Representing all levels of the education community, from Kindergarten through 20, professionals from over 40 states and 16 different countries gathered to share ideas and learn best practices from colleagues with real-world experience implementing technology into the learning environment.
"At TechEd Events, this conference is our focus and our passion," said William Neece, conference director, "and TechEd 2006 represents the coming together of thousands of man hours, and hundreds of volunteers, to effectively create the world's leading hands-on conference & exposition."
So it is no surprise to Neece that educators would brave the weather and attend this great event. "We serve a true need to the education community," he added. "By providing one location where educators and administrators converge with leading technology representatives, we are providing an opportunity for education professionals to discover the key solutions they have been searching for - solutions that ultimately find their way back into the classroom and help our students succeed!"
Held over three days, the 3,000 attendees filled up 250 concurrent sessions, three daily keynotes, and explored over 40,000 sq. ft of exhibit hall featuring everything from Microsoft, ETS and College Board, to the LO*OP Computers in Education museum and a 40-foot-long Mobile Community Technology Lab known as an eBus sponsored by Freddie Mac and developed by The Community College Foundation.
According to one attendee, the exhibit hall was "a grand experience including the ribbon cutting grand opening" and that's not all. The Exhibit Hall also featured the Technology Showcase with the WOW Iron Chef Webmaster competition, Garage-Games' educational gaming boot camp and the CSULA student showcase all of which drew great crowds and excited onlookers.
Outside of the intense educational experience of the sessions and the excitement of the exhibit hall, the TechEd 2006 keynote speakers provided unique perspectives on the world of technology and it's impact on today's students and tomorrow's opportunities.
Day one featured Dr. David Cavallo, director of the Future in Learning Group from the MIT Media Lab, fresh from a three month visit to Brazil where they are implementing the Laptop for Every Child initiative which utilizes the unique $100 Laptop project. Dr. Cavallo shared his stories of educational perspective and how we have to not only change education, but change how we view the educational process.
Day two and three featured Dr. Jennifer James and Tom Galvin, respectively. Dr James, an urban cultural anthropologist, shared her perspectives on how technology is effecting us, creating a society of cyborgs and how we can avoid technology side-effects.
Galvin, director of Intel Innovation in Education, was Wednesday's closing keynote and enjoyed a lively session of Q & A after his brief remarks on where education is heading.
Other distinguished visitors at TechEd 2006 included the Honorable Bill Bogaard, mayor of Pasadena, and Billie Greer, representative from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Los Angeles office.
With TechEd 2006 now closed, surveys are being posted and feedback is being sought by the producers for development of TechEd 2007 already scheduled for March 26-28, 2007 in Ontario, California.
For more information on TechEd Events, please visit their website at www.techedevents.org.