My first piece of advice to anyone attending FETC or other major education technology conference is don’t show up at the end of three weeks away from home. I did and I’m already exhausted. Yesterday Pat Phillips and I did a work shop in Hollywood FL about 3 hours drive away from Orlando and FETC. Then we drove up to Orlando. Yes it was a long day and I have been travelling for over two weeks already. That being said so far FETC has lived up to expectations and it wasn’t really a full day for most attendees. Pat and I did several presentations today. OK Pat did three and I did one of those three with her and was there for support for the other two. We also installed Expression Web on 33 laptops for a hands on workshop Pat will be doing Friday. In between I snuck into the exhibit hall for a while and took care of some email and phone meetings. Tomorrow of course will be busier.
Pat and I will be reprising the three workshops we did today (two on Expression Web and one on XNA, Kodu and other game development tools). They should go even better tomorrow. No really. Stop by room 205B at 11 for the XNA/Game talk and noon or 5PM for the Expression Web talks. If nothing else come say “hi.” Microsoft doesn’t have a booth in the hall this year. (No idea why not) But you can find me around the room we have. There are other, perhaps more interesting talks, going on there as well.
The exhibit hall seems really interesting. I stopped by the Cengage booth (they’ve published a textbook I wrote so I always do that) and spotted a couple of books on developing games using Visual Basic. One was written by a teen for teens and the other by a college professor. They’re going to send me review copies and I can’t wait to look through them. Much as I love XNA my heart belongs to Visual Basic.
HP has a big booth and I think I saw Dell as well. Asus has a lot of netbooks and the ones I looked at are running Windows 7 which pleased me no end. There was a touch sensitive netbook that I think I really want. I need to go back and ask them about that.
And of course there are a lot of concurrent sessions going on tomorrow and Friday. Not sure I am allowed in with an Exhibitor badge but if I have time and can get in I may try a couple. Many of them look really good.
Speaking of advice – the PBS Teacherline blog has a post called 7 Tips for an Effective FETC Experience that is very helpful. And not just for FETC but for any good conference. They also link to other people who are blogging about FETC.
Which reminds me, I’m already making plans for TCEA next month in Austin, TX. Microsoft’s sessions will be held in Room 410 located at the Hilton Hotel Austin next to the convention center. I hope to see people there.