Wednesday, March 22, 2006

FETC 2006 Our First Day

As we drove from our school to the Convention Center in Orlando, we planned on what we would do once we arrived. First, we had to get our registration documents and badges, then we wanted to go to the exhibit hall. We had people to meet! We needed to go to the Palm village and meet "Paul Palm", the representative who has been remarkable since he was "assigned" to us. Paul was in as we stopped by and we had a chance to speak and look over some new handhelds that were on the market. Since my principal is interested in getting another class up and running next year, we wanted to compare models and cost. Palm has a new handheld out that has wireless capabilities built in. That means the users won't have to deal with the wireless cards like I have. That hasn't been a big issue with me, since my classroom isn't allowing us to hook into the wireless network at our school as of yet. We have an airport (lovingly named Lazlo) sitting in my classroom, waiting to be installed and set up.

Then we walked over and saw Tribeam, the company that provided the charging station for for my class. They also have a new product out in their charger line. They have an 11-dock charger (that can be attached to more chargers) that also completes the synching when you schedule it. This is a wonderful upgrade to a great product. The teacher who has this won't have to worry about having a student synch the handhelds, since it can be scheduled at a certain time of day, after the handhelds are placed in the charging station. Unfortunately, I won't be able to upgrade my model. But then, my charging station holds a total of 30 handhelds with two extra slots.

We returned to the Palm neighborhood and I found the GoKnow booth, being watched over by Walt Coatsworth and Dara. I can never say enough positive things about GoKnow. They are a people company, and they offer such customer service to their users. Walt mentioned that he was planning on stopping by our presentation on Thursday. As I was introducing myself over there, I heard a voice calling my name. It was Nancy Kokat from MathAmigo and she was in the booth next door. I was in heaven. Here I was in the midst of my favorite companies. It was so exciting to be able to speak to these wonderful people, and put faces together with their names and voices. After talking with Walt and Dara at GoKnow, I walked over and spoke with Nancy. She explained some items on the trial software she sent me that I can't wait to look at when I return to my classroom.

It's really a different type of experience when you can speak to representatives about their products. I had a very enjoyable time speaking with Paul, Walt, Dara, and Nancy. I felt more comfortable and confident since I had experience with products and could ask questions about what new things were in the works.

Now if I can only get through the presentation tomorrow without freaking out!LOL

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