I attended NECC for 7 years and presented at 5 of them. I was an excellent presenter and received "Best of NECC" several times. The people in my workshops always went home with tons of ideas to use in the classroom. I loved to go to sessions where people would show me stuff and I'd go "WOW". I got burned out with presenting and have not been to NECC for several years, even though I use all kinds of technology applications in the classroom. I always like to look at the NECC handouts to see what I've missed--I think I missed Web 2.0 all together in the last 2 years!!
I decided to take a look at blogs and wikis last fall and started using them in the classroom right away. I'm lucky--I teach in a full day gifted program so I don't have to worry about "teaching to the test" and other classroom distractions like kiddos who don't speak English. Along with using blogs and wikis I've started reading tons of blogs over the last 6 months and spent several hours in the last few days reading the follow up NECC 2007 blogs. That's the point of this rant.
All of the "famous" and not so famous educational technology bloggers raved about NECC 2007 and were thrilled with "Twitter", "Blogger Cafe", EdBloggerCon (?), etc. Several said they attended NO sessions and didn't visit the Exhibit Hall (what??). They raved about sitting around blogging f2f--it was oh so stimulating. I'm sure I would have been right there in the midst of all this chatting---but...
Isn't this preaching to the choir? It seems a lot of the educational/ technology blogging is all the same--discussing the same issues but not talking too much about kids and stuff to engage kids in learning. Web 2.0 is cool and has great gadgets and great potential but GET REAL. So much of it is fluff---and many of the gadgets will 1.) be gone in 6 months 2.) start charging a fee or 3.) will be blocked by your district.
We need to teach kids how to read well and do hard math and do real work in a real work environment. I retire in 3 years---somebody needs to figure this whole technology thing out and give teachers real ideas of how to do stuff and what works. Finished ranting.
1 week ago