Random Thoughts

Summer thoughts and reflections

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I had all intention of writing a final blog post from NECC on what I was thinking the last day of the conference and where do we go from here, but you know what…it’s summer time and right now my priorities are with spending time with friends and family. We’re down to just 3 1/2 weeks before we fly out to our new home in Bangkok and just trying to prepare for departure has me running around. So much daily life stuff to take care of when really I just want to sit and enjoy the summer.

So today I’m doing just that. I’m sitting here on the porch with my mom getting stuff done.


It’s been interestings reading what everyone has posted about the conference. Some people agreeing with my take on the conference and others saying that my posts are “rather scathing“.

I mean no disrepsect to ISTE or NECC. Trust me….I know the work it takes to pull off a conference, and not one near the size of NECC. My thoughts on the conference are just that, my thoughts and what I was needing or looking for from my experience there. Learning is individual and we all learn in different ways and in different formats.

For me NECC is a time to play with new tools, to have disucssions, and most importantly to meet my network in person. I get four days a year to meet the people I communicate with online, people I consider real friends from all over the US and world. Last year Blogger’s Cafe gave us a place to play with tools and have conversations. It was out of the way and there were no expectations of things to happen there. It was just what the name inferred. A cafe with a relaxed feel and friends new and old popping in and out. Last year Blogger’s Cafe was working for me. I would go to a session come back, blog the session, and have conversations. On top of that….the Starbucks stand was just a short walk away. 🙂

I was looking for that same feeling this year and never did find it. Many people did find it in different places and I’m glad they did. I just never found my grove.

I enjoyed my time with friends and meeting new people in my network and just people in general. I taught four people how twitter works and had some great conversations about international schools and things we’re doing Internationally.

There is a teacher shortage internationally right now and if you are a teacher who understands the changing world of technology and would love to travel for a couple years Amanda DeCardy wrote a great post on getting you started. You’re also a step ahead as you know you can call on your international network of teachers to help you out along the way. 😉

I gained a lot from NECC on conference formats and trying to meet the needs of all learners. That’s what we are at a conferenc; we’re learners and being a conference orgainzer is not much different then being a classroom teacher and trying to meet the needs of all the learners in the class/conference.

It just didn’t happen for me this year….but it’s about trying things new. NECC tried somethings new and now has an opportunity to go back, reflect, and see if the conference worked.

For my part I took away some valuble thoughts on conferences and creating spaces. Not what I went to NECC for, but still came away with something useful that I can use.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Jeff, you say:

    “I gained a lot from NECC on conference formats and trying to meet the needs of all learners.”


    “For my part I took away some valuble thoughts on conferences and creating spaces.”

    If you feel like elaborating, that’s a post I’d want to read. 😉


    PS. I felt much the same way and shared a few ideas in these posts:

  2. Jeff…

    I have to say I had similar thoughts about the sessions and what I took out of this year’s NECC. I found myself engaging in conversations more and more with the goal in mind to help the PD situation at my school. And the only way to do that was to talk to other tech coordinators, (and sit in on the k12online conference session on Wednesday)

    It was great to talk to you for the brief moments there were. Best of luck in your new gig.

  3. I think we all attend conferences for different reasons. As a first timer, I was hoping to have a good time, meet some of my online friends, and learn. I accomplished all three. Did I come back with specific projects to implement in the classroom like I have at other conferences? No, I didn’t. What I came away with was a connection to people I didn’t have before NECC – a connection that can lead to new projects with my students and new learning for me.

    A lot of people have compared last year and this year. I can’t make that comparison. Perhaps many of the thoughts you and others have about what was better or worse compared to the previous year, I’ll have next year if I attend, which I hope to do.

    I do wish my personal situation could allow me to pursue the international teaching experience you and Amanda are a part of. It sounds fascinating! However, it’s not possible at this time in my life.

    • Chad,

      That’s what I got out of the conference as well. I just felt last year it was easier to make those contacts, have those conversations and make some connections that lead to real online learning for students this past year.

      I don’t feel like I made those types of connections this year but we’ll see what comes of it.

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