So far the mood at EDUCAUSE 2010 seems to be really good. The last two EDUCAUSE conferences have been pretty grim affairs, with CIOs talking about layoffs and companies conserving cash and shying away from big risks. Walking around the vendor floor today I sensed a mood of optimism; new products, new alliances, and a high level of energy. Talking to some folks from higher ed world it sounds as if funding has stabilized, lay-offs are not on the horizon, and budgets for investing in ed tech may be coming back.
Maybe it is the exciting news about new products, partnerships, and products that the companies are starting to announce (I'm still waiting for someone to top McGraw-Hill's pre-conference purchase of Tegrity - any nominations for what company announcement will be possibly more disruptive and interesting?)
Of course, these impressions are just that - and EDUCAUSE is just getting going. We will all learn a great deal more from the sessions - the one nobody should miss is Casey Green's "2010 Campus Computing Survey: Two Decades of Data, Information, and Insight About IT Planning and Policy Issues" on Thursday at 8:00am.
What other sessions do you think will give us the best indication of if we have managed to turn the economic corner in ed tech?
The danger of forming impressions so early is confirmation bias, in that I'll probably interpret any subsequent data to support my initial positive conclusions. If I'm wrong, and we still have more pain to endure, I want to know.
What is your sense of the mood at EDUCAUSE so far? Have we really turned the corner?