What happens when 14,000 English teachers and professors gather in New York City for a conference?
I can't think of a good punch line. I am taking punch line donations down there in the comments tab ;p
In any case, I just returned from that National Council of Teachers of English conference, and of those 14,000 participants and over 300+ presentations, there was only ONE presentation on Second Life. Many thanks to Rob Rozema for organizing a panel with Laura Nicosia and I on teaching literature/English in SL. Rob talked about the history of gaming in English, I talked about Literature Alive!, and Laura talked about student responses. It was a great mix.
By far, Amy Tan was my favorite speaker. She is just REALLY funny but touching, as well.
And, of course, I LOVED THE EXHIBITORS!!!! I can only say that it is like Trick or Treat for English teachers. There are so many cool resources. I only got through two aisles, and then I had to stop. I was loaded up with all sorts of goodies, and simply had no more hands left.
My favorite workshop/presentation was on graphic novels. I think they are so wicked cool in general, but am now thinking of ways to get them mashed up with SL.
Conferences always energize me, but more than that, my students energize me. Before leaving Thursday, my students wanted a lounge discussion on Truth. For extra credit, 7 students met for two hours and talked about truth and justice and what it means to be an American. Their thoughts drifted with me as I met teachers from all over the world who were concerned that this generation has nothing important to say. I suspect they have a lot of stuff to say, but they need a place to say it and they need people to listen.