Ten Conference Reflections - Tech Forum 2009 by Lisa Nielsen

Ten Conference Reflections - Tech Forum 2009 by Lisa Nielsen

Cross posted at The Innovative Educator

Although educators spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend conferences, I find we rarely spend time to take a moment to process, reflect, share, and publish our thoughts. I recently attended Tech Forum New York 2009. I find a lot of my reflections about this conference are true about many other conferences I attend. Here they are:

1-The F-2-F connections and building of relationships with those I rarely am able to see in person. I find this more valuable than any session. It was nice talking with Chris Lehmann, Scott Meech, Dana Lawit, Lisa Thumann, Judy Salapert, Peggy Sheehy, Alisa Berger, Kevin Hogan, Christine Weiser, Kristine Goldhawk, Tom Honohan, Meryl Menon, Bruce Lai, Steve Kinney, Jeff Branzburg, Laura Robitalle, Lindsay Angelo, Guy Lodico, and the Nassau BOCES folks with whom I shared lunch.
2-Extending the learning and making meaning by Tweeting, FB-ing and seeing who my fellow tweeters and FBers are. In a tech conference this size more of us should be in these worlds. We need to make meaning beyond ourselves and become active participants reflecting and sharing with our learning networks.

It was nice learning with both those who were learning with me at the conference and those who were remote doing what @worblehat has coined Twelurking (Twitter lurking). Enjoyed tweets and RTs with/from @briancsmith, @PeggySheehy, @sammorra, @mjelson, @lthumann, @roblyons, @stevekinney, @worblehat, @actionhero, @letkidsplay.

Most popular RTs:
RT @InnovativeEdu: The main purpose of schools is to teach kids to ask powerful questions and teach them to find the answers. -Chris Lehmann.
RT @InnovativeEdu: Principal Chris Lehmann says his job & his staff is to build students that are Thoughtful, Wise , Passionate, Kind TFNY09

Enjoyed FB-ing with Robb Ross, Myrielle Badio, Danita Cobble Russell, Maria DeSimone, Steve Kinney, John Clemente, Jacob Gutnicki, Samantha Stouber, Leslie Schecht, Rick Toone, Lindsay Angelo, Mike Columbia, Diamond St. Thomas, Suzanne Montaperto, and anyone I missed.

Most popular Status Updates:
Lisa Velmer NielsenAdvice to ALL presenters. Don't assume audience members are or will be parents. It's offensive to the people for whom that is not true. View all 11 comments
Lisa Velmer NielsenWhat is the role of the teacher in the age of Google? Our job is not to teach CONTENT, it is to teach WISDOM. -Chris Lehmann TFNY09 View all 14 comments

3-I appreciated that Chris Lehmann shared the message about what is really important in education. More of us need to do this. Do a twitter search for TFNY09 Lehmann to see what I'm talking about.
4-The terrific job Judy Salapert, Christine Weiser, and the T&L team did in putting together a very well-organized conference.
5-I enjoyed that the conference was a focused intimate conference rather than the overwhelming experience I encounter at conferences like NECC.

1-Start 1 hour later and I'll yawn much less. We boarded a bus at 6 a.m. and arrived before 7.
2-Presenters: Use real examples.
3-Vendors: if you talk about your great product you should figure out how to incorporate and/or demonstrate it in your presentation. No excuses. If you can't bother to figure out how to do this, I can't be bothered to listen to you.
4-Please, please stop talking at us. Use innovative tools to make your presentation interactive.
5-Don't talk about differentiation and think you do not have to differentiate. You do!

Coolest Free Tech Tool That I Hadn't Heard of Award Goes to...
No more forgotten parking lots. No more having to type notes from post-its placed on chart paper. Hurray for Wallwisher. It is an online NOTICE BOARD maker. Ideal for making announcements, wishing people, keeping notes, and basically anything you can do with Post its. No download, software or registration required. -Thank you Patrick Higgins

Coolest Expensive Tech Tool that I Hadn't Heard of Award Goes to...
Saywire is a Facebook-like intranet. It provides a closed and safe Facebook. Write, publish, plan, organize, collaborate. $6 per student -Thank you Peggy Sheehy

Lisa Nielsen has spent more than a decade working in various capacities in educational innovation at the NYC DOE and Teachers College, Columbia University including as a technology innovation manager, manager of instructional technology professional development, literacy and instructional technology coach, teacher, librarian, and staff developer. Ms. Nielsen is a Google Certified Teacher, International Edublogger, and creator of The Innovative Educator social network, blog, and wiki all of which can be found at http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of the NYC DOE, the AVP or any other entity.