My day started at 4:30 a.m. today, when I woke up to leave for the Illinois Computing Educators conference in St. Charles, IL (a suburb of Chicago). I was able to catch up on my This American Life podcasts on the way up, which is always a lot of fun. I really had no idea what to expect at this conference, and when I pulled into the parking lot I quickly learned this was a much bigger deal than I had planned on. I started to feel quite sheepish about my dinky little poster in the back of the car. When I finally got checked in and arrived in the room for the poster session, I was even more embarrassed. On one side of me was a massive flat screen TV at one of the booths, and on the other side was a group of 5 laptops and a projector. As the start time got closer, I felt a lot better as I noticed some more "normal" posters like mine.
I had some really good conversations with several people, showing them PrimaryAccess Storyboard and talking about different teaching strategies with primary sources. I ran out of brochures, which is a good thing, soI had to pull out some old business cards to hand otu to people interested in using the tool. One of the really amazing things about poster sessions like this is hearing from teachers how they would use the tool in their classroom. I've used it with some teachers in pretty much the same way each time, but I heard of some very interesting ideas from other teachers that I will have to think about and test out with my own students.
I will definitely be attending ICE again, and this was a great kickoff to the conference season.