One of the real benefits of the partnership between ECOO and OASBO ICT at the recent #ECOO13 conference was the opportunities for exhibitors that normally visit one conference to have access to both groups. And, to the attendees, they could visit exhibitors that they would not normally see. One of these exhibitors for the traditional ECOO attendee was having Microsoft on the Exhibit Floor. Personally, I can’t recall the last time that Microsoft had a presence at the conference.
The company definitely had a big presence and I really liked the white comfy chairs where you could drop in to take a load off and chat with any of the folks that were around.
Their influence went further than just the Exhibit Floor. On the Wednesday workshop day, they sponsored a keynote speaker and a full day of workshops at the event they called the Microsoft Meet-up. For the conference attendee, it was an opportunity to experience some very Microsoft things like Office 365, XBOX Kinect, Lync and Skype, and more.
In preliminary talks with the folks at Microsoft, I shared with my experience with the Global Partners in Learning Summit from a couple of years ago. Alfred Thompson, who at the time was their educational evangelist, had invited me to attend their event as a member of the “press”, or more appropriately I guess, the media. My media, of course, was this blog and it generated a number of posts.
The sad thing was, before the invitation, I had no idea about the Partners in Learning Program. Do you? However, having been at this event with the networking and seeing the great things on display, it was an event I will never forget. So, for the complete Meet-up, there was an opportunity for Ontario Educators to learn about the Partners in Learning Program.
Partners in Learning is just a part of the bigger Windows in the Classroom Program. Obviously, something as big as this can’t be fully shared and on display at a three-day conference. I would encourage you to follow the link and take a look at what all is available. You may be surprised. So often we think of Microsoft as the provider of Windows and maybe the Office Suite. There’s so much more.
They even sponsored the conference bags. When I first saw them, I said to a friend that they were so big that you could put a class set of laptops in there. They proved to be very popular and people were seen with this bag fully jammed with swag, computers, and even coats.
I hope that Microsoft found working with teachers as well as the technical side of the house beneficial. It would be nice to see them as regular participants for the annual conference.