Continuing to catch up to the end of January, here are some of my highlights from FETC
On Tuesday as I was just about to board my plane, Hall called asking me to find a DVD of the first Matrix movie while I waited for him in the Orlando airport. Fortunately, they had one and he used a scene perfectly to set up his presentation on using code to get the most out of Google Earth or commandeer an iPod. I’ve said it before, though maybe not here, there is a lot of James Burke/”Connections” like thinking in Hall’s presentations.
We also got to listen to Scott Kinney rehearse his introduction of keynote speaker, Jeff Corwin. In spite of a mysterious voice from next door, Scott remained poised and packed a lot in a little time to prepare the audience for a very special keynote.
Wednesday morning was a special, preconference DEN get together with many fine presentations topped of with a potpourri session done by our own attending DEN members. Then we hopped a bus for Downtown Disney and lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe. There was just enough time for us to get in a little shopping before heading back for Jeff Corwin’s keynote (we’ll get Lefty that light saber next year, Steve). Jeff Corwin’s keynote lived up to Scott’s intro and all attendees received a DVD of Jeff Corwin exploring Florida’s ecosystem.
That night I joined Apple and other Apple Distinguished Educators for dinner and a tour of Full Sail University in Winter Park. Talk about just in time learning! They accept and graduate students preparing for the entertainment industry every month except December. Their 178 acre campus covers an old shopping mall and two office parks, and includes a backlot street that is about a block long. Among the awesome collection of studios and editing suites were a number of green screen sets including one that is almost two stories high! Visit the website. It really does their philosophy and programs justice.
Thursday I got to spend a little time in the booth, visiting vendors and dropping in on presentations. That evening, while the DEN crew was turning the corporate presentation room into a classy reception area, I was very privileged to be sent across the street to accept an award from “Technology & Learning” magazine. “An” award turned out to be four! Discovery Education Science and Discovery Education Health were recognized with 2007 Awards of Excellence from the magazine, while Discovery Education streaming Plus and PowerMediaPlus each received a Legacy Award for “standing the test of time and evolving.” Then back to the redecorated Discovery room to celebrate those awards, the DEN and each other. And a big tip of the hat to Discovery’s Jen O’Brien who kept the red carpet rolled out and the corporate room organized and looking good in all its many roles.
Friday was basically a travel day as I raced back to Chicagoland for a couple of presentations of my own Saturday morning and the impending birth of my grandson (who accommodated my traveling with his own premiere just after midnight on Saturday). I did, however, manage to sit through a dry run of Hall’s newest preso, “Revenge of the Digital Immigrants,” and catch some of Jannita’s presentation on Digital Storytelling (looked good, JD!) on Friday morning.
So, after I take another look at the Super Bowl commercials, I may just be (temporarily) caught up.