This morning I’m attending the Computers & Writing 2009 conference at UC Davis. Its an interesting mix of participants representing grades K-16 and from school districts or colleges all over the United States and looks like a phenomenal learning opportunity. I can’t wait for the fun to begin! While I’m waiting for my first session about using Voicethread for writing I’ve noticed a few things about conference set up anyone should think about before planning out a conference.
1. Sharing – Teachers love to share ideas. When you set up a conference how do you allow teachers to share what they have learned real time with their colleagues? Are Twitter and Facebook open? Can your participants blog? Have you built in blogging time?
2. Computers – Right now I’m in a computer lab and can access a computer. However, I have my own computer in my backpack. It sure would be nice to use it rather than the lab computer. First of all, in order to use the lab computer I have to turn my side to the presenter and some of my sharing sites are blocked. Fortunately, I can turn my screen and keyboard. Secondly, there are no plugs near by to plug my computer into should I need power. Finally, this is a Mac lab and all of the computers have single-button Apple mice. This seems to be really .
3. Connectivity – Participants don’t have wireless access for their own computers, but we do have access to most of the Internet through the lab computers. Yesterday I figured out how to tether my iPhone, but unfortunately we’re in the basement and have a very weak signal. I wish I could use my own computer. All my bookmarks would be handy to have, especially my Delicious plug in tools to save ideas I hear during the day.
These are just a few of my thoughts. As I plan my own conferences in the future, these are ares I have to remember to think about. Okay, time to log off and pay attention to the teacher!