Send As SMS

July 27, 2002

How Not to Run a Conference

I arrived for Day 3 of the conference here in DC, having missed Day 1 and 2. I asked around to catch up on what I'd missed. Universally, people told me that this was a hotbed of the absolutely worst presentations ever inflicted under one roof. With only two exceptions, the keynotes were jaw-droppingly bad. Peter Desberg (who coaches people on making speeches) sat next to me at lunch and it was fun to listen to his color commentary on today's speaker. It was almost too painful to watch, so I looked around at how others were reacting. After two days of similar pain, those at the other tables had learned to project their souls into other times and places, to astrally send themselves to somewhere more interesting. Since Apple has thoughtfully provided WiFi connectivity to this gathering and actually loaned out iBooks to those who didn't have them, there were lots of people going online to escape the situation.

Isn't it ironic that a Federally funded event centered on improving teacher education with technology could do so badly at designing an educational environment?