WHAT A DAY! I'm sure all the bloggers are saying the same thing, but it truly has been an amazing day here at NECC 2007 in Atlanta. I started the day in the exhibit hall (putting up my shirt for later) and ran into a good friend, Trish. Trish use to be my software representative and then she took a break. She is now with Academic Super Store. If you are on the East Coast, give Trish a call. She is absolutely wonderful! Tell her Danielle sent you. :-)
I actually ran into Trish on my way to a TableTop session. She was at the Visions Table, who sells some great books as well, and John was trying to talk me into writing the book he's been asking me to write for the past six years. I promised him a rough draft soon. Any tips?
Finally got out of the conference hall to get to the table tops. I really was looking forward to them, but never made it. Instead I ran into Chris Craft from Columbia, SC. He's awesome. I really wanted to attend his open source class, but well that's another story. I also ran into Mark Jeffery and so we talked professional development in today's world, incorporating tools from Web 2.0 with programs like netTrekker and BrainPop and how our students today are really blessed with having so many choices. I also ran into Pam from Alabama -who I must refer to as Ms. Alabama. She's a joy and always full of smiles. More people and well, I never made it to the first table top even though I was standing right there!
But I did run into Wes Fryer on my way into a School 2.0 session with Timothy Magner from the Department of Education. Wes and I had a great conversation about why communities are so important, what factors really make a difference in large communities, and then he gave me a great lesson about blogging on a Mac. He suggested a piece of software and I am definitely going to look it up. I might even switch over to Word Press, or just use my Mac software that I already have. Hmmm, choices!
The session on School 2.0 was really interesting. It wasn't what I thought I was going to, but really good. Bandwidth is an issue. The United States is lagging. I'll save the details for when I can get back home and really process it. Or you can read Wes's blog since he did his live. Smart man!
From there I met up with Cheryl T from Sumter, SC for lunch. We talked about what's new and what's changed since we last came to NECC (July 2005!) It's interesting to really think about how much everything has changed, even in just one way or another. We talked about interactive boards, software, other tools, and all the stuff vendors throw at the teachers to snag them in the booth.
Speaking of vendors, I had to run off to netTrekker's booth. I promised Jill that I would fill in for an hour today and I still had to get out of my T-shirt and into the professional shirt they gave me. Luckily, the sympathized and said that it was okay if I didn't change. I got to jump in and talk with educators about the features of netTrekker. Their favorite? Not sure if it was read aloud, the readibility, or the eye popping new section, 21st Century Skills. They let me talk (like they could shut me up!), I let them talk, they let me talk some more, then I got to scan them and give them a shirt. I was a lucky person to get a shirt from. Why? At least two of the people that wore their "I'm 21, RU" shirts won $50. Cash. YEAH!!!! But because of my love for talking and my belief that this product really is a gem for schools, I ended up working until the booth closed. So an hour turned into three, but that's fine by me. I had fun interacting with educators in the booth.
The night ended with a customer appreciation dinner at the Georgia Aquarium and then fireworks at Centennial Park. Did I sit and eat? Nope, I enjoyed roaming the tables to chat with customers and talk about netTrekker. Yes, I really do love to talk. The dinner was made even more beautiful by running into Dolores Noechel from Florida. Okaloosa County and I have a history, which I look at in good humor. But it was great to see her and hear about the technology changes that she's going through and the sessions she found most useful.
Off to the fireworks and dance at a private party for the customers. It was a truly classy event! Luckily I was able to stay away from the dance floor, but I did mingle and enjoy a Sprite. I'm such a lush, I know!
What a day. So much to process so I can come back and share more than just my daily run down.