Teryl Magee and I had a fantastic time at NECC 2008. We met a lot of people we have been sharing online with over the past year or more. We also got to catch up with several of our DEN Member friends from around the country as well. Oh yeah, there were some sessions going on, too.
I chose not to blog every little detail of our trip because so many people were blogging daily activities I felt it would be better for others to just read some of it there. I know, that’s the slacker part of me coming through.
The Discovery Educator Network hosted a pre-conference event at a working ranch just outside of San Antonio. We were kept in the dark as to our agenda, but it was worth the wait. We were entertained by a cowboy trick roper (you must be good if you can do a handstand on the saddle of your horse and live to tell about it). We got to see some of the cool stuff coming out in Discovery Streaming. We watched the tech smackdown between Scott Kinney, Steve Dembo, Hall Davidson and more. It was a lot of fun in the typical DEN style!
This was my second time at NECC, so I didn’t really know if I would be overwhelmed with it all like I was last year in Atlanta. Turns out I was! I spent much time in the exhibit hall, but I didn’t make it all the way through. Of course, I was carrying my backpack with computer, camera, movie camera, and lots of free stuff from vendors, so the 90 pounds on my back sort of made me too tired to care after a while.
Teryl and I were invited to participate in focus groups for Scholastic and BrainPop. I can’t say much about either one (or they may have to kill me), but trust me, you will like the stuff you see when it launches!
Night time entertainment was pretty good, too. Several of the DEN met at Howl at the Moon. That is a dueling piano bar. If you’ve never been to one, put it on your bucket list. It is the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time! Our last night there Discovery hosted a party for about 400 of its closest friends. Our good friend, Darcy White, let me tag along to the AZ DEN party and the Microsoft party that night as well. Great networking opportunities as well as fantastic food!
I spent some time at the bloggers’ cafe, but the Internet connections were not that great. Bud Hunt (BudtheTeacher in Twitter) did an impromptu session on Plurk (Twitter’s new arch rival), and it made me want to take a closer look at it. Lisa Parisi did a live podcast from the cafe as well which was really cool to watch.
The highlight of the event sessions for me came from Hall “The Rock Star” Davidson. He was in an auditorium that must have sat around 500 people on the main floor. His session was pretty full. Hall took us through all the useful ways cell phones can (and probably eventually will) be used in the classroom. His PowerPoint is supposed to be available on the DEN Speakers site. Great stuff!
All in all, it was a great time. We’ve got a couple of weeks to rest up, then we are off to Silver Spring, MD, for the DEN LC Institute. Woot!