As I start to look forward to next year, I also need to think about what happened for this year's conference. I've shared some of my thoughts about the sessions, but it seems to be important to take a more holistic view.
- ASCD did an awesome job with organizing the conference. Messaging was clear and consistent and there were many paths for people to find information. If I still had my eyeteeth, I would have given them for a simple PDF version of the conference book, but I was still impressed with the full range of options for finding out about sessions. Kudos to the organizers for looking for so many ways for people to connect.
- My fantasy conference would have a collection of posts each day---kind of like ScienceOnline does. Lots of people are blogging, writing, and tweeting about what's happening. There should be some place where it gets aggregated and can be accessed. More people could get in on the discussions.
- One of my favourite parts of this conference was meeting so many new people. Thank you to everyone who emerged from the online world into meatspace to enrich my learning this past week. Thank you to the ASCD event and communications staff for your hospitality, enthusiasm, and all the work you did to create this experience.
- The site for sharing conference handouts was changed this year, and I don't think it was for the better. For all intents and purposes, only those registered for the conference could have access to the handouts. I can understand that there might be reason to limit things to ASCD members only, but I would love to see more open access. I also would take this a step further and mark the area for Creative Commons. There will be some who feel too proprietary about their work to share via such a license, but presenters have always had the choice as to what they offer. It would also be nice if the site is more of a "living space." As it is now, handouts are deleted a few weeks after the conference...and yet, it may be weeks or months before some application develops. One of the people in my session asked how long I would have my wiki available for them to use. My answer: As long as people have a use for it, I'll maintain it and leave it. There shouldn't be an expiration date on learning.