Monday, June 25, 2012

Kickoff and Keynote

The start of the ISTE 2012 conference has come and gone. I attended the kickoff with Mario Armstrong and others. Fun costumes, a couple of prizes given away, and generally a good event.

Not to complain, though, but I think a number of bad decisions were made regarding the opening keynote. With only an hour and a quarter set aside for it, there was over half an hour of fluffy videos, ISTE representatives and politicians, and Qualcomm Executive Vice President of Global Market Development Peggy Johnson, while Sir Ken Robinson, Marc Prensky, and Dr. Mayim Bialik sat quietly. I understand that ISTE probably spent a lot of money producing the videos, and there are many people who need to welcome us to the conference, but I found it frustrating.

Imagine if things had been reversed, start with the stars and follow them with ISTE leaders and politicians. Many people were leaving while Sir Kin Robinson was still speaking, how many would stay in the room if it were someone they hadn't heard of?

And with respect to the seating, there wasn't nearly enough in the hall, and every second person had to lean forward in order for our shoulders to fit. Nor was there even enough in the "overflow", thankfully they were able to get the video stream up and running soon after things started.

As well, I know that it's hard to have a robust Wi-Fi connection for this many people, and they did a fairly good job, but this is something that can be improved.
The opening keynote event sets the stage for the whole event, and I was disappointed with this one. Hopefully this doesn't reflect poorly on the rest of the conference.

The highlight of my day, though, was Skypeing with my kids and having them show me the artwork that they painted for me today. And they hugged the computer to give me a hug good night.

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