TESOL Part 3: Everything Else

This is the last in my TESOL series reporting on the 2009 conference.

One thing that I did differently this year is that I spent more time networking and more time in the Electronic Village.

As far as networking, I met some big names in CALL, like Phil Hubbard. That was good. I spent a lot of time talking with publishers. Part of this was me hoping to get a job offer somehow. I actually think that I wouldn’t mind working for a publishing company.

In the Electronic Village, I spent time talking to other tech gurus. It was fun. One of the highlights for me was the Hardware Fair. I finally got to get my hands on an OLPC. Great Idea, but I wasn’t two impressed. It looks like a good idea for children in countries with poor economies. Really, wouldn’t we be doing them a favor by providing something that has a more prolific OS. Even Ubuntu might be better. With the dropping prices in computers and the growing popularity of the netbook, the OLPC and Classmate may soon be a thing of the past.

I also learned about Alpha Smart Keyboards. Basically, they are keyboards that are not attached to a computer, at least not full time. They store the characters in a buffer and are displayed on a screen on the keyboard. When you connect it to a computer, the buffer can be sent to whatever program you have open at the time.

I also played with a Nokia tablet. IPOD touches and iPhones have got this beat. I have nothing else to say about that.

I look forward to playing a more active role in the Electronic Village next year. I hope that I can get funding to attend.

I hope that you enjoyed my brief reports on the conference! Feel free to comment.

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Ben McMurry

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