NECC is over for most of us and this day could be the quietest day of the summer among edudigitals. We’re tired. Some of us are lagged. Some are still navigating airports as they are traveling home to distant continents. I’m working today, because I’m back in Warren County tomorrow, off to a state technology conference in Tennessee on Tuesday, and then the family goes up to Western Carolina University to see my daughter be inducted into Pi Gamma Mu, an honor society for students of the social sciences. I continue to be amazed that my children continue to excel. Well, knowing my wife makes it seem less unbelievable.
Hands down, the best thing about NECC this year was the conversations. Going face-to-face with very smart people taught me so many new ideas and opportunities and also taught me more about my own thinking. I return both fatigued and energized. Many of the people I talked with said the same thing, that it was the networking that was the value. It makes me wonder if the birds-of-a-feather concept should be expanded, perhaps to three hours a day, overlapping some of the sessions.
My regrets are the conversations that I missed. There were so many people whom I’ve come to know through e-mail and blogging, who I didn’t take the time to get to know in person at NECC — some from oceans away. Terry Freedman is one I’d love to have had tea with, one on one. Obviously a very smart man with much experience with education to share. There were many more, including Jeff Utecht, from Shanghai. He blogs also about missing conversations.
I was expecting to find a new conversation. A conversation that I feel needs to happen in education. A conversation that isnâ€™t just about technology, but about the changing nature of our students, our classrooms, and our society. I found it in likely places with David Warlick and Will Richardsonâ€™s presentations, but beyond those I didnâ€™t feel it. I saw a lot of technology being used and sold in the same way it has been for the past 20 years.
I agree, Jeff, that the overwhelming conversation continues to be about the technology, the machine, and not the experiences that our students are having with the technology. I enjoyed very much, the blogger meet-up that Dave Jakes and Will Richardson organized for us. But I would like, for Atlanta, to have a continuous blogger meet-up, a coffee shop or something where we could meet any or every evening or afternoon, to get together, debrief, blog, and hopefully expand the conversation.
Have a very safe trip home Jeff and everyone else. Keep telling the new story 😉
Wilson, Tim. “Apple Booth.” TimWilson’s Photostream. 7 Jul 2006. 9 Jul 2006 <http://flickr.com/photos/timwilson/183858873/>.