Tag Archives: conferences

NAB Show Photo Diary, Day 1: Cameras and Copters on the Las Vegas Strip

It’s Day 1 here in Vegas at the annual NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters), and Ian Parker and I are ready to hit the ground running. As Knewton’s Team Video Team, we’re here to check out what’s new and exciting in the world of video, online and off — cameras, lights, microphones, and all kinds of systems designed for getting it into the hands of our students.

We arrived mid-afternoon and were immediately overwhelmed by how enormous this place is. For both of us, it’s not only our first time at NAB, but our first time in Vegas at all. Luckily, as New Yorkers, we’re slightly prepared for spectacle and crowding, but I still felt like a lost tourist immediately upon entering the hall. After we got lost trying to find Registration (which ended up being in an entirely different building), we realized the size of the task that was in front of us. The program listing all the exhibitors reads like a phone book, so for our first day, we settled for wandering around and checking out some pretty cool stuff rather than trying to find anything in particular.

Check out a photo diary from our first day below, and stay tuned for our next post — tomorrow we’ll be thinking about how all these technologies can be used in education!

Here’s a fisheye shot of just one of the booths we stopped to check out – the convention center is the size of 14 football fields (!) and we haven’t managed to cover even a fraction of it. Comfortable shoes required, for sure.

They have lots of cameras set up for you to test and try, of course — and it only makes sense that you need someone or something to film. Somehow I never thought about it, though — the result is that there are people whose entire job consists of sitting in a fake set and pretending to do something all day long, so that people checking out the cameras have something to look at. It’s the strangest thing — this man was sitting in a fake kitchen. He was clearly bored…by the time we walked by he had already carved a tiny face into an apple with a paring knife. Can you imagine sitting there all day with this many cameras looking at you?

This was just cool. It’s a hovering, remote-controlled copter that has a camera mounted on it, for aerial shots. Here it is grounded – that camera attached to it is a RED that probably cost around $40,000 — and that’s before you attach it to the copter!

Here’s a picture of it in flight. This must get some amazing shots.

Here’s Ian checking out a sweet camera — as Knewton’s resident video expert, he is predictably in heaven in this convention center.

Hey! That’s my old high-school friend and YouTube viral star, Freddie Wong (@fwong)! He made a name for himself creating viral content online, and is one of the best-known “YouTube celebrities.” I was checking the conference Twitter feed and saw a mention that he was speaking right then at a booth not far from where we were sitting — we ran over and caught the end of his fantastic talk about how to make content that people truly want to share online. After the talk, he was mobbed by fans who wanted a picture with him, but once he saw me we sat down for a few minutes to talk — I haven’t seen him in years! What a great surprise to run into him.

Well, our first day was exhausting and we’ve been up for nearly 24 hours already, so it’s time to head back to the hotel for some sleep so we can attack more of the show tomorrow. From the Las Vegas Strip, signing off for now.



TxDLA Conference 2012: 5 Must-see Panels

The annual Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA) Conference brings together educators, administrators, and academics to discuss research, innovations, and emerging trends within the Texas distance learning ecosystem. We’ll be there presenting on why education has reached its “Internet moment,” and how personalization of content is creating even greater opportunities for engagement in distance learning.

We’re also looking forward to hearing from some of the most respected voices in Texas education on topics ranging from blended course design to student perceptions of web-based lectures. Check out our top panel picks for the conference, which will take place in Dallas from April 15 – 18:

1. Distance Learners to Persistant Learners

Presenter: Margo Hernandez
Track: Teaching and Learning
Date/Time: Monday, 2:30-3:20pm
Location: Dallas A1
Abstract: “This session will assist the facilitators of Distance Learning in organizing a program that will support persistance learning. Tips and tools for maintaining an effective program will be shared.”

2. Tools, Tips & Techniques for Student Retention and Success

Track: Management, Administration, and Support
Date/Time: Tuesday, 11:00 – 11:50am
Location: Dallas D2
Abstract: “As the Director of an eLearning program that has experienced significant growth over the past three years, Brian St. Amour will provide an overview of eTools, Tips, Techniques, and operational practices which have contributed to student retention and success.”

3. Best Practices for Designing Effective Blended Courses

Presenter: Patricia Ritschel-Trifilo
Track: Instructional Design
Date/Time: Tuesday, 1:30 – 2:20pm
Location: Dallas A3
Abstract:  “Blended courses utilize elements of both face-to-face and online learning but require a new look and a new design from scratch to be most effective. Best practices regarding interactions, active learning techniques, time on task, modularization of materials, and feedback will be discussed.”

4. Student Perceptions of WEB Based Courses at a Regional University

Track: Teaching and Learning
Date/Time: Tuesday, 1:30 – 2:20pm
Location: State 3
Abstract: “SRSU-Rio Grande College is an upper level regional university serving students in three distinct campus locations. Course delivery has been significantly expanded over the past ten years to curtail student travel. An assessment of WEB courses was conducted during the fall semester to asses student satisfaction within this modality.”

5. Which Way is it Going Now? K-12 Online Learning Trends

Track: Teaching and Learning
Date/Time: Wednesday, 9:00 – 9:50am
Location: Dallas 1
Abstract: “Take a national look at evolving K-12 online learning trends as well as how those trends compare to what’s happening in Texas. What legislation in other states is groundbreaking? What are the visionaries predicting? Which organizations and groups are on the forefront in crafting recommendations and standards for online learning?”

Finally, here’s the info for the session we’ll be leading:

Adaptivity! How Knewton is Transforming Education with Data

Presenter: Karim de Coster @knewtonkarim
Track: Teaching and Learning
Date/Time: Tuesday, 11:00 – 11:50am
Abstract: Until now, meaningful innovation in education has been stunted by structural impediments to digital transition. This session will discuss why education has finally reached its “Internet moment,” and how Knewton is leading the transformation with the world’s most powerful adaptive learning engine.

Looking forward to a great conference. See you in Dallas!