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AASL: A geek packing list and more

Okay, so I may not be feeling the NASCAR references as much as my fellow committee members, but I do REALLY have Charlotte on my mind and I hope that many of you are growing as excited about AASL09 Charlotte as I am. 

Please get connected with our conference before you board the plane (or start up your own car) by visiting the AASL b There: Your Virtual Track Pass and by reading the AASL Advocate preview issue, as well as the current press releases.

Personal suitcase issues aside (the shoes, the dresses, etc.), beyond the suitcase, I’d like to suggest a . . .

Geek packing list:

  • Pack your laptop!  We will have wireless for all and you will (in many cases) be encouraged to backchannel, Tweet, and share to your hearts’ content. (You may want to check out the fascinating discussion on this topic on AASLForum.)
  • Pack your video and still cameras. We expect you to share your pics and video on the b There site! Remember the tags: #aasl2009 for Twitter and plain aasl2009 for all other social networks–Flickr, blogs, YouTube, TeacherTube, diigo, SlideShare, TeacherLibrarianNing etc.  Tag early and often.  You do not have to wait to arrive in the Conference Center. If you are a concurrent session or Exploratorium presenter, please consider parking your wonderful content in third party sites, in addition to the official conference site.  Your content will be available for a longer time and pushed to our official site via feeds.
  • Pack a power strip.  Sharing power with other folks in the room is the best way I know to make new friends. I am always so grateful for the kindness of strangers who allow me plug-in space on their strips!
  • Pack a print or digital copy of the OneBookOneConference discussion title, Born Digital.   Participate in live and virtual discussion.

I know it’s going to be hard to choose the sessions from among the many wonderful concurrent session offerings, but please try to attend our Smackdown.  But, if you should make another choice, don’t worry, we will be streaming the event and our wiki will continue to grow with great ideas.

  • Bring an informal presentation or student work or a great lesson.  You will likely want to share with new friends @ the Bloggers’ Café. We’re hoping you’ll think of the Café as your wired home away from home, your special conference hangout.

And speaking of Bloggers’ Café, my buddies Gwyneth and Brenda recently created some compelling media arguments for participating in the Bloggers’ Café/ Unconference: The Unconference@The Blogger’s Cafe by gwyneth

Like it? Create your own at It’s free and fun!

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Fran Bullington says:

    Remember the Mazda commercials years ago with the slogan “zoom, zoom, zoom”? Loved those! They got my blood pumping – and just thinking about attending my first AASL conference is doing the same. Two weeks from today I’ll be in Charlotte and hoping that it will never end, I am sure. See you there!

  2. joycevalenza says:

    Yeah, Fran! So glad you are coming. But watch out, I will likely put you to work. Try to attend Celebrate Conference: First Timer’s Orientation, Thursday @12:30 if you can.

  3. Can you point me to a link where I can understand what backchanneling is? Is that where many in the audience are all on the same “channel” and discussing (dissing?) the speaker while they are still talking? It makes me a little nervous to think about it…

  4. joycevalenza says:

    Speakers can certainly decide whether or not they want to encourage a back channel. See this blog post for some reasons why chat might enhance a conference experience:

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