My 5 big take-aways from TIE Colorado 2011

#edtech #tie2011 #elearning

I am stuck on my plane at the terminal in Denver while they fix a sensor, so I am taking some time to write this post before I head to Philly for ISTE (so far we have been stuck on the Tarmac for 2 hours). To say that this year's TIE conference was amazing would be an understatement, so here are my top five take-aways from this incredible conference.

1. TEXTBOOKS ARE DEAD: I love libraries just as much as anyone, but the reality is that digital media is getting bigger and bigger, especially when it comes to textbooks. The time will come in the near future that schools, districts, teachers and students will embrace the idea that to have digital textbooks is more economical and practical than tree-killing paper ones.

2. TWITTER IS NOT JUST A PASSING CRAZE: last week Apple announced that Twitter will be built into its upcoming new release of it's new operation system (IOS), meaning that it will be integrated into everything. Here at TIE, there was a big separation between the Tweeters and Non-Tweeters. Those on Twitter got so much more from the conference because of everything they were getting from Twitter. I loved to follow the back channels from the different sessions to keep up on everything that was happening and what other attendees were thinking.

3. THE CLOUD IS THE FUTURE: Those in the know, do not store anything on their computers, that's so last year. Instead, everything is in the cloud -- mostly by using Google Docs. There is an incredible feeling of power when you know that you can get all your files that you have ever created on any device; smart phone, iPad, laptop, etc. Some people even demonstrated the idea of a personal cloud in your house that allows you to access your information from anywhere. Nice!

4. BUILDING A PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK IS CRITICAL: my PLN is everything to me, and being at TIE allowed me to add some really incredible people. People that will help me be a better tech teacher, people that I can turn to for advice and ideas, people that are passionate about what they do.

5. EDTECH PEOPLE LOVE WHAT THEY DO: it doesn't matter if it is a session that you are sitting in or attending a social gathering, you soon find out that for the most part these edtech people are crazy about what they do -- some to the point of obsession. But it's all good.

So there are five things from my list of over 25 things that I am going to take back to my school. Farewell TIE for this year and I'll count the days until we can get together next year and do this again. I had a great time and I know that this coming school year is going to be so much better thanks to my time at TIE.

- Brad Flickinger