One more post on NECC and I’ll quit boring you – at least on that particular topic.
The last four days have flashed by, as it usually does at a large conference like NECC. With everything going on, there isn’t time to actually think about what’s going on. That takes place during the weeks after you get home and get a chance to read through session notes and other materials. Most presenters also offer a web site connected to their session so reviewing those pages (which link to dozens more) is added to the mix. The conference continues.
The vendor area at NECC was huge. However, a short walk through the hall showed that there really wasn’t much new. Almost everybody was selling something that was going to solve your NCLB problems, at least according to their sales pitches. One rare exception among the major companies was Apple which was pushing creativity in the classroom using pictures, movies and music. In the end, though, the most interesting products were in the small booths on the fringes of the hall, rented by those companies with far more creativity than cash.
I did learn something in the vendor area: schools don’t trust anything they don’t have to pay for. Three friends and former colleagues were working in three different booths. What they had in common (besides knowing me) is that they represented products that were completely free. One was the Library of Congress – your tax dollars at work – and the other two were major corporations. But because the materials came at no cost and no advertising (beyond a simple company logo on the page), all three were having trouble getting schools to even look at what they offered.
Well, they just called my flight (and I can’t get a wireless signal to post this). Time to head back to the real world.