My experience at this year's NCSS conference in San Diego, California was markedly different than any other learning experience I've ever had. This is primarily due to the connectivity that the complimentary WiFi coverage permitted. Armed with a laptop, a cheap digital camera, and a few cheap web based tools like this blog, I've managed to not only process and reflect upon my experience on the fly, but to also report it out to people that aren't even here!
The experience has been amazing! I feel like a learner, field reporter, scribe, teacher, history buff, and a colleague all wrapped up in one. In a matter of 24 hours, I've broadcast two presentations that were each 60 minutes in length. The presentations were broadcast back to the school I teach at and to a few peers in my professional learning network. Both presentations are archived on my blog. While the presentations were in progress, I dialogued with my peers and colleagues via skype and the chat feature in ustream. Over the course of the day I've managed to take many pictures and post them online at my flickr account. I've saved a dozen or so web links to my delicious account.
Some folks might question the manner in which I participated in this experience as being overly connected. In addition to all of the online activity mentioned above, I've also conversed and exchanged ideas for several hours with my colleagues, Will Piper, Brian Markwald, and Chuck Taft. We've discussed conference highs/lows, individual sessions, ideas for projects at USM and we even talked about ideas for having one of us do another presentation in the future at NCSS. Perhaps the highlight was attending the NBC function on Friday night where they debuted the release of their archival media footage through HotChalk. I've also managed to meet and talk to a few teachers and students from other parts of the country-forming at least one take-away connection a pre-conference goals. I met a neat guy this morning who is a teacher at a private school in Hawaii (trying to arrange a school visit for us of course!)
This was an incredibly unique experience for me this year...I'm already looking forward to NCSS 2008 in Houston!!