Saturday, October 09, 2010

CUE and ISTE Proposals Due!

I'm SO behind on alerting folks about this.  Conference presentation proposals are due for the CUE and ISTE 2011 conferences this week--and the CUE proposals are due by early Monday morning!  Especially I want to encourage the submission of presentations on Open Source Software, but more on that below.

CUE:  Computer-Using Educators,
SUBMISSION DEADLINE:   Monday, October 11, 2010 by 7:00 am (Pacific Time)
CONFERENCE DATES:  March 17-19, in Palm Springs, CA

ISTE:  International Society for Technology in Education,
SUBMISSION DEADLINE:   Wednesday, October 13, 2010 by 11:59 pm (Pacific Time)
CONFERENCE DATES:  June 26 - 29, in Philadelphia, PA

As many of you will know, these are two conferences that I love.  For both, we traditionally hold a free pre-conference gathering of educators interested in social media called EduBloggerCon (the day before CUE and the Saturday before ISTE), support  anofficial strand of sessions on Open Source Software, bring a lab of computers running Linux, and host a "Bloggers Cafe" area.  In addition, at ISTE, we run the concurrent anyone-can-present ISTE Unplugged program and offer at least one or two birds of a feather sessions.  There's just no question that the physical gathering, formal and informal learning, and socializing at these conferences is an annual highlight for those who are able to attend them, and I really want to encourage you to consider joining us where circumstances permit. Please also consider submitting to present (quickly!), and I'll also keep you posted on all the other physical and virtual activities we are planning as we get closer to them.

Now, about the Open Source strand and presentations:
  • First, I really want to encourage those of you who are having experiences with Open Source Software to submit to present formal sessions at either or both CUE and ISTE.  There are lots of great reasons to use Open Source Software--practical, financial, pedagogical, and philosophical--and we hope you will consider sharing your expertise with others.
  • Second, I need to make my own personal position with regard to these efforts clear.  The acquisition of Elluminate and Wimba by Blackboard is official, which means I now work for Blackboard.  I recognize the considerable weirdness of having a Blackboard employee overseeing the Open Source efforts at major conferences.  The management at Blackboard has been sufficiently and appropriately occupied with the enormous task of integrating the operations of the three companies that my job--and in particular this aspect of what I do--hasn't been directly addressed.  I expect these conversations to take place in the next couple of months, and I'll have a better idea of what I'll be doing in the year ahead and the appropriateness of me playing a leadership role for Open Source in education.  Should I be working for Blackboard, and even should they give approval for my Open Source evangelism, I would still worry that this direct connection would not be fair to the community. 
Whatever my roles end up being at these two conferences, I can tell you that I'm really looking forward to them in 2011.