It was a very busy day 1 at the NECC Conference. With so much to do, you feel guilty even stopping for lunch because you might miss something.
The courtesy bus transportation from the hotel to the convention centre is so convenient that you just scoot in and you’re ready for action. Since I had pre-registered on Sunday evening, it was right to the events.
I spent the first session in Tammy Worcester‘s session. I’ve visited her resources in the past and so wanted to enjoy her presentation in person. Like many folks, I’m sure, I misspelled her name and ended up on a website that had been designed to hijack intended viewers. First indication that I was in the wrong place on the web happened when Firefox told me that it had to block a popup. Good collection of resources here; I’ve seen and used many and found many more.
Then, the conference virtually shuts down in order for attendees to attend the exhibition floor. The convention centre is huge and it needs to be to accommodate all of the vendors and displays. There are some mega vendors like Dell, SMART, Promethean, an enormous number of folks with smaller presences, all the way down to universities offering credit courses. As per my normal habits, I just walked the aisles at first to get a sense of what was there and today and tomorrow will zero in on some targetted vendor interaction. I wanted to find my friend Deb Barrows who is with a new employer. I couldn’t remember the name but figured it would hit me when I found it. Unfortunately, the mind drew a blank and I didn’t see Deb anywhere. Thankfully, I kept an email from her and will hunt down Fablevision tomorrow.
Back to the learning…first Philip East from the University of Northern Iowa has written a grant proposal for teaching higher levels of problem solving using various tools and he offered the session “Computational Science Using Spreadsheets”. I always enjoy learning from Philip and this session didn’t disappoint as Philip demonstrated some of his thinking. I sat in the back row and noted that there’s no spreadsheet like one generated by a computer scientist. The computations were very interesting and the number patterns generated were fascinating.
I did get a chance after the session to get caught up with Philip and Michelle. Even though it had been a year, we picked up immediately.
Then, off to see Leslie Fisher‘s Gadgets and Web 2.0 presentation. Leslie is always such a joy to hear present – glad we’ve got her booked for next year’s Symposium – and she didn’t disappoint. Even in a large conference hall, her enthusiasm for her work comes through.
After a long wait for the transportation, it was back to the hotel for a makeover and shirt and tie and off to the Canadian Embassy for a visit with the Canadian Educators. Close to the Capitol, there are six big, beautiful Canadian flags marking the location.After a while in Washington, you get use to metal detectors as an entrance requirement for a lot of things. We were greeted by Embassy staff and had a great opportunity to meet the other Canadians here at the conference. Robert Martellacci from Mind Share Learning talked about the importance of commerce between Canada and the US. One statistic put it into perspective for me … there is $2,000,000 of commerce crossing the border every minute of every day. That explains the traffic on Huron Church in Windsor. Most of it goes through there. As you know, SMART Technologies is a Canadian success story and we got an opportunity to meet Nancy Knowlton, co-founder of SMART and current CEO.
In addition to the commercial aspect, it was great to get caught up with some folks that we meet so infrequently. I also get a chance to meet Zoe, with whom I’ve had as part of my learning network for a long time.
Done yet? Hah! As the sun was setting, it was time to head off to the Tweetup and meet some more people. We ran into part of the Australian contingent and got a chance to talk to LilyLauren. My buddy Kent and I got a chance to discuss possible project plans based upon our meeting with Sharon Peters, who still has ties in Windsor.
Then…it was time for supper where I happened to meet Mark Dunk and the realization that I hadn’t had a coffee. What a day…and more to follow today.
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