Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Using Pen and Paper at a Technology Conference?!

So, I headed to PETE&C, Pennsylvania's annual educational technology expo and conference, with devices charged and ready to experience all that the conference had to offer! I was armed, ready to take notes, tweet about them, and backchannel while keeping tabs on my school email and gmail chat. As I left the hotel room on Monday morning I decided to experiment a bit. Rather than lug my laptop for the day, I grabbed my phone, Livescribe pen, and notebook. Could I accomplish what I needed to.... without the appendage that is my laptop?

I took ALL notes in my Livescribe Notebook by writing with an actual pen, checking in on email and twitter occasionally with my phone. I will be using this approach from now on because:
  • Things tend to stick better with me and make more sense when I physically write them. It just suits my learning style.
  • I did a sync with Evernote and all of my notes are now digital and available on all of my devices. I can still share them out, now they are pdfs. I can still post them to my wiki, share with colleagues...
  • I was able to give full attention to the presenters and presentations. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but without the continual tweetdeck updates, chat messages, and email, I could FULLY attend to the sessions.
I still checked twitter and followed #PETEC12, favorited tweets to explore later, shared out resources that I was discovering, but in between sessions or during lunch. So, I feel I got as much information during this conference as I would normally get, but it was a much more rich experience without some of the distractions of "multi-tasking." Yes, I know multi-tasking is a myth. ;)

As a technology integration coach I am continually on the look out for ways to integrate technology WHERE IT FITS, WHERE IT ENHANCES, and WHERE IT MAKES SENSE... basically, when it is the right tool for the job. I think, for me, this is the best of all worlds. I physically worked with the information by writing it, I have it in a notebook, and I have access to it digitally as well.

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