It’s now over a week from EDUCAUSE and I’ve been thinking a lot about its impact on me and how things went. Here’s a few random logistical, personal, and professional thoughts:
I packed reasonably well. Got 3 days worth of clothes in a small carry-on. I got a decent 6 port, high-current, USB charger, which greatly simplified my charger packing. I brought too many tablets (iPad, Nexus , Nexus 10). Can probably get away with just one moving forward. My Samsonite attache’ is nice but way too heavy, and I’m looking for a lighter, more flexible bag (I might be down to Tom Bihn or Timbuk2, based on recommendations I solicited on G+ and Facebook.) I bought a TSA-friendly multitool which worked as advertised–although I saw the Newark TSA agent open and examine it, he had no problem with it once he did and I flew with it no problem. I would have been fine too on the way back if I hadn’t forgotten my water-filled water bottle in my suitcase. I’m getting better at packing and traveling.
Orlando is the least convenient EDUCAUSE conference city I’ve been to. Things just sprawl so much. My favorite city has probably been Denver, with Philadelphia and Seattle close behind. Anaheim is better than Orlando because it’s a little more walkable. Dallas was okay but again, very sprawly. Also, the weather was unpleasant. It’s hard to wear business casual or better clothing when it doesn’t get below 75 degrees or 75% humidity.
I am eternally grateful for all the great conversations I had and the advice I received. It’s been extremely helpful already, and it just reminds me how lucky I am to have had the experiences I have had, and to have made the connections I have made.
It’s weird when people ask “What did you learn?” It’s a combination of a lot of specifics and broad impressions. The challenge as always is to translate what I captured into things that improve my home institution and myself. It’s a very organic, iterative process for me. I know that my experiences at EDUCAUSE help me make better decisions and attack problems in different ways. I can’t always identify it explicitly but I know it’s there. It’s a depth to my thinking, an acknowledgement of other perspectives, and some actual examples that are relevant to the task at hand.
Overall, it was a great conference experience for me, and I look forward to Indianapolis next year when we’ll hopefully have an awesome program for the community.