AZ School Librarian

Reflections on the events and happenings of a new librarian, veteran teacher, and soon to retire educator in Arizona. I've been a music teacher, computer lab teacher (VIC 20, Apple IIe, C-64, MacPlus, and PC), curriculum integration specialist, and am about to add Library Media Specialist to the list. My interests include photography, 4 wheeling (in a Jeep Unlimited), hiking, technology, and renovating my house.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Day Two - Exhibit Floor

Exhibit Floor

The first time I attended NECC (2003), I spent nearly all the time on the Exhibit Floor. I had avoided conferences for some time, for reasons that seemed reasonable and logical at the time. “No point in lookin’ if you ain’t got no money.” I wandered all over the place, looking at the goodies, trying to find trends in what I saw. It looked to me then as though the day of the commercial software package was soon to be over. It was clear that educators were starting to send the message that we expected more for our investment. I saw more titles that were trying to provide what we are calling productivity tools, and more booths that were starting to offer teacher training as part of the package.

Today I find myself pointedly going to certain booths, and asking specific questions. Its sort of like surfing the net, I’m ignoring the flashy ads, looking for the stuff I want.

I’m surprised to get my questions answered well, and even more surprised to see the very low key presence of Microsoft. They are showing the beta of Vista and the new Office, surrounded by four couches and wearing tye-dyed shirts. Almost a little spooky.

At one booth (eInstruction) I managed to win a flash drive – while my neighbor Jim won $2500.00 in hardware for his wife’s classroom. Exactly why he came to this booth. The eInstruction folks are offering tools that provide immediate assessment, and a way to keep students engaged in learning. Nice simple tool, with lots of ways for the constructivist teacher to work this kind of technology into learning. It also includes materials for the more didactic educator, providing questions from all the usual publisher of student textbooks.

I also picked up what I really needed – a pen! I somehow managed to leave home without it. I’ve heard that you can tell the quality of a convention by the quality of the free pens and the variety of trade trash being offered. I’ll have to walk around a bit more to get the feel of that…


Technorati Tags: education, necc, necc06, necc06prep, necc2006

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