So, I'm not sure why ISTE allows me to be so experimental at NECC, but I'm really glad that they do since it's so much fun! EduBloggerCon 2009 was really fun again this year, and while the blog reports on attendance inexplicably vary, over 200 signed up for the Saturday night party, and if I had to guess we had some 125 - 150 who attended for some part of the un-conference day. It just felt intimate again, though, and was a lot less "controlled." The group felt fresh, with a lot of new faces, and I again realized once again that this is what I like and maybe what my true contribution to our community is: helping new educational users of Web 2.0 feel welcomed and supported. Seems like I always gravitate to this even though I personally love the deep drill-down stuff.
Tomorrow the fun continues with NECC Unplugged. My personal NECC hero, Anita McAnear, got or gave permission for us to run this again after our first try last year. This is something of an extension of EduBloggerCon but it runs the whole three days of NECC (starting tomorrow, June 29th) and anyone who wants to can sign up to present in our area. This does something miraculous: it allows for presentations from people who've never gotten to present at NECC before, and it allows for presentations on topics that weren't necessarily current when applications to present were due last fall.
The presentations slots are 30 minutes, and this year we actually have our own separate area across the hall from the Blogger's Cafe. AND we are "Elluminating" (live-streaming) the sessions so that those who aren't attending NECC have an additional way to tap into the conference "live." I spent some time getting ready for tomorrow, since the sound for the Elluminate sessions during EduBloggerCon wasn't great--we've got a separate mic for NECC Unplugged which goes directly into the broadcasting computer, and my 16-year-old daughter Kate has agreed to spend the next three days overseeing the technical since my NECC schedule and my new Elluminate job will keep me pretty darn occupied elsewhere most of the time.
Now, if you are actually at NECC, please note that there are still some empty slots on the wiki available if you want to present something! You can also come over and say "hi" and check up on Kate, who will likely be completely exhausted after the first day and will need the draw of new friendships to agree to come back Tuesday and Wednesday. :)
Another new feature of NECC Unplugged this year is the addition of virtual presentations. So, if you are not attending NECC you can still present to others who may be attending virtually. You also sign up on the wiki to do so, and the ever-amazing Kim Caise, one of the co-hosts of the Classrom 2.0 Live Saturday show, will be helping moderate those sessions. The wiki also has a column for any other "live" links for those watching from afar. If you are aware of any live-blogging or streaming, please add those links in the final column so that others can easily find them.
Finally, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want a really progressive activity to attend, Derrall Garrison has arranged a room at Foothill College for those who want to attend NECC remotely and watch the different streams while also having the association of gathering locally. I actually think this is a very cool model for "conference 2.0," where we blend the physical and the virtual, which I think is being done by some and will likely be done by more--imagine being able to attend NECC in 15 different cities "live," with sessions being streamed out to and between all the locations. Fascinating concept! Derrall has reserved Room 4002 at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College from June 28th to July 1st from 8:00AM to 2:00 PM daily. Contact derrallg@gmail if you have any questions.