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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Post-Mortem on AECT

Well, it is almost a week since AECT ended and I've been reflected on what happened and how I make sense about it all. The UGA-VT committee that organized the Graduate Student Lounge will have its own report, and will allow others to have input in that report through The Program (once they figure out the problems with all the AECT blogs), on how that part of the annual convention went.

Anyway, thinking back on the convention this year... The obvious flaws come to the fore-front: namely all of the work and at least lip-service support of the use of the Overlay as a way to extend how people connect and interact at the convention and then the total lack of Internet support provided by the association. Standing at the ECT Foundation table for a bit, I heard one of the organizer state that it would have cost $600,000 to provide Internet access. I find that hard to belive that the cheapest that an organization that is largely based on technology (and populated by a lot of tecnically saavy people) couldn't provide wireless access at a cheaper cost than this. I can only wonder what Denver will be like.

Other than this, I don't really have much of an overall report or assessment of the convention. I spent the vast majority of my time in the Graduate Student Lounge (basically all but one session that I was a discussant in and a couple of instances checking my e-mail at one of the six-eight stations that ceased to exist about halfway through the second day of the convention - another mind boggling revelation, that the organization I described above couldn't provide a few workstations for convention goers to use for the complete convention).

My only other comments deal with the choice of locations... While Disney was nice and it was good for thoe of us, myself included, who were able to take their families (in my case my wife) down to Disney for their first times in their lives and enjoy that aspect of it. For the money that was spent, the site was horrible. The prices were over-priced everywhere you went, the quality of rooms at the All Star Sports Resort - where many of the participants stayed, including myself - was a cheap dive to be perfectly honest. I stayed in a Ramada Inn in Denver two days later at the Virtual School Symposium (for more on that conference, see Virual High School Meanderings) where my room looks like a castle compared to what they gave us at the All Star Sports Resort. I wonder what the thinking was in selecting Disney, as opposed to other convention sites in the Orlando area.

So, an overall assessment of my two convention experiences with AECT thus far... Chicago (2004) was not the level of professional conferences that I have been used to attending as an Instructional Technology students and Orlando (2005) was two or three steps below that. I can only imagine what Dallas (2006) will be like.

This entry has been cross-posed in both my blog area at the Overlay and my academic blog (i.e., Breaking into the Academy).

Tags: AECT 2005, AECT, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education


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