Monday, June 25, 2007

NECC Begins with a BANG!

Yesterday afternoon I ran into Cheryl Woolwine from Putnam County, FL (GREAT DISTRICT!) and we decided to hang out for a bit before the show. So we check in (we're staying at the same hotel), head over to the conference hall, buy some shirts and books from ISTE (I can't turn down a book!), and then FINALLY found a place to eat. (We also ran into Joe from Discovery's Digital Storytelling Blog!) While we waiting for our food I was itching to ask this guy if he was Mark from eChalk. Poor Cheryl had to sit there while I was ancy trying to figure it out. So finally before we left I just got up and asked him. He was! I love eChalk, especially for schools that don't have the tech people to design a well organized site. Anyway, after lunch we came back to the hotel to unpack and then went back to the hall. We were the last ones in at StarBucks and this one ISTE lady didn't get in, so I bought her the drink she wanted, getting her order through the window. All I wanted in return was a bag. As a registered vendor I don't get a bag or a program. How am I suppose to know where to go tomorrow? Guess I'll be online tonight looking it up!
Before the keynote yesterday I ran into Kathleen from Leon County. YEAH! She made it! She hung out with Cheryl and I for the keynote and our attempt to get into the Aquarium. We waited for 40 minutes until we ran into Kathy Shrock. She was literally running so we had to stop her. She explained there was wall to wall people inside and they were only letting so many people in as people left. With all the line jumpers and the fact that we were moving - we decided to give up. Cheryl and I had gone to the aquarium last year, and I'll actually be going back with netTrekker on Tuesday night.
The keynote was great! After a spirit raising welcome from the Atlanta Drum Line, a great opening speech with a reminder on why we do what we do from President Trina Davis,Andrew Zolli stepped up. Not only was he educational, he was entertaining. He had so many good points that I was itching for my iPod to record or a notebook to take notes. I was so unprepared to be motivated! But, if you check his website, he should be adding this presentation to his Speeches and Articles area. Check it out.
This morning on my way to McDonald's and an affordable breakfast, I ran into Robert M. Can't remember his last name right now. We use to work on grants together, he being our evaluator. He said something that really made me sad. "You can't buy a grant right now, they are that hard to get." I can only imagine how hard it is for districts that depend on the funding from grants for their tech programs.
Let me give you one quick warning. I have fallen in love with Firefox as a browser and hardly EVER use Safari. Well I went ahead and downloaded the new child safe search engine from Firefox and it's been a bit quirky. One of the biggest quirks, each time I have to accept terms before I can actually use the Internet, I'm locked out. So I'm doing this in Safari without my usual tools being available. I'll have to come back later and add all the links. I just don't do old fashioned anymore. Spoiled with the toolbars!
Enjoy NECC. I'll be at the Virtual Playground today with netTrekker and then tonight I'm on my own.

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