Reflections on NECC 2008

Don't worry, the conference hasn't ended yet. There's still the closing Keynote. But I felt I needed to sit down before then and gather a few thoughts, even though they're not mind-boggling.

First, I want to go with some new things I have learned, and I'll do them in a list format.
  1. Pennsylvania is so far ahead of many other states thanks to Classrooms for the Future. I have talked with technology integrators from other states that don't know about so many collaboration tools or Web 2.0 apps that can be useful in education. I am so glad that we have our network of coaches and mentors (with teachers joining in now, as well) to share, collaborate, educate, discover, and everything else with.
  2. Even though PA is ahead of the curve, I have found that there are many things that many of us still don't know and haven't seen. I saw in a session today a way to create a slider in Excel to instantly change values, which can be used in comparing graphs instantly. Now I just have to review the process and learn how to do it myself.
  3. Apple has taken away some of their accessibility. They did not have a display on the floor. They were only running sessions. I've heard reasons as to why they have done this, but I don't know if they're true or not, so I won't list them. However, it would have been nice to have been able to stop by and just talk with some reps from Apple. I didn't need to see any equipment in order to communicate with them. I was able to talk with so many other vendors and create some contacts. I stopped by Apangea today, and the one vendor remembered me from last year! These are the connections we need to make.
  4. I don't like having to sit down at a session at a booth to hear about your product. I don't need to see you play on an interactive whiteboard for 20 minutes when I would much prefer to ask the questions I want to ask about whatever it is I'm seeing and getting what I want to see. Next time, if a vendor says, "Why don't you sit down and watch our presentation? It'll only be 5 minutes," I don't know what I'll do. I much prefer the vendors who are more personal and willing to give me what I want.
  5. The next big thing in education will be cell phones. There are already many great tools that can be used to integrate into education, and as more and more teachers begin to integrate this technology, we will see even more robust solutions showing up. I wonder which wireless company will be the first to push their phones as educational devices? Will they create sites and content for education?
I don't think I'm going to blog during today's Keynote. I'll probably go back and reflect on it afterward at some point, as well, as sit down and go through the stacks of paperwork that have been handed to me throughout these past few days. I hope I'll have time to view other blogs on sessions I wasn't able to attend, as well as read the reactions of others from the ones I did attend. As for now, though, it's time to file into the closing Keynote. NECC 2008, we hardly knew ye. Hope to see everyone in DC for NECC 2009!

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