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Why EdTech Conferences Need Some Comic-Con Mojo
July 15, 2012 - 9:00pm

What edtech conferences do you attend?

My list has included EDUCAUSE, ELI, ELI Learning Technology Leadership, ECAR Symposiums, BbWorld, various NERCOMP events, and a growing number of gatherings contiguous to our edtech ecosystem. So far I have not been to a Sloan-C event or an NMC conference, and I hope to make it out to InstructureCon one of these days.   

What events should I add to this list?  CES?  ISTE?  FETC?  WWDC? Campus Technology?  InfoComm? WCET?  SXSW? Google I/O?  Burning Man?

What about Comic-Con?   

If you are unfamiliar with Comic-Con (as I was), please take some time to purchase or borrow Douglas Wolk's Kindle Single Comic-Con Strikes Again!

At only 99 cents (or free loan with Amazon Prime) and 26 pages, this short e-book will not tax your wallet or your time budget.  What Comic-Con Strikes Again! will do is help you re-imagine what in some alternate reality an edtech conference might look like.

Do we have any dual edtech and Comic-Con citizens in our IHE community?   I know of at least one (very smart and wickedly funny) edtech conference attendee / edtech company employee who in a previous life worked in the comics business (and swears that the fastest way to kill a passion for comics is to work in the industry).   Maybe he is not alone.

What would an edtech and Comic-Con mashup look like?

  • Dressing up like our favorite applications.
  • Lots more swag.  
  • Equal amounts of alcohol consumption.
  • Celebrities.   
  • Aliens, Superheroes, and Ruby Developers
  • Huge lines for panels and new product introductions.
  • Less geeks, more nerds.

What Comic-Con and edtech conferences share is that they are both places in which true believers can congregate amongst our own. 

For the edtech crowd, it is the belief that the status quo in education is not acceptable, and the biggest lever for change that we have is technology 

At Comic-Con it is the belief that fan culture matters, and that who we are is (at least in part) defined by what we read, watch and love.   

I think that our crowds just might get along.


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