Monday, March 16, 2009


It's a long way from Philadelphia to Reno, and there are no direct flights. We got to see Las Vegas's airport and an aerial view of the Strip and Lake Mead on the way here. "Here" is the Innovations 2009 conference at the Grand Sierra Resort. The place is huge with a large casino (more poker than in Atlantic City), restaurants, stores, bowling, a movie theater, a live entertainment theater, and...a wedding chapel. Those white sticks in the photo are the frame for a big slingshot swing, but Bill won't volunteer to go for a ride so that I can get a better picture. But I digress.

I'm here for the conference, to learn about the newest stuff and newest ideas in education. This is an especially relevant conference because it is aimed at a community college audience. After only one day I've written down pages and notes to put into practice when I get back to the east coast. I attended presentations on clickers (classroom response devices) and You Tube among others.

In the exhibition hall (and this is my point), I visited the MatchWare booth and talked to Dave Hamilton about my upcoming sabbatical project. This is the software I use for making Mind Maps on the computer, and there's a spiffy new update out which I will have to procure. The new name is MindView 3, so I will have to update all my presentation handouts. MatchWare also now has desktop recording software that will put my Mind Map making into a movie so that I can insert that footage into next year's humdinger of a tutorial next. These two products are designed to work together, and the ScreenCorder 5 is much more streamlined than Captivate and Camtasia. I can use it for other desktop recording, so it will be a great addition to my current gear.

Don't ask about the weather--we haven't been outside since we arrived at the hotel. We seem to be surrounded by mountains and highways. I know there's a downtown out there somewhere, but we may just be too busy being inspired to check it out. These photos are from my window.

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