March 26, 2009 Ithaca College, Ithaca NY, USA
Presentation - One Laptop per Child - What if...? Synopsis - What if, instead of producing dozens of 4th grade math textbooks, a community of educators could get together to produce one single electronic 4th grade textbook?
On March 26, 2009 I attended the 19th annual Educational Technology day at Ithaca College in Ithaca NY, USA. As you may have guessed by the title, this show is focused on technologies used in k-12 as well as higher education.
I was camped out in the Ithaca Free Software Association booth for the day, so I must extend a hearty thank you to Eric and Marty for their booth hospitality. I also need to thank Charles Profitt of the Rochester LUG/Ubuntu NY LoCo for giving me a ride to Ithaca (going green by way of the carpool). And last but not least, Brian Neil for volunteering his time to jockey all 320 disc in and out of my printing and duplicating equipment.
I met with a mix of Students, faculty and staff from numerous schools in upstate NY (Elmira College, Cornell, Syracuse, University of Rochester, K-12 from the area Etc). I was also able to meet with community members. In fact, the rush was more like a crush of people. For example, we had 300 discs at 9am when the doors opened. At 10:30 we handed out the last disc. (I saved 20 sugar spins for my talk and I'm glad I did)
While it's my preferance to keep a notebook handy to record contact info for the people I meet with, this was darn near impossible. Instead I relied upon my business card and the few I was able to collect. As of this writing, I've made contact with those I had cards for and I've had one email come in.
My presentation of OLPC - What if..? was well attended. While I didn't get a head count, we made it to standing room only - so I would estimate 40-ish.
Immediately after my presentation I was again, mobbed with questions about Math4, OLPC and Fedora at the booth. (good stuff eh?)
At about 2pm I was finally able to go visit the other booths and was stopped in the main hall by David Weil, the chair person for EdTech. He thanked me for coming on short notice and offered OLPC/Fedora/Sugar Labs space for next year.