I'm flying home today from a 3-day Chicago conference on technology in higher education. The library director (also my friend) invited me, I agreed in a burst of professionalism last fall, and was increasingly reluctant as the time grew closer. However, I have many new ideas for good teaching and how technology can foster excellent college teaching/learning (though tech can also be a distraction if used poorly). The conference wasn't all RAH RAH TECH; I had feard it might be like some tech indoctrination cult (or like working for the infamous door-to-door sales Cutco knife company), but we never had to stand and cheer (CUTCO! CUTCO!). It was really about high quality teaching and the 1.3 million ways that tech can foster deeper student learning. Very impressive, actually, and I would go again in a couple of years.
I also went to a session about the iPad 2 - my goodness, what CAN'T that thing do? (ok, it can't wash the dog or... well, maybe that's the ONLY thing it can't do). The presenter mentioned taking his in the hotel's hot tub, encased in a Ziploc bag; when his drink ran low, he used it to call the hotel's front desk, which brought him a fresh drink.
This is a crazy time we live in, where so many of us live as wealthy as kings but always want more, more more. Quite a contrast to the Uncultured Project I also learned about at the conference - one young man's quest to change the lives of people who live in dire poverty by using social media; check it out at http://www.uncultured.com/ - very inspiring indeed.