Day 2 of the BringITTogether conference started on a “uh oh” moment. On Twitter, Kevin Honeycutt, who will deliver the closing keynote announced that his flight from Stockholm to New York was delayed. Will this mean yet another Plan B for the Committee?
If you ever get a chance to work or help out at a conference, you really do need to do so. You’ll work outside the conference hours, to be sure, but you get to see another side to things. You aren’t limited to just walking in and seeing the registration desk and the centre clean and sparkling. Get there at 6:00am and you’ll see the night crew dead dog tired from setting up all night long and the day shift coming in to continue the work. You get to see how breakfast for over 1000 gets prepared, how banners get hung, watch exhibitors setup for the show and more.
And there’s work to be done. Each of the rooms has to be checked to make that they’re set and the audio visual is in place. During my tour, most everything was ready to go with the exception of one table that was oddly missing. It was reported and the missing table appeared.
Then, it’s showtime. Twitter was alive and the hashtag #ECOO13 was trending. Who could ask for more from a technology conference? I did my welcome to the group because by partner wouldn’t and then we were off! Amber MacArthur delivered one of the absolute best keynote addresses that I’ve ever heard. She was right on, brought in humour at the appropriate time, and demonstrated how seemlessly multimedia could be used when delivering a speech. She promised to share the presentation and here it is!
After a break to visit the Exhibit Hall, we were into the breakout sessions. Sadly, I was in and out and I don’t think I saw one in its entirety. I did drop in on the Future of the Textbook panel with Anne-Marie Scullion, Jaime Casap, Aaron Stuard, David Steel, John Malloy and Dean Shareski. Some quick notes from the presentation – “what does the textbook do to inhibit the change that we need”, “shift from inputs to outputs of education”, “internet has 100 000 textbooks at fingertips rather than a math one, an English one, …”, “personalized learning – bundling multi-media to make it more than just a delivered of information”, “the types of solutions that textbooks solve are narrowing. How do you define a textbook?”, “power of video versus writing – snobbery towards the printed word versus video”, “textbooks are in our psyche”, and “What are the good things about textbooks that we don’t want to lose”. Lots for me to think about there.
If one panel is good, then two are better, right? I dropped by the Discovery Education presentation in their Lounge. Dean Shareski was leading a session about “The Digital Transformation”. A couple of notes from panelists Todd Wright, Brian Harrison, and John Malloy – “Professional learning disconnected from the classroom”, “there is no technology on standardized tests”, “a system can’t have localized pockets of excellence”, “instead of support for the technology, maybe the model should be focused on support of the teacher”. Again, more to thing about!
Then, I intended to listen to Jane Mitchinson talking about BYOD considerations. She was focussed on the science behind and techniques managing student attention in the classroom filled with student devices. I was really getting in to her message until I got called away. Jane’s promised to share her resources so I’ll have to go looking for them.
Fortunately, I had volunteered to lead my own session so I got to sneak away from conference duties to talk to a group of about 40 people interested in my topic “Social Reading’. I had the opportunity to talk about my personal passion which is constant learning through reading and sharing resources. I shared my reading flow…
among a number of other things! The key is in the automation. Shortly, I’ll share the presentation on my PD Wiki.
The day in the convention centre ended with the ever popular draw for door prizes. Thanks Mary Kay, Brenda, and Peter. It went over really well and I had a good chuckle with some new friends from Peel.
There was time for a clothing change and then it was off to the ECOO Banquet. Great food and great conversations made for a terrific dinner.
Lastly, it was grab the camera, and get ready to head out for the Photowalk. Winner! My toque and gloves were still in the trunk from last winter. I’m going to come across as prepared. You can’t get better than that. I joined group captains Angie Harrison and Colleen Rose and off we went. We spent some time taking pictures at the fountain outside the Casino – obviously, we wouldn’t go inside and then it was down Murray Street to walk along the river and take some shots of the Falls. This was a new venture for me – I’ve never done night photography before.
Here are a couple of my shots picked at random. I’m going to have to spend some time looking through all that I shot. A first blush indicates that there are more bad shots than good – to be expected, but I learned that there are many more settings on my camera than what I had thought. I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures from everyone else. Hopefully, the best will end up in the Flickr group.
Oh, it was a long day. But a fun one. Lots of learning, lots of engagement, good conversations, new friends. That’s what you want from a conference! It will be a short nap and then it’s time to take on Day #3.
The best news? Kevin Honeycutt did arrive. Isn’t that great news?