Crowds at the National Educational Computing Conference flock to the exhibit hall for demonstrations of cool tools for the classroom, and free giveaways.

A NECC panel discussion hosted by Education Week's Digital Directions turned into a free-flowing give-and-take between the panelists and the audience on topics ranging from the cost of online learning to using students for technology support.

The Digital Directions staff have been interviewing a plethora of notable ed-tech leaders at the NECC '09 conference in Washington D.C. this week. With topics ranging from students' use of personal technology, educators' ambivalence to cell phones in the classroom, the shrinking pot of (federal) money available for ed tech, and disruptive innovation in education, we think there's something for everyone. Chris Dede: Disrupting The Traditional Classroom Harvard University Professor Chris Dede discusses the potential for online learning to drive innovation in the classroom. Elliot Soloway: Ed Tech Classroom Climate University of Michigan professor Elliot Soloway discusses the need ...

Teacher-educator Lujean Baab gave tips on leading an online classroom at a NECC session today called "Managing Mayhem."

This morning I joined a gathering of company leaders, school district administrators, as well as a few members of the press, to talk about the most pressing issues in cyber security for district technology administrators today.

Project Tomorrow analysis shows a disconnect between the demand for online learning options and teachers' interest in teaching such classes.

Here's another report from our intern and guest blogger Tim Ebner: Techies hit the town last night, spilling out of the NECC conference at the Washington Convention Center and into the many bars and clubs that hosted off-site networking parties throughout the city. These social happy hours provided a less formal environment, where educators could enjoy a drink, or two, and connect with fellow attendees. Most of the events happened in and around Chinatown. There was an ISTE sponsored tweet-up at a basement watering hole called Rocket Bar, a Schoolnet reception at Madame Tussauds museum of wax, and a

International Society for Technology in Education CEO Don Knezek spoke to reporters about the struggle to convince Congress to maintain federal funding for educational technology.

In an age when information can be easily manipulated through applications such as Wikipedia and Photoshop, who should be teaching our students about media literacy and what should they be learning about it?

The session on classroom learning stations today at NECC, led by Camilla Gagliolo, an instructional technology coordinator for the Arlington, Va., public schools, showed teachers how they could set up a number of learning stations with PDAs, computers, iPods, Nintendos, and smartboards. In the interactive session, several groups of teachers and administrators spent a few minutes using the gadgets to complete language arts activities, then moved to another table to try a different device. Although the stations incorporated different technologies, they all revolved around the same classroom lesson plan so that students could explore lots of different approaches for tackling ...

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