I'm sitting at the Blackboard partner reception at EDUCAUSE in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. If you've ever bought the Reading Railroad in Monopoly, then you basically owned this place. Locals will tell you that it isn't pronounced with the long e, like "reading", but instead with a short e like "redding". At any rate, the food is incredible and the wine is not only tasty but much needed after a day of EDUCAUSE insanity.
I'm here with my company, WizIQ, demoing our new iPad app and introducing all sorts of cool new features, but whenever possible, I put on my ZDNet hat and just talk about education with the thousands of people filtering through the trade show. Unlike many of the other ed tech conferences, people here are remarkably focused. In fact, many are here to make decisions between competing products and talk to companies and peers in ways that can be tough when they just get sales people on the phone or visiting their campuses.
Conferences like ISTE are more about education and advancing the pedagogy around education using technology. While there is plenty of talk about teaching in higher ed here, there's a real focus on high-value solutions that address the tech problems of higher ed. Some of the biggies?
OK, that last one is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I must say that I've already had some great conversations here in just the first day of the trade show portion of EDUCAUSE. Care to have a great conversation? I'll be in Booth 300 quite a bit on Wednesday. Stop by and say hi...I promise I won't try to sell you anything.