NOTE: I do talk about this event in the latest episode of the Podcast. Go listen! Phan’s Homework is what it’s called, and you can find it on Google Play, iTunes, or… here, on this site.
So I just got back from the first date of Phan Summer Tour 2017. Basically, I was asked by Classcraft to go to the Fourth Annual North –
No. I’m going to call it the Redding Edtech Summit from now on. That other name is awful and long.
Anyway, if one is part of the Classcraft Ambassador program, Classcraft will occasionally send one of you to the big Tech Summits to represent them and spread the word about how awesome a tool it is. This one was kind of a special case, but I needn’t bore you with specifics. In any case, I was there to represent Classcraft and to network.
When I showed up to that DMV-looking building they call an airport (it legit looks like there’s a parking lot outside that just happens to have airplanes in it once in a while), there was a dude there with a sign with my name on it. Yeah, you’re jealous.
So we went straight from the airport to the actual event. It was very obvious that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore*, because there were more than 3 kinds of trees. Yep, San Jose pretty much has 3 trees:
- A maple looking tree
- A palm tree
- Whatever tree you’re allergic to
*That figure of speech doesn’t quite work when it comes to travel in the US, does it? Stay with me, folks, I’m still in California.
Ryan Johnson (@mrjbusteacher) was there. Man, let me tell you, that fool does not play around. What I mean by that is not that he is not a playful guy (he is). What I mean is that he does nothing halfway. This guy was 100% involved in the planning of this event, down to the individual vendor. He was an outspoken advocate for Edtech in his community, and obviously a mover and shaker. He also was the main reason I didn’t need an Über, because he either drove me around himself or arranged it with other people. I actually did very little waiting for transportation.
Anyway, the Summit was at Parsons Junior High, and not only was I teaching a session on Classcraft, but I had also been shanghaied at the last second by Ryan to do the closing keynote. I was well-received, I think. You can be the judge: Ryan also took a video of my presentation, which cuts out right as the speech ends so that you have to take my word for it that people actually clapped. Here is the video:
Although my table was the jankiest one there and held the least amount of swag (the pirate definition, not the weird millenial definition), Classcraft obviously had a rep at this place. People had heard of it, and if they hadn’t, they were quickly wowed within minutes of a demonstration. What’s not to like? The artwork of Classcraft is awesome. If I were to have a fantasy portrait of myself done, I’d track down their artist. Look at this:
There were other vendors too, including but probably not limited to:
- Keyboarding Without Tears
So all in all, a great trip. Tons of networking, and I got to promote a product that I’m really happy about. I was very impressed also at all of the uses for tech talked about in Redding. I’m from the Silicon Valley, but I had to admit that Redding’s technology game was surprisingly strong. If you want to hear more about this, listen to my Podcast!
#GAFESummit in Modesto next!