Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It wasn't just us!

This is as far as we got before we gave up. They weren't letting anyone else into the aquarium until people came out. People coming out suggested that sardines swimming in the tanks had a good laugh at the people sardines packed into the aquarium. But there was no special treatment for anyone getting in. Standing behind us in line was Kurt Steinhaus, immediate Past president of ISTE and his wife. We had a good chat with them as Kurt had been to New Zealand. We told him that we had set ourselves the task of talking to someone from each state in the US and that we were concerned about finding people from Alaska. He wished us well. The next morning during a break he found us and said that he had found someone from Alaska and told them about us, as well as giving or descriptions. Kurt was really friendly and made us feel very welcome at the conference.

Post Keynote Mayhem!

Following the keynote there was a reception to be held at the Atlanta Aquarium. Someone hadn't done their maths or possibly given too much thought tothe logistics. This was my real first experience of the notion "to queue". Yep, we haven't got to the building yet and the line goes right around the building in two different directions.

Opening Keynote

Andrew Zolli, Futurist was the opening key note speaker. I podcast of this session can be viewed here. In this session Andrew promoted the importance of creativity and innovation in learning. He highlighted key factors that are shaping our world in the next 10 to 20 years. He argued that the whole of civilisation is shifting rapidly with a digital divide being created by what is possible and what is fundable. He believes that in the future virtually anything that can be done now a computer will be doing so what does that leave us?

CREATIVITY = Think , Look , Play, Imagine

He believes there will be five things which will define tomorrow’s world.

1. Demographics. Oceania 40 percent' growth.

2. Environment Altitudes and Values.

3. Learning place.

4. Coping with Choice and Complexity

5. Redefining Literacy.

Conference Opening

Atlanta Drumline opened the conference. They were fantastic. I have a short video captured from our seats which doesn't do it justice. We saw another group playing at the baseball game later that week.

The Conference

The conference is very large compared to what we are use to back in New Zealand. It has been worthwhile doing a short “recki” to find our way around the place. The conference is hosting 16000 delegates which makes for a massive organisation. Given that there is no pre registering for sessions it will interesting to see how this all works in terms of getting into popular sessions.