Along with my hotel-mate, we are first time NECC-ers. The title of this post is a quote from my hotel-mate. I love it.
I spent all day following ustreams from the conference I WAS AT, twits from summize, twits from my feed, Google Reader, the sessions I was in and the conversations with people around me. Holy cow! My brain is full! I keep trying to figure out whether this conference is going to make a shift in my thinking. Don’t get me wrong, it has completely energized me. I have often thought about teachers in my district that would love being here. How do you measure learning in at a conference? Is $1500 too much to dole out to each teacher to attend? Do we really need carpets with the NECC and/or ISTE logo to greet us when we arrive?
This morning I sat in a panel “debate” about the AASL standards and the NETS-S. Doug Johnson usually has a few nuggets to chew on…and today did not disappoint. “NCLB asks far too little of our children. They need to do more than read and write.” True. I agree with that, but I don’t agree with how and why NCLB was authorized, and I don’t think you can isolate one or the other. He left us with this thought, “I only promise to leave people confused on a higher level.” At one point the panelists, Annette Lamb, Gail Dickenson, Joyce Valenza and the before mentioned Doug Johnson, addressed the individual needs of our students – the idea that we need IEPs for ALL of our students. Don’t they all deserve how to learn in the best way possible? Interesting.
I went to a session on observing teachers using your handheld…too bad it was a commercial product. Then to a session on Google Earth – learned some cool stuff there, but now you can too as everything is on the site.
The best part of the day? Dinner at Dicks Last Resort. (No, it was not the conference.) I have never been so abused, made fun of, been rudely addressed or laughed so hard at dinner. We also found some entertainment yelling to our boat captain, Cara, every time her boat went by. The boats make a loop in the river every 30 minutes or so. We took the ride, and then went to dinner. We watched for her as she came around by Dicks – we sat right by the Riverwalk. We left Dicks and walked back to the hotel, over part of the loop. We cheered her on from the bridge as she went under. I felt a bit stalker-ish, but man, it was fun. She told every group of people on her boat that we were her “Rochester, NY friends.” I loved it.