The Strength of Weak Ties

Everyone participates. Everyone contributes. Leveraging the power of digital networks to connect people, resources and ideas to drive creativity and innovation forward...and actually accomplish something!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NECC Awards

I just got back from Atlanta yesterday and here are my perceptions of NECC, in sort of an award format.

Best Event:
EdubloggerCon, held on Saturday before NECC. Hands down. Big. Huge. Hit. If you can go next year, don’t miss it. Or, go to Hitchhikr or go to Technorati and enter the tag for the event (edublogger07) to locate the posts.

Best Presentation I saw: Mitch Resnick, MIT, Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society (tag: n07s737)

Next Best Presentation: Jeff Utecht, informal presentations at the Blogger Café on TwitterCamp. Simply merging talent, tools and opportunity to do something good.

Best Presentation Style: Mitch Resnick again, who gets it. Hey look, visuals! No bullet points. Just telling the story…

Best Blog Post (Humorous category): John Pedersons’ description of the use of Twitter and other associated tools to coordinate a trip to the Braves/Tiger’s game.

This was everywhere: Anything 2.0

When will this stop? Presenters reading bullet point slides to me in a presentation.

This will be everywhere in San Antonio: Second Life

Emergence of new tool:
for many it was Twitter. For me, Twitter and Skype.

Most interesting new conference technique with potential: the use of Skype to connect individuals within a presentation together in a Skype chat to discuss the presenter(s) ideas as they are being said real-time, with the potential for other individuals in another session to follow along and add their own thoughts. It’s about developing a small learning network within a presentation…and the transcripts of the chat can be posted to a blog for others to see.

Least surprising: the big time interest in Second Life. Very similar to the interest in podcasting several years ago. It will be interesting to see where it goes, and you have to admire the passion of those who believe deeply that this will change how learning occurs.

Biggest absence for me: Some of the Canadian bloggers.

Most ironic: packed SRO room at Tony Vincent’s ipod presentation-so much interest in the educational application of a tool that is typically banned in most schools. (tag n07s611)

Worst Idea: Blogger in a Bag. :)

Disappointing for me, personally: digital storytelling presentations “de-evolving” into presentations focusing on the tools, such as “Learning Photostory” as opposed to focusing on the evolution of the technique as a methodology for developing a student's global voice.

Best advancement from previous conferences: Hands down winner, the Blogger Café

Best ideas: 1) EdubloggerCon 2) Blogger Café 3) the application of individual tags for each presentation-thank you Steve Hargadon, 4) the use of Skype within presentations.

Best new tool for conferences: the application of Twitter and Skype to presence and for connecting ideas and people.

Best social event: Airport delays and cancellations forcing spontaneous Blogger Cafés at the Atlanta airport.

Best Atlanta restaurant: Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. With a name like that, it has to be good and it was. Didn’t get to go to the Varsity….

Best New Product: I didn’t see one, although I didn’t spend much time on the exhibit hall floor.

I'm always amazed by: the power of like-minded people to inspire each other (same as last year)

Person who inspires me: Steve Hargadon, who works tirelessly, is smart, and serves the greater good.

I finally got to meet: Brian Grenier, Vinny Vrotney, Cheryl Oakes, Chris Sessums, Chris Craft, Tom Banaszewski, Brian Crosby, Julie Lindsey, Darren Draper, Kevin Honeycutt, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, and Karl Fisch, plus many more. (Sorry for not linking...)

Best quote: Tie:

What is the worst consequence of your best idea? (Chris Lehmann)

What happens in schools stays in schools (from David Warlick’s EdubloggerCon session)

And just to show how this all works (Best Quote, Second Place):

Darren Draper contributes a quote into a Skype chat from Kevin Honeycutt during Will Richardson’s spotlight session, which is harvested and posted by Jeff Utecht and read by me, and reposted here:

[7:32:59 AM] Darren Draper says: Kevin Honeycutt said that this is the first conference he’s been to (myself included) where he met a lot of people “who’s brains he had known” before he knew their faces.

See you in San Antonio!


  • At 11:41 PM , Blogger Jeff Utecht said...

    I am honored to be mentioned in your awards. I'm sorry I don't have a speech prepared. :)

    Great to see you again. Now that we have you addicted to Skype and Twitter I'm sure we'll be communicating much more. :)

  • At 10:51 AM , Blogger Chris Lehmann said...

    What Jeff said. :)

  • At 4:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Since there are only 12 Canadians in total...I'm honored too! See you in Boston and thanks again for getting the RedSox tickets.

  • At 4:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Under best quote category add:

    Steve Dembo
    As Steve Hargadon brought the EduBloggercon to a close, Steve Dembo does a sweeping motion with his hands over the crowd that is beginning to disperse and says, "I don't want to leave. This is my tribe. These are my people."

  • At 5:38 PM , Blogger David said...

    Sheryl: that is awesome, and classic Dembo...

  • At 1:29 PM , Blogger Alfred Thompson said...

    For what it is worth, I blogged a little about what I meant when I said "what happens in school stays in school" at

    I do beleive that it is important that we help kids understand that what they learn in school means something outside of school. They're never really learn until that happens.


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