I know. The National Educational Computing Conference was a month ago. Educators and educational technologists gathered from all over the country (and beyond) to discuss best practices and new innovations and better ideas for using technology in education. There were 17,000 people there. I wasn’t one of them.
For me to go to NECC, the stars have to align correctly. It’s always the last week of June or the first week of July. Since I have to be home for my daughter’s birthday on June 25, and I have to be in Boston for July 4, it doesn’t leave much time for a quick trip to NECC.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t go. This year’s NECC was the most connected in history. Everyone I’ve talked to about it has said that the best part was the Blogger’s Cafe, which was a space reserved for people to have informal discussions about the presentations, products, and ideas they were seeing. Guess what else they were doing? They were blogging about it. And, of course, those blog posts are all still online. In fact, each session had its own tag, so you can search the web for blog posts about a specific session, not just about NECC in general.
Then, there are the podcasts. The official podcast channel for NECC 2007 is hosted by Apple Learning Interchange. They have podcasts of 36 of the NECC sessions online. You could subscribe to the feed, listen to one a week, and have enough to last you until next spring.
Would you rather have video? Here are 27 presentations that were broadcast live over the Internet, and are available on demand through June, 2008.
I’ve been at a lot of conferences where people walk into the breakout sessions just to pick up the handouts. Sometimes, they stay for a few minutes, but they have no intention of watching the whole presentation. I don’t necessarily blame them — there are a lot of things to do at conferences, and sometimes there are multiple really cool things happening at the same time. But you can pick up your own handouts and print them yourself (or just read them online).
Nothing replaces the personal interaction or the excitement of being at the live event. But much of the best content is available online and the conversatios are continuing.
Assignment: Find at least two resources from NECC and read/listen to/watch them.