Tomorrow I leave for San Antonio for the National Educational in Computing Conference (NECC). If you aren't attending, you can still go... for free! Read on!
There will be tons of sessions to attend and people to meet as well as pleasant meetings with vendors with whom we do business in our district. We have a few people from our department attending and we tend to split up and meet with those vendors with whom we each work with specifically. For me that will be mostly Discovery Education who has a huge presence in our district with DE Streaming and MediaShare, as well as Houghton Mifflin Learning Technologies with Riverdeep Destination Math & Reading and Learning Village. I will also be meeting with HotChalk for a little bit to take a look at what they have to offer, mostly free, to teachers and students by way of online communication.
In addition to the business, I'm looking forward to the F2F meetings I'm sure to have with many of the online friends I've formed over the last year through online social network (Twitter and Plurk) and blogging. I have some Twitter pals who I'm excited to be meeting, who also happen to be Discovery Educators, so I know I'll be meeting them on Sunday at our big Discovery event. Other Twitterers and I have exchanged many tips, links, help, guidance, and challenges as well as mundane info; so much so that we really do feel a personal connection. I'm looking forward to meeting these people as well, although I'm not sure how we'll run into each other. We have all tried to get the word out to write our online names on our name badges. So, if you see @teachakidd on my namebadge, you'll know me from Twitter!
In addition to all of the above, NECC is going to be full, perhaps overflowing is a better word, with professional development opportunities. So many breakout sessions to choose from that it is frustrating to have to choose. Ah, but choose I must, so I thought I'd share my choices here because if you are not attending, there's still an opportunity for you to reap some benefits from my experiences. There, that's where it's free for you! When I return, I plan to recap what I learned in each session; the good, the bad and the ugly. In addition, as I blogged about in my last post, you can follow the necc2008 links by bookmarking this link. Many of the attendees who are also a part of the NECC Ning, will be posting their bookmarks to del.icio.us or diigo and tagging with necc2008. So, what does that mean to you? By clicking this link, you will be able to take advantage of all the great resource they felt were worthy of a bookmark. You can also follow my necc2008 bookmarks by clicking here.
Here's my plan for attending sessions. There are a few overlapping times (I may jump around) and a few empty spaces where I may make some last minute decisions or visit the vendor hall.
Author, journalist, and historian James Surowiecki kicks off NECC with his perspective on The Wisdom of Crowds. In an age when collaborative tools and media are readily available, educators at all levels will benefit from hearing how skilled application of diversity, independence, decentralization, and aggregation can be leveraged in education settings to arrive at transformative solutions.
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Podcasting! Everybody seems to be doing it. If you've been afraid to jump into the podcasting water, join us and learn how!