December 14, 2004
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An Innovations Conference Without Internet Is Like...
We just got the notification for our presentation on our Ocotillo projects at the League For Innovation's "Innovations 2005" conference to be held March in New Yoirk City. The conference is tagged as:
Join the most innovative community college professionals as they come together to improve student and organizational learning through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation.
Yet, in 2005, when the World Wide Web is almost 15 years old, and completely interweaves just about all aspects of an educational organization, the notification includes:
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
Session rooms DO NOT come equipped with an Internet connection. The cost of the Internet connection will be the financial responsibility of the presenter. The current rate for the connection through the Marriott Marquis is $750. If you would like to order an Internet connection, please email me at XXXXXX@league.org and I will forward you the appropriate information.
I can accept that the limitation is the conference site facilities (yet dis-regarding the fact that many conferences these days manage to bring in an efficent wireless capability), but hardly the the irony of "Innovations" coming at a net access cost of $750 clams.
It is not a tremendous work around, heck, I think a PowerPoint with lots of bullets will do (that was sarcasm). I am prepared to bring our web sites and run them as local internet apps from my Powerbook, no big deal, but it does mean that I am unable to surf during dull sessions or able to blog live.
It is seems rather bizarre.
blogged December 14, 2004 10:15 AM
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Bizarre story about the League conference... without internet connectivity. Reminds me of a League conference I presented at some years ago in Phoenix where they did have an internet connection - a very slow one that was shared among all of the presenters. I don't think anyone realized that a) so many people would use the net in their presos and b) that they didn't have anywhere near enough bandwidth. As soon as the sessions started the whole system ground to a complete halt and many people were left to improvise.
That was the first time I learned to always be prepared with about a half dozen alternate ways to present when relying on conference-supplied technology.
That said, the League conferences have been great places to learn (and present) about innovative uses of technology in the higher education classroom. I've gone for many hears to the fall session and presented many times.
Finally, one could probably figure out a way around the hotel's $750 charge using a wireless link of some sort...
I wonder what it would take to set up a Tiny Local internet, that is, a guerilla wireless network with a webserver with things like a wiki and chat, so people at the conference could have some sort of backchannel. Sure, it wouldn't connect to the outside world (unless you could hop it to a live internet connection) but it would be better than nothing. I'm tempted to try if I could figure it out.
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