First Impressions of TxDLA

Waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the bay in Corpus Christi. My first attendance in person at TxDLA is of to a good start. I’ve been welcomed and fed with great Texas hospitality and charm by several of my VC buddies from Texas.

I’m impressed with the wide variety of videoconferencing, online learning, blended/hybrid learning, and Web 2.0 sessions represented at the conference. I’ve said this before, but it’s great to have so many videoconference sessions! I don’t know of any other conference in the United States that offers so many good K-12 videoconference sessions. I’m starting to rethink my plans to have NECC as my regular national conference. TxDLA is looking more and more like it meets my learning needs better.

There are several “little” conference things that TxDLA does that make it a fun conference to attend. It’s small enough to have a nice feel, but large enough to have a wide variety of sessions. In addition to the traditional presenter, volunteer, board member, ribbons, the vendors give out ribbons from the “fun pack”. They have fun ribbons that say things like “I could be president”, “workaholic”, “troublemaker” etc. I’ll be passing this idea on to MACUL.

There are a few little things, though, that TxDLA could do to make us feel a little more welcome. Our nametags don’t have our location if we’re out of Texas – just says “outside Texas.”!! Is it so hard to add our state? Also, there’s a session block today that is for all the regional groups to meet. However, nothing is scheduled for those of us “outside Texas”. It would be nice to have a session where we could network with each other. For example, I hear someone from Australia is here and would like to compare notes with him.

I also haven’t figured out the Internet yet. No Internet to blog the general sessions. Would be nice to have Internet for that!

Still, so far I’m glad to be here and looking forward to blogging several interesting sessions. Just might be posting them all at the end of the day when I can get Internet.

(Later. I found the Internet is only at the “hot spot” so I can’t live blog in any of the sessions.)

(Later, later. Found wireless in room 226. Might be hanging out here!)

0 replies on “First Impressions of TxDLA”

  1. October says:

    My aircard is much faster than anything at the conference. 🙂

  2. Joe Corbett says:

    Janine, TxDLA sounds halfway between a conference and an unconference, which I’m a huge fan of. You find so many passionate techies at unconferences they are a great place to learn from others. I did see you were considering replacing NECC as your regular national conference which I hope you reconsider because so much is going on this year. You can read about it on the official NECC blog and join the conversation by posting as a guest blogger. Maybe I’ll see you at NECC09!

  3. Janine Lim says:

    Joe – I appreciate your comment! I won’t be at NECC 09 due to a family conflict this year. But my “beef” with NECC is that there are so few videoconference sessions. Why is it that we can’t have one or more at every time that there is a session? That was the big benefit of TxDLA to me over NECC. What do you think? In the past I’ve tried hard to recruit lots of people to present VC at NECC, but very few of them get accepted. Why is that??!

  4. Joe Corbett says:

    Off the top of my head I really don’t know why more aren’t accepted, but I’ll do some asking around and see if there is some standard or other protocols that prevent them from making it in. I do know that there is an avalanche of submission and just going through all of them is a monumental task in itself. This year at NECC we are planning to do some live streaming of sessions and of the show floor itself so I’m sure we can deliver some content that will be of interest to those not in attendance. That being said it will be as interactive as possible in that I’ll be fielding requests and questions from offsite viewers which will hopefully add to the online/offsite experience.

  5. Ken says:

    Janine, the badges say “outside texas” for those from other places due to the regional groups that are a somewhat key component of TxDLA. Based on your location within Texas you are placed in a regional group that is generated on your badge through a program. If you are not from Texas you are listed as “outside texas.” I do think there are enough outside Texas folks (10% of the attendance this year!) to have their own session during the regional group meeting times and will suggest that for next year. I will also ask about seeing if the states can be added instead of just the generic “outside texas.” It was great to see you in person again!

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