This past week I was in Orlando, FL enjoying the warmth that was the ELI Annual Meeting for 2009. I did my overall recap over in my PSU blog as a travel report … I also did that to provide some much needed reflection on the whole event and to be included in the PSU travel aggregation. If I had to sum up the event in a few words it would be really easy — the whole thing left me feeling really energized about the state of educational technology. It seems to me that ELI continues to push the edge of the conference on many fronts. They try new things every single year and work very hard to make the event both comforting and challenging. The level of participation is always high and this year was no different.
One thing that was different about this trip were the number of colleagues that I traveled with from PSU. I was lucky to be joined by Allan, Brad, Chris, John, Carla, and Hannah — all of us spent time in multiple sessions and lots of time thinking and reflecting together. I think having so many PSU folks travel together worked out very well. We actually took time to talk about what we were seeing, hearing, and feeling around the event. Having that opportunity was a real difference maker. The other thing I am noticing about these events is how many people I am beginning to really know from other Institutions and organizations — I got to see Bryan Alexander, Alan Levine, Jim Groom, Carl Berger, and so many others. The whole community is coming together in a way for me personally that is hard to explain. All in all it was a blast.
I loved the challenge and opportunity to present with Alan and Jim … figuring our how to structure a session when all three of us are in very different places wasn’t easy. Going in it felt like we hadn’t prepared, but in hindsight, the things we discussed have been part of our collective focus for so many years now the prep time wouldn’t have mattered.
I got to work with both Brad and Carla on an ePortfolio presentation that generated lots of discussion and some follow-up emails from people. I love to find time to present and share the work of our organization at events like this, so getting the chance to do two was great.
If you are looking for details read my reflections on the event, listen to ETS Talk 52, visit the website or the listen the audio from the Not Your Grandpa’s Blog session. For now I think I’ve said enough about the ELI 2009 event.