Posted by lpearle on 12 November 2006
(part three of what I’m sure will be a series)
- Do not talk down to your audience. Particularly if they’re a bunch of technogeeks – acting surprised that at least one of them is liveblogging, and there’s chat activity, and possibly some VOIP action just means that you lose credibility.
- On the other hand, assume that someone in the audience is Mr./Ms. Clueless and prepare a handy cheat sheet for them (you’d be surprised how many Big Thinkers still don’t know what RSS is, despite attending several sessions on it). A glossary to be previewed before attending is really great.
- If you’re doing the One Book/One Conference thing, make sure that everyone knows which edition you want them to read. If a book’s been updated, tell them you want the 2006 edition, not the 2004.
- Allow more time for cracker-barrel discussions. If it’s a small conference, held in one hotel/conference center, where you start at a group breakfast and end at a group dinner/cocktail party, give them time to relax and talk without it being five minutes in the ladies/mens room!. Otherwise people end up staying up really late and are shot for the next day’s sessions. If it’s a large conference, people have to pick-and-choose what they’ll go to, and not have enough time to compare notes with others.
- Double check wifi availability. Particularly at a tech-heavy conference, it’s really upsetting when half the people can’t get on/do the work because there’s not enough bandwidth.
- Presenters, Do not pepper your talk with references to your clients. Do not pimp your latest book. Do not pimp your next conference.
You’ll note that my last rant provoked a response from one of C2′s leaders. I’m not ignoring that, just saving my comments for another post.
Posted in Conferences, Rants | Tagged: NEIT2006, SLJSummit06 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by lpearle on 8 November 2006
According to Alan November, empathy is the most important trait for the CEOs of tomorrow. Hasn’t he ever heard of, or read, Carol Gilligan‘s Making Connections? We knew this stuff ages ago: the ethic of care is critical to a healthy society.
Posted in Conferences, Ethics, School Libraries | Tagged: NEIT2006 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by lpearle on 8 November 2006
Bill Joy, at the The Aspen Ideas Festival:
Bill Joy on the Internet and education
Joy, the cofounder of Sun Microsystems, dismissed the suggestion that the online communities formed around Internet games and LiveJournal pages could provide an educational boost for America’s young people.
This all … sounds like a gigantic waste of time. If I was competing with the United States, I would love to have the students I was competing with spending their time on this kind of crap … [P]eople are fooling themselves that they’re being creative in these spaces … [T]he standard of creativity in the world, to be competitive and be a great designer, is very hard: you have to go to school; you have to apprentice; you have to do hard things. It’s not about, your friends like something you did. So I think this is setting a false expectation: you can create your own island and people come to it in a video game … and I don’t see any correlation between that and what it’s gonna take to be a designer and have a skill set to succeed in the world. So I go back to what I said before: we’re amusing ourselves to death; there are good uses of this technology, and I don’t see this as a good use of the technology …
[T]he real problem is, by democratizing speech and the ability to post, we’ve lost the gradation for quality. The gradation of quality was always based on the fact that words had weight—it cost money to move them around. So there was back pressure against … junk …
[U]ltimately, not everyone can have a million readers, because all the readers have run out of time. So it’s a false promise to people, that they can get the big audience. Because in the end—once [you’ve] gotten to the years when you’ve got a job, you’ve gotta raise your kids—you’re not gonna have time for this.
(from The Atlantic Monthly – login required)
At NYSAIS, I’ll be hearing from Will Richardson. He doesn’t agree with Mr. Joy. I wonder if he’s thought about it from this perspective. I know it’s one of the things that worries me.
Posted in Conferences, Pedagogy | Tagged: NEIT2006 | 1 Comment »
Posted by lpearle on 7 November 2006
Conference One (not to be confused with Conference Two, starting tomorrow) was good. For the most part, the presenters avoided the Things I Hate. I know that at C2, there’ll be a lot of talk about the election and that I’ll want to kill all of them: people, remember – not everyone shares your biases pro or con a party/person/policy. I know that in this polarized world it’s hard to believe that you might actually know someone that doesn’t think the way you do, but – gasp – you just might. So keep the major angst to yourself until you know you’re not going to annoy anyone.
End of rant one.
Rant two concerns the purpose of C1. It’s a “Leadership Summit”, which is wonderful. I’m always flattered to be considered a leader. It was inspiring to hear many of the thoughts, but… I know too many “sheep”. There was little to no talk about how to reach them. It’s a conundrum for which I have little response. If they don’t come to the conference, how do you get the ideas back to them? If they don’t do professional reading, how do you get the ideas back to them? If they aren’t passionate about staying current and being relevant, how do you get the ideas back to them? Even more important: how do you convince someone in a school with little money, no help and an administration that sets up roadblocks to change that these ideas matter?
So the “could be better part” for C1? Next time, let’s work on outreach – create a primer of small steps that anyone can take, perhaps, or figure out ways to bring the news to “the people” rather than forcing them to travel to hear it.
Sadly, I expect the same from C2.
Posted in Conferences, Rants | Tagged: NEIT2006, SLJSummit | 2 Comments »