Educators to Connect at NECC 2002

This year's National Educational Computing Conference, appropriately titled "Nexus in Texas," will be held June 17-19 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The 23rd annual NECC, presented by the International Society for Technology in Education, is expected to draw more than 12,000 K-12 and university-level education professionals to create their own nexus, which will take them into the future of technology in education.

Keynote Sessions

NECC 2002 offers two keynote sessions: comedian Lily Tomlin will open the conference followed by Hall Davidson, director of educational services at KOCE-TV, PBS and executive director of telecommunications for a media consortium of school districts, private schools and homeschoolers, both located in Orange County, Calif. They will kick off this year's conference with insightful speeches on the importance of teachers and new technologies on the horizon, respectively. Members of the Friendship Through Education Consortium are also slated to speak about the root causes of violence, and how technology can be used to build educational and personal relationships to address these causes. For an additional $30, educators can also attend a luncheon featuring Toody Byrd's humorous lecture, "Journey of a Computer Illiterate," in which the award-winning teacher and counselor recounts her tumultuous transition from the chalkboard to the laptop.

Conference Program

Inspired by those speeches, attendees can dive into the conference program. This year's program focuses on the essential conditions necessary for technology to fulfill its promise in education. With 180 workshops, 20 Make & Take sessions, more than 300 concurrent sessions, as well as numerous research papers, poster sessions, student and grantee showcases, and Corporate CEO Spotlights, educators of all levels will have no problem finding something that suits their needs.

Concurrent sessions are one-hour discussions with panels, teams or individual speakers highlighting successful programs, projects or ideas from educators of all levels. Offered as part of concurrent sessions, research papers are discussions of peer-juried original research papers on the general theme of using technologies to enhance education. New this year is a roundtable discussion of the papers. Spotlight sessions are a special category of concurrent sessions and feature recognized leaders in the educational technology field. In several Make & Take sessions, educators can work with groups on hands-on projects. These sessions are an additional $15 each. Student showcases feature students and teachers demonstrating technology use in their classrooms. Educators can also participate in poster session discussions, as well as hear technology companies' plans for education.

If some programs leave participants wanting more, they can participate in V-NECC, which virtually extends NECC over time and place. New to this year's conference, these sessions have a pre- and/or postconference component in which the presenters invite educators to take part through mailing lists, threaded discussions, action research projects, as well as other collaborative projects or online courses. Sessions cover a variety of topics, including teaching online, the pros and cons of graduate distance education, new media skills to advance the careeroptions for young women, and videoconferencing .

For more information on NECC 2002, visit www.neccsite.org or call (800) 280-6218.

For a chance to win Dell's new microportable projector, visit us at Booth #1408-1410 at NECC!

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.

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