Just got back from the 2009 Educause conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday evening. I went up with Mr. Washer to present about TJ's implementation of Sun Rays in the school. The trip overall was pretty amazing. We left TJ at around 10:00am EST on Wednesday, and drove through rain the whole way. The traffic wasn't that bad for the majority of the trip, except for the west side of 495 around DC that we were on.
We got there around 1 (3 hour car drive, not bad), went to check in and get the goodies (including a Mini Maglite as a gift for presenting) and got settled in the hotel rooms (which were pretty nice - check out my pics in the Gallery). Went to lunch at By George's restaurant in the Reading Terminal Market (a short walk from the Loews Hotel where the conference was). Had a Sausage, roasted peppers & caramelized onions Calzone. It was pretty good, actually. The ironic thing about eating there was that the wifi at the Market was free (~$11/day at the hotel).
The only session I was able to attend (besides our own of course) was the one presented by Derek Kan (IT Project Manager) of George Mason about designing and implementing an IT Project Management System. I couldn't relate to it much since we haven't anything like this at TJ since we're so small, but it was interesting nonetheless.
One of the projects that we were going to try to accomplish before the presentation was to get one of the Tadpole laptops to connect to the TJ IPSec VPN to demo what the laptops could do, and also what TJ had deployed for students and faculty. After the GMU session we met with the Sun and Tadpole people to try and get the VPN working on the Tadpole laptop (unsuccessful in the end), then went to the Sun-sponsored reception. Some of the food they had there was unknown to me, but then again it's just a reception not a full dinner. After talking with Mr. Washer and Lisa (our Sun K-12 rep) for about 45 minutes, some (at that time unknown) guy came up to us and introduced himself - he owns his own media company - and we got talking about why we were there, about our presentation, etc. He and Washer got talking after he mentioned he used to be a speechwriter for president Clinton.
The reception finished and we went out to dinner at Jones (kindly paid for by Sun). I personally had fried chicken (pics in the Gallery), but I'm not sure what anyone else had (looked good though). After this, went back to the hotel and went to bed in a nice, comfortable bed :)
I don't quite feel like finishing this post since I'm not a true 'blogger', but feel free to poke me and I might.
Session Summary: The Need for Collaboration: Mobile and Secure Ubiquitous Access in Heterogeneous Environments