{Before I start, I need you to know I almost made the most faux of faux pas – my first draft stated that the conference was held at Lake Travis High School. About an hour after publishing I would have had people at my door to string me up for that mistake. “Thems fightin words!” My apologies for even typing those letters spelling that name of that high school.}

It took until year two of the event but I finally made it to the world famous Ipadpalooza. This conference, on all things iPad, is held at West Lake High School just west of the city of Austin Texas, “Live Music Capital of the World.” 

Music is where I’ll start.  What other education-related conferences have live music at the start of the day, at lunch and at the end of the day? And we’re talking music of good quality. Although some of the music was of my era (meaning old people’s rock’n roll) and I was surprised that so many of the “young” teachers knew the words to the songs.
As with many conferences the Networking was of good quality as well. Yes, the overwhelming majority of educators were from Texas and the majority of them were from Central Texas, but there were people from places like Oregon and Canada too – Oregon isn’t a province of Canada is it? I’d hate to be redundant. The only weird thing about meeting with some of these people is that in a few days we’ll all be down in San Antonio for the ISTE Conference, networking again. Luckily a lot of the networking in San Antonio will be with adult beverages in hand.
Learning was everywhere. That may seem obvious to you since this was a conference for educators, but quite often there are things being shown that are either at a low level of knowledge or the presentation is so bad no knowledge is able to be shared.  The presenters I spent time with were knowledgeable, engaging, and entertaining.
In two days I saw presentations on a bazillion apps that included: Subtext, Aurasma, Snapguide, and Pearltrees. That’s if you DON’T count the session with Stacey and Todd (The Tech Ninjas) . Those two must have shared and talked about 40 Apps. If you go to their web page and look at the drop down for Web 2.0 Tools you’ll see an impressive list of apps and web pages. Most of those were mentioned in their presentation.
Understanding isn’t always included when you are shown technology and technology related materials. Especially at conferences where, so often, the presenter wants to move along as fast as possible. Or, to be more frank, they’ve been out of the classroom for so long they can only imagine how the tech will be used in the classroom – so why mention that when introducing the app or website?  
Well at Ipadpalooza, I was very impressed by those standing in front of the room.  They provided time, in most cases, to download and interact with the app being presented and they welcomed others in the room who are or have used it in their classroom.  Sure I heard of one or two presenters who weren’t at the top of their game. But each of the presentations I attended were well thought out and were well received by the audience.
The picture at the top of this post is of Mr. Carl Hooker. Some would say I have a man-crush on him – and why not? But, this time, I’ve included the picture so you can see the man who headed the group of individuals who pulled off this event. My hat goes off to each and every one of them. Well done. Now, when are the dates for next year’s Ipadpalooza.

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