Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Great NECC Conference

Atlanta, Georgia was the host of the 2007 ISTE National Educational Computing Conference the last week of June. If you have not attended this conference, you should make your plans now for next year! The networking opportunities with other educators make it worth the trip alone. I enjoy the time I get to spend sharing ideas and developing partnerships with schools from around the country.

Conference Highlights:

1) SigIVC Forum: If you are not a member of ISTE or the SIGIVC the forum offered at the conference should make you want to sign up. This session was a networking session on steroids. The session started with an activity titled speed collaborating. 15 participants each had 2mins to promote an IVC success story. There were some great programs and opportunities. I represented the Avon Schools presenting the Artifact Exchange project. I met so many great educators and look forward to working with them next year.

2) Program sessions: The sessions I was able to attend were fantastic. The session on Hyper-mirror with Japan was exciting and the Global Run project sponsored by Tandberg was outstanding. Every session I attended provided me with new resources or ideas to use with our students.

3) Meeting with existing partners: You know a conference is going to be fun when you get to the conference early and you run into your IVC partners in the food court at CNN. It was so great to see Rowena Gerber from Miami Country Day with her friends of iEARN. It is so much fun to shake the hand of educators you have only seen on the video systems.

4) Meeting local content providers: I want to give a special thanks to Patty & Deborah from the Center of Puppetry Art Center for their tour of the museum, dinner and tour of Atlanta. I was amazed with the exhibits in the museum. If you ever get the chance you have to check it out. After dinner we were treated to a trip the Varsity and finished the evening looking over the city on top of the Westin center. It was great ending to a great conference.

5) Volunteering for the conference: This was my second year volunteering at NECC. Last year I was a facilitator, this year I helped in IVC Operations. This was a great experience! Working with operations provides such great learning opportunities with new equipment and challenging scenarios.

6) Socializing with friends: After conference hours are always fun. This year the Robert, Katrina and I purchased tickets to the Atlanta Braves through the conference. Other than the Braves loosing to the Tiggers and knocking my Cleveland Indians into second place it was a great time.

7) NECC Exhibit floor: This area can just be described as “BIG”. There are so many different technologies and software available to visit and learn more about their offerings. This year I was presently surprised to see Visual Communicator (formerly from Serious Magic) demoed in the Adobe both. This will be released in the fall.

8) NECC shuttle service: Last year my hotel was 15 block away and had no problem walking to my hotel each day in San Diego. This was not the case with the temperatures in the 90’s in Atlanta. Needless to say I was a fan of the NECC shuttle service running everyone from their hotels to the conference center.

9) NECC volunteers: Good volunteers make a good conference great. The volunteers working the rooms and the halls are always helpful.

10) Finally getting out of Atlanta International Airport: While my conference experience was wonderful my flight home was not as successful. After three gate changes, a lost plane and our terminal being closed during boarding I finally made my 10:00pm flight at 2:00am. Yes they lost our plane…. Around 12:30 in the evening the airline representative actually told the group that they lost our plane in transport to our gate. I have to admit this was a better alternative to the plane going to Alabama that was delayed do to a “violent sickness” that took place on their plane. I was never so happy to see the Cleveland skyline as I was at 4:00am from my plane.

Next year’s conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas. I would recommend talking to your administrators early to take advantage of early registration and housing. You can learn more about the NECC conference on the ISTE website at I hope to see you at the conference next year :)