As a first-time NECCer, I’ve been contemplating how I want to approach my first post NECC blog. I’m not sure what the best way is to capture my thoughts, feelings, impressions, and lessons learned. I cannot find a way to recap everything from NECC succinctly, so I’ve decided not to fight it. The following is my best effort to encapsulate my experience.
First impression: WOW, WOW, and WOW! It took me at least a day to wrap my head around what was really going on. There were countless places to explore and opportunities to learn. Having a chance to experience everything was impossible, so decisions had to be made about what was most important. That task alone was a difficult one because I was a first-timer and wasn’t sure where my time would be best spent. I started by attending some sessions…
- I attended a session with Dr. Christopher Moersch where I had the opportunity to learn about bringing the H.E.A.T. Dr. Moersch also introduced us to the LoTI level, which was a new concept to me. You can find more information from Dr. Moersch at The LoTI Connection.
- One of my favorite session of the conference was Effective Leadership in an Era of Disruptive Innovation with Dr. Scott McLeod. He was able to show us how to move in education with disruptive technologies. You can read more at Dangerously Irrelevant.
- Sylvia Martinez of Generation Yes presented a terrific session on professional development and how to empower students with technology. You can see Sylvia’s session here on the Generation Yes blog.
- I definitely took advantage of the opportunity to attend Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson’s session titled Here Comes Learning. This was quite a nice overview of how learning looks different today, creating learning communities, and connecting! Will Richardson – Weblogged and Sheryl Nussbaum Beach – 21st Century Learning
- I enjoyed a NETS session titled “Differentiating NETS*T – Moving Teachers Toward Transformative Technology.” I was a little concerned when this one started because I was afraid I was going to be stuck in a session where they discussed a whole host of tools I was already familiar with: Voki, Blabberize, Edublogs, Audacity, Wikispaces, Elluminate. However, I was pleased to see that the presenters then took these tools and showed attendees exactly how to use these tools to move teachers toward technology being transformative, and I believe that is completely where we need to be headed! You can see the manner in which they used these tools at ConferenceConnection2009.
Bloggers’ Cafe: I had heard so much about this area in the past I knew I had to spend some time there. I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated at first. I am a definite newbie when it comes to blogging and have been at it less than a year. BUT…Twitter was my savior (as usual). I had the unbelievable opportunity to meet so many people that I’ve built online relationships with it was amazing. It was like we had been talking for ages because in some cases I’ve “known” these people for over a year. And now I had the chance to sit and pick their brain for more than 140 characters. An experience I won’t soon forget and thanks to those I met and with whom I had the time to engage!
Exhibits: HOLY EXHIBITS! Geez! I was blown away by the sheer magnitude of this place. But after I took some time to wade through the majority of the displays on the floor and pick up my personalized flash drive, I actually returned to speak with multiple vendors who were quite helpful and informative. I do have to wonder if this area needs to be so “over-the-top”? Do these businesses really have education at the forefront of their minds? After seeing the pink Cadillac and Elvis, I pretty much had my answer. But…on the other hand, my kids and I definitely enjoyed the swag! Check it out:
NECC was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and I am hopeful that I have the privilege of attending each and every year!