Preparing for the Western RCAC Symposium 2008

In theory, we start putting together plans and organization for the next year’s Western Regional Computer Advisory Symposium the day after the current year’s event ends.

Despite all of the great plans, things really heat up in the last month before the event.  This year’s is next Thursday on December 11.  Full details can be found here.  As I scroll up and down the workshops which are hand selected, as I tell my superintendent, this is the type of conference that I would go to and attend every one of the sessions.  Unfortunately, attendees have to whittle their choices down to a single morning session and a single afternoon session.

There are a number of things about this event that make it very unique.  First of all, there are no vendor areas.  This is on purpose.  The day isn’t about the latest gadget or software.  It’s all about ideas.  If people leave the event with their head spinning about ways to use technology and techniques, then we’ve achieved our goal.

We do it with the very best of speakers and the very best of initiatives that are happening in Southwestern Ontario.  This year’s event features keynote addresses from David Warlick and Amber MacArthur.  Similar, and yet different, the two of them will bring experienced leadership in a connected world as they both live it and use the tools daily.  Amber’s commandN is a favourite video podcast for me and David’s Class Blogmeister is a favourite resource of mine to recommend to teachers wishing to do safe blogging with students.

David Warlick is unique to us in that he’s only the fourth keynote speaker to come back for a return engagement.  Previous returnees were David Thornburg, Alan November, and David Pogue.

So, it’s the Saturday before the event and I’m scrambling to make sure that we have all of our bases covered.  As a committee, we try our best to use the technology effectively.  Because of our diverse geography, it’s difficult to schedule face to face meetings so we’ve given up trying.  Instead, we use the services of Google Docs to organize the event.  We really have three documents; a planning document, a “minute by minute” timeline, and a tracking of door prizes donated by vendors.  And, what door prizes!  We have awesome support and are so appreciative.

In the middle of my morning planning comes another indication that we’ve chosen our speakers wisely.  I get an email from David indicating that he’s set up a hitchhikr account for the event at:  http://hitchhikr.com/?id=407 with the tag wrcac08.

I’ve already been in contact with Amber and there may be an opportunity for some commandN footage.

So, the clock is ticking towards Thursday.  I have a stack of boxes that I need to remember to take with me.  Thank you gifts for presenters are on their way from Wiarton, registration bags from Ottawa, and programs from Hamilton.

Registrants will be headed in from all over the place.  It’s terrific to renew acquaintances at this annual event.

Have I forgotten anything?

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2 thoughts on “Preparing for the Western RCAC Symposium 2008

  1. I am very sad to miss Symposium this year. Everyone I did attend was excellent – and as you said, I left full of new ideas! Including last year when Web 2.0 was the big idea that I left with.

    Doesn’t Wayne Hulley belong on your list of returnees? I can’t think about Christmas tree shopping without remembering his talk.

  2. You are absolutely correct, Ross. I overlooked Wayne. Nobody tugs on the heartstrings of education better than he!

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