There are so many terrific moments at any NECC Conference. Great speakers, new friends, great vendors, and the lot.
One of my favourite activities though is to browse through the poster sessions. Here, nobody is selling anything or pushing you to upgrade or drive you crazy with the newest technology that you know darn well you can’t afford.
At the posters, it’s just people (big ones and kids) showing off a project that they were involved with. Instead of something that might be beyond reach, here are people showing what they can do, and what they did. All of them are so motivating and you know that, with the right conditions, you could do it as well.
There is one that stood way, way out and still is in my mind.
I don’t remember which NECC it was but I’m thinking it might have been Seattle. It doesn’t matter.
I do know that it was before the OSAPAC Committee licensed SMART Ideas in the category of Graphic Organizers.
I was walking through the poster sessions and it was particularly busy. There were large crowds everywhere — except at this one table where a young man was standing with a computer and a relatively low end monitor. The lack of an audience even made me think that perhaps his computer had died or something. There literally was nobody around his station.
Ever the champion of the underdog, I went over and greeted the gentleman and asked what he was showing.
A couple of clicks later and my jaw was wide open. He had developed a graphic organizer designed to help teach Hebrew to English speakers. Within moments, we were clicking around the screen and I got two things. I fully understood, for the first time, the power of using a Graphic Organizer. It opened new windows for me. Secondly, in the few moments that I spent, I learned a little bit of Hebrew.
This was one of the things that I intended to follow up with after that NECC. Unfortunately, I pitched the reference materials with so much of the other stuff that I picked up. However, I can’t jettison my mind and I’ll always remember that demonstration of demonstrations.