What To Do At Conferences
I never know what to do with myself at conferences, and this one, the annual FETC in Orlando, Fla, is no different. I've run into some familiar names and faces -- folks from Scholastic, and The Princeton Review, and EDIN08 (who apparently showed 2MM last night), as well as trade journos from THE Journal (eschoolnews is around here somewhere, too). My talk isn't until later.
I missed Chris Dede, the ed tech guy from Harvard who I've talked to on the phone but never met. And the USDE person was a no-show, someone told me. I wonder if any of the folks I used to do edtech with on the Hill are around -- Linda Roberts, the Senate Ed Tech Working Group folks. All that stuff -- creating federal funding for ed tech teacher training and trying to avoid botching the E-Rate -- seems so long ago.
So I've peeked into sessions with titles like Web 2.0 for Teachers that are full to the brimming point. I've wandered around the exhibitor hall, full of little chocolates and freebies and in this case especially lots of fun technology. (All the presenters seem to have Britney Spears-style headset microphones to help amplify their presentations.) People are videoconferencing, shooting hi-def video, and having a grand old time with various web applications. My tech friends tell me I should be Twittering about this and that there's another, cooler tech conference going on in Philly, but I only finally learned bittorrent earlier this week, thanks to my addiction to The Wire.