In a nutshell, it was like a $5.99 'All You Can Eat' four-day buffet. You know the type. The one where you find yourself initially balancing three plates because you just have to sample all of the enticing dishes (come on, I know you've 'been there, done that'! LOL). The one where you finally realize that you can just keep going back and back and back to the buffet to either try new dishes or get a second (and sometimes third) helping of those dishes that were particularly tasty.
Well, that's what NECC09 was like. My planner was filled with those little yellow triangle with red exclamation point icons (the ones that said, 'You've overbooked yourself for this time'). My conference book's map pages were covered with red, green, and purple lines indicating the best (read 'quickest') paths to the next sessions. You get the point.
I spent time in Keynotes, and though for the most part pleased, I could have done without the advertising/sponsorship plug in Erin Gruwell's keynote. I attended some 'Birds of a Feather' sessions and even contributed to the one on Using iTouch and iPhones for Teaching and Learning. I attended ticketed BYOL sessions where I learned how to create a video in 10 minutes and how to navigate around Comic Life. I attended sessions on using iTouches, and being an avid Tony Vincent fan, I made sure to attend that one -- and thanks to Tony, the American economy got a serious boost from me! LOL Many of these presenters have their materials available online, so if you missed a session you really wanted to attend, I would the presenters resources my first stop.
Normally I don't eat desserts (I'd rather splurge on a variety of appetizers), but for NECC09 I made an exception. And boy, am I glad I did, as it was truly the 'icing on the cake'. I made a concerted effort to introduce myself and strike up conversations with total strangers (well, they weren't all that strange!). I wanted to find out what they were doing at NECC09, what treasures they discovered and were willing to share, what they were doing in their schools and classrooms, and I wanted to mutually grow our PLN. In the past, when I've been asked or surveyed as to 'who's who' in educational technology, I've always responded, 'The person next to you'. To all of you who didn't run off screaming when a strange (a few times with a purple wig on!) struck up a conversation with you, I say, 'thank you'....and I'm glad to now be able to include you in my 'who's who'!
Remind me never to skip dessert again!