When I’m presenting at conferences, it often leaves very little time for actually attending conference sessions. There are nine concurrent sessions. Of those, I’m presenting during three of them, and trying to get ready for those presentations during most of the others. Regardless, I was able to catch a few.
This year Google Earth and GPS technology are very, very hot topics. I think I counted nine presentations along these lines, including my three. There was an entire pre-conference workshop on Geocaching. One of the presentations I attended was by Donna Teuber on ideas for using GPSs in the classroom. As I listened, I was thinking, why didn’t I ever use this with my students? Then I thought, Duh! The technology wasn’t even around back then. It’s been that long since I’ve been out of the classroom. Sometimes I would like to get back just so I can use all these cool new toys with my students.
After that acronym-laden first meeting on Wednesday, I met my tech team and helped them get settled into their hotel. We popped by the exhibits for a bit, then headed over to the private home of one of our Cisco reps for a reception. It was a beautiful house just off Ocean Boulevard. The rest of the evening was spent working on my talks.
Thursday morning was work time for me, as I tried to gather more info for my talks. I got the conference late morning to find no AC in most of the rooms, and a strong smell of mold throughout the conference center lobbies. Great. I spent a bit more time at the exhibits, mostly just saying hello to vendors I’ve known for a long time now. I didn’t have “Director of Technology” stamped across my name badge this time, so I was fairly safe from the vendors who didn’t already know me.
The time came for our first presentation, and it was well-received. This one was on incorporating SCETV resources with Google Earth, and Andrea Thorpe from Knowitall.org was my co-presenter. Despite the heat and the fact that we were the last session of the day, it was well attended, and we had lots of questions and interest expressed afterwards. We repeat this session again on Friday.
For Thursday evening my team had three different dinner invitations from three different vendors. We are always very cautious about accepting things from vendors so that there is no appearance of impropriety. In this case, two of the invitations came from companies who had submitted competing bids for projects in our district. It would have been highly awkward to accept one over the other, so we declined both and went with the third vendor.
CSI Outfitters always puts on a great party at EdTech, and just about everyone attends. This year it was at Hard Rock Cafe. The food was great, and my crew had a blast. Unfortunately, I had to leave early to put the finishing touches on my third and final talk on Friday. I think next year I’ll just attend and not worry about presenting anything.
[tags]EdTech, EdTech2007, technology conference[/tags]