Friday, April 10, 2009

Blowing the Doors off NECC 2009

One of the most enjoyable ed tech events of the year is the National Educational Computing Conference each summer. This year it's in Washington, DC from June 28 - July 1st. Tomorrow, as part of our regular Classroom 2.0 LIVE show, we're going to talk about blowing the doors off of the regular conference experience, both for those physically attending and for those who can only participate remotely.

This meeting should be a lot of fun. I have what I think are some really fun ideas, and Wes Fryer is going to help me moderate a brainstorming session so we can get planning going. (We're going to be looking for volunteers to help!) Because of my work at Elluminate, we also have unlimited access to their services, which should allow a lot of remote participation!

Here are some things we will discuss:

EduBloggerCon. Not just for bloggers, but for EVERYONE interested in Web 2.0 in education, our one-day, Saturday (June 27th) unconference event will be our THIRD at NECC, and let's make sure it's the best ever. Based on feedback from last year, we need to make sure there's a lot of self-organization and socializing allowed. I have this crazy idea to encourage people who can't attend NECC to hold their own concurrent online sessions and tap into the larger event. I can even imagine smaller locally-organized groups of even two or three people possibly getting together in their local areas if we set up a wiki page for this.

NECC Unplugged and NECC Live. I want to consider merging these two projects into one. NECC Unplugged is our special program for anyone to sign up to present at NECC in our special lounge area, which (hopefully!) this year will be separate from but adjacent to the Blogger's Cafe so that we don't have too much going on at once. Didn't get accepted to present, or have a topic that's come up recently? You'll be able to sign up for a time slot, and we're going to live-stream the whole thing through Elluminate! NECC Live was a wiki last year listing all streaming/blogging going on at NECC, and I want to propose that this be merged with NECC Unplugged into one site.

Twitter & Live-Blogging: we can talk about the best ways to utilize Twitter, and if there's any value in agreeing on hash-tags, platforms, or anything else.

If I've missed anything, please come to our session tomorrow and particpate!

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm GMT

Location: Classroom 2.0 LIVE Elluminate room:

First time using Elluminate? Go to to make sure your computer is set up to use.


  1. Steve,
    This sounds great. I'm not going to be at NECC this year, but I'm volunteering to help with this event. What about having some of us remote people present at NECC Unplugged? I have a talk on Innovation in STEM education I am willing to do.

  2. Great Ideas. looking foward to "attending" through twitter and perhaps your wiki. Was able to attend MACUL this year so that shots my personal budget. My school district doesn't pay for conferences for us meer teachers any more.

    I really appreciae the opportunity to continue to learning through these additional opportuities that you and classroom 2.0 provide.

  3. I like the idea of getting the larger community, those who will and won't be there, started on ideas for this summer! I'll try to join the Elluminate session tomorrow.

  4. @Jim: I do like the idea of remote presentations, but it really complicates the scheduling piece, and requires that there be somebody devoted to managing the tech from the NECC side. What if, instead, we just made an Elluminate virtual room available and it could be scheduled like the physical space, and the events listed on the wiki as well so other remote participants could watch if they wanted, but which we didn't necessarily worry about displaying to the folks at physical NECC? Of course, all recorded as well, so available for later viewing.

    If we did this, we'd need someone in the remote world to manage the virtual room during the three days--I think we'd get some volunteers. I really like the idea, and I think it extends the concept of "NECC Unplugged" in a cool way.

  5. From the always-thoughtful Sylvia Martinez (by email, but I'm posting here to have it in the general dialog):


    Hey, I won't be able to make it on Saturday (I'll be in Vegas! I know... boo hoo) but I thought I would drop in one suggestion from last year... to eliminate the voting.

    I know it was hard with the space we had last year, but I really thought that the voting put an edge of competitiveness and prom queen selection on the process that was not helpful to the community. I also thought that even once the voting was done, there were some people actively advocating for their sessions (meaning they were taking people away from others). It seemed insensitive.

    I went to an "Open Space" event and their format really worked - however, you do have to commit to at least an afternoon regrouping session to add more options and rearrange. And the other issue is space. You have to have a lot of options for where people can go and allow many, many more sessions. But perhaps we can designate some wide spots in the hall as "meeting rooms". Will did a session last year that was just fine that way. Some home made sandwich boards and posters that people can tote around and create instant spaces for group talk might be just fine.

    I think 30 meets with 5 people each is better, more intimate, and more likely to have new people talking.

  6. Hi Steve,
    Just finished attending CR 2.0 Live session. What about setting up a SpeedGeeking area away from main event like Kim Cofino talks about in her blog?

    It would be smaller and more intimate for newbies. I remember how overwhelming my first NECC was in N.O. in 2004. I had a mentor with me to show me the "ropes" thank goodness. I felt like everyone was speaking a different language. But I walked away of that experience determined to learn more about Web 2.0.

    We really need to help the first timers navigate NECC, or they could leave with negative feelings and we shouldn't allow that to happen. I would love to mentor someone.


I hate having to moderate comments, but have to do so because of spam... :(