Some Final Thoughts on NECC 2009

In the 1980’s era musical “Chess“, the lead character proclaims the tournament in which he is about to participate to be “… a show with everything but Yul Brynner*”.

That lyric has been running through my warped little brain as I’ve been reviewing my notes and watching some of the video from NECC, the annual edtech expo that wrapped up here in DC just over a week ago.

This is one conference that really does have something for everyone – or at least anyone even remotely connected to instructional technology.

However, one big impression I always have following NECC is to feel sorry for the novice.

The sheer size of this carnival is overwhelming, which also makes it hard for newbies to find the good stuff.

Certainly someone who followed the crowds likely saw lots of rapid fire examples of cool web 2.0 tools, not to mention lots and lots of people poking at interactive whiteboards.

The two largest manufacturers of those devices were conference “Tier 1 sponsors” so they, and the people selling them as the ultimate edtech solution, were impossible to miss. (I feel a new rant about IWBs coming on. :-)

Hopefully someone guided those NECC first-timers into the area for the poster sessions where they were far more likely to see examples of authentic uses of technology for teaching and learning.

For me, the highlight of NECC was once again was the day-long EduBloggerCon, an event that’s not even part of the formal conference. (Most of us in the class of 09 are pictured at the left.)

This was the third year for this meetup/unconference and the size and style returned to being more like the first time around in Atlanta.

Lots of valuable discussions (big and small) along with the always-valued opportunity to meet some of the people whose work I regularly follow online.

So, that’s pretty much it for this year.

As I noted earlier, our commitments to support the conference didn’t allow for many sessions or getting involved in many Blogger’s Cafe discussions, making this year’s event a different sort of experience.

Or any blogging during those five days, although for many, Twitter has taken over that function.

And I’m already looking forward to getting back to normal (or whatever passes for normal) next June in Denver.

* Look him up, kiddies. :-)