In Defense of NECC

 76 183266895 104D7D6Fc3Here I am trying to turn a Thursday into a Saturday, and I keep reading fantastic blog posts and wanting to shout out comments. Theatre EduTech writer, Scott Walters, writes a compelling entry (Rehearsing the Revolution: Thoughts on NECC06 and NECC07) describing an evolution in conferences, and his ideas are echoed by Jeff Utecht and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach.

I think that it is important to note, that these very radical and valuable ideas are coming from bloggers. By nature, we are radicals. In another time, we would have worn black arm bands with our fists in the air. Today, we blog. My point is that many, perhaps most, NECC attendees come to learn the “How To.” They want step-by-step instructions, and they are seeing brand new things in the exhibitors area. We too, who have attended conferences for years (decades) should be seeing new products and concepts in the exhibitor halls, and we are right to demand it. But the conference, as is, is not a failure. Thousands, I suspect, left fully satisfied.

The results, however, remain in the air. The step-by-steps and the new technologies (podcasting, blogging, and the still emerging video game concept) taken back into classrooms around the world, lead to nothing unless they are accompanied by the “why” part. “Why” this is important, should be a part of every presentation and of equal measure to the “How.”

I agree with Susan’s intrigue with a “new conference format”. I wonder about a parallel conference. In a sense, its already there with the birds-of-a-feather. But as I’ve stated before, I think that it should be extended to run along side the breakout sessions. They should be a meeting of minds within the context of communities of interest with no presentations, just discussions. And they shouldn’t be relegated to the end of the day.

Two more pennies.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.