Since NECC 2008 in San Antonio is about three weeks away, I’ve been looking over the program and planning my schedule.

I’m also quickly realizing that I will probably be spending more of my learning time outside of the official sessions than in. And certainly outside of the exhibit hall.

Between EduBloggerCon/Classroom 2.0 (on the Saturday before the official start) and the “unplugged” discussions in the Blogger’s Lounge and elsewhere, there will a lot of give and take opportunities arranged by attendees, not conference planners.

And that’s not counting the impromptu get togethers that will come from chance encounters and planned over Twitter and other back channels.

However, you don’t need to be a blogger to be part of this. It doesn’t matter if you run your own web site and you don’t need to be a big techie. In many cases you won’t even need to be in San Antonio.

Anyone who wants to learn and contribute to the conversation is welcome to participate in these sidebars that are quickly becoming primary reasons for attending NECC.