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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.

4c147019cb5f95190334b6c75f0fe9b8865I 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.

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yeah conferences are like weird 8th-grade dances -- any morally casual females in attendance?

Here's the Chronicle's advice:

http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i42/42b00501.htm

I don't know if EduCon was cooler than FETC... certainly smaller and more grass-roots. We didn't have an exhibit floor or a conference hall, just a bunch of educators and students talking to each other for three days. Come visit us next year. We'd love to have you!

Oh... and we have cheesestakes. :)

Like Chris, I can't speak for the coolness factor, but EduCon was unlike any conference I had been to before in that the focus was less on who was in the front of the room and more on what was happening in the room and between sessions in the hallway. That in itself, was cool enough.

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