The Conference Scene

It’s been a few months since I have found myself at a conference, and almost a year since I have found myself at one of the giant conferences.  Nevertheless, here I am in the Lehigh Valley Regional Airport (a great place to fly from if you live in Western NJ) waiting for my flight that will eventually take me to Orlando and the FETC2010.

When I wrote a few months ago about the need for educational technology conferences to be wholly different, I stressed the need to have conversations less around “look how cool this is” and more on creating systems, schools, and classrooms we need to engage our students in meaningful learning.  I’ve spent the last hour looking through the conference program on their website and I am still a little underwhelmed at the offerings.  Granted, there are a few gems in there that I am sure I will emerge from with all kinds of ideas and energy, but there are still several that are undeniably reliant on the training module.

The positive side of conferences this large is that you can find yourself one or two experiences that will inspire you, and then you have ample resources and people to network with and spar with.  Fortunately, I am meeting two of my co-workers down there and they’ve already begun the sharing process through our Google Document.  I have my Thursday mapped out, and this is what it looks like at the moment (these are found in more detail on the session list at FETC’s site):

  • Deep, Deep, Dive Inside Digital: It’s Wild in There
  • Technology and the Public Education Revolution
  • Transforming Education for the 21st Century
  • How Web 2.0 Tools are Transforming “Learning” and “Knowledge
  • A 1:1 Vision as per Gary Stager (not the official title, but it sound like it will be a good one)

Friday will depend a lot on what I gather from my team on Thursday, but I think I will try to continue the theme of systems change and new models for learning.


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