More than 18,000 educators, technology coordinators, policy makers, and administrators are expected to attend this year’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), which runs June 29-July 2, 2008, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Presented by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) in cooperation with the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA), the theme for NECC 2008 is "Convene, Connect, Transform."
"As we build this year’s program we’re exploring fundamental questions about what it means to be a digital citizen in a digital age," said Leslie Conery, ISTE’s deputy CEO and NECC conference chair. "How do we prepare students for living in a global society and increasingly complex world? What new knowledge and skills are needed for productive collaboration in the 21st century? And what types of learning environments foster the development of those skills?"
Conery notes that NECC 2008 will also be a highly interactive conference, with lots of opportunities for attendees to exchange ideas and collaborate with peers from around the globe. Conference offerings include hands-on labs, "bring your own laptop" sessions, model classrooms, and peer-to-peer learning lounges.
Author and journalist James Surowiecki will deliver the opening keynote address.
Formerly a history professor at Yale, Surowiecki combines rigorous thought with entertaining examples from a wide array of disciplines. He writes a twice monthly column for "The New Yorker" magazine and is the author of "The Wisdom of Crowds." Before joining "The New Yorker," he wrote a financial column for "New York" magazine and was a contributing editor at "Fortune." Surowiecki has also written for a range of other publications, including "The New York Times Magazine," "Wired" and "The Wall Street Journal."
"We’re very pleased to bring James Surowiecki to NECC audiences this year," said Conery. "His ideas for managing the ‘wisdom of crowds’ are tremendously relevant to what we do in education–from kids working together in the classroom, to school-wide and district leadership, to very large scale collaborative projects. This keynote should really set the stage for a wonderful conversation."
Hot topics for this year’s conference include Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis and blogs, global storytelling, online professional development, virtual schools, serious games and simulations, funding, and open source.
Noteworthy sessions cover topics such as augmented reality, quick computer activities for kids, open education and culture, next-generation assessments, 21st-century leadership, and social networking.