrid Live! Easily the biggest event of ISTE, Flipgrid Live was loud in every sense of the word! An action-packed night saw our friends at Flipgrid announcing some incredible new features including the new Shorts camera. Then it came time for us to take to the stage, announcing our new integration that will allow the Shorts camera to be used within Wakelet – you’ll be able to record video directly into your collections! We’re really excited about it and the crowd’s response was fantastic, as was the reaction from our Community online. On a personal note, it was such a privilege to present in front of more than a thousand educators – you can probably see my excitement in the photo below!

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Making new friends

The second day of ISTE was fantastic too. We were able to meet with other EdTech companies and share some great moments with the teams from Buncee, PearDeck, Kahoot and Microsoft Education. My biggest takeaway from this was how genuine these companies were, all sharing the same willingness to help teachers across the world achieve the best learning outcomes possible for their students. It was also a great chance to check out the up-and-coming EdTech start-ups that share this vision too – what a great industry to be a part of!

All in all, our ISTE adventure was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. Nothing comes close to seeing how appreciative and caring our community is and hearing their feedback face-to-face. We made new friends, experienced the fantastic city of Philadelphia and, most importantly, finally got to experience the community that drives everything we do at Wakelet. ISTE may have been Wakelet’s first US conference, but it certainly won’t be our last!