At NECC I commented on the vendor leeches – those that swoop in for the free goodies. This observation is about the FETC sessions themselves.
I really like how technology has changed the face of conference session attendance. Back in my elementary teaching days, I attended a regional science conference in Charlotte. It was a huge conference with multiple concurrent sessions spread out over several hotels. It was impossible to get to everything one might want to see, so the Snatch & Grab session attendee was created. These teachers would unabashedly walk into a session, grab the printed handouts, and walk out, usually to grab the goods at the next session.
These teachers must believe that possessing the handout equates to getting the information from the session. In some cases, that might be correct. However, I get the feeling that most of these pieces of paper get tossed.
I remember my first FETC conference ten years ago in 1996. This was one of the first I remember that provided conference handouts on a CD. Now that providing session materials on the Web are the norm, I’ve seen much less of the Snatch & Grab attendance.