Blog 6/10 - ISTE Reflection and Sharing
At other conferences I have been to, vendors are typically relegated to booths separated by cloth curtains. If you are big time, you get a double wide booth with some walking space. I was blown away by the vender hall at ISTE. It was amazing to see the amount of money invested into advertisement of educational products. Being a classroom teacher, I often don't see the business side of the world. However, it was hard to miss while walking around the vendor hall. I was able to visit many of the vendors of products I already love to use in my classroom. I visited with Edmodo, Google, and many others and it was fun to kick ideas around with the people who control the products you use.
In the end, it was overwhelming. I don't know the answer, but I started to wonder if education or business was the main goal of many of these products. I understand that many of the products I love and use would not be available without a business model, but where is the line drawn? When does it become more about the money and less about the kids? Is there an educational benefit to having a two story vendor booth? If your product is really that good, does it need to have the best booth, or just be the best product. I recently read a blog post from Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby) and he talked about the need for vendors to collaborate a little more. Many of the products being promoted are very similar and it would be great to see what they would come up with if they combined forces to create one great product instead of five average products. I am okay using average products when they are free, but I would have no problem paying for a product that was great.
Tomorrow - #HackEd