For several years, Big Ideas Fest has been on my conference bucket list. I almost went in 2013, however, the MOOC Research Initiative conference ended up at the same time. This year, they have changed venues – they have moved from Half Moon Bay to San Jose. The change in venue meant that it was a lot easier for me to contemplate attending.
What I’m most looking forward to is seeing what a real “maker” conference looks like. I’ve been to my share of educational technology conferences. Some of them try to do some maker stuff (e.g. the Technology Test Kitchen at OLC’s conferences and the Maker day at Medicine X) – but they aren’t really maker conferences. The Big Ideas Fest conference is all about approaching the conference from a design perspective. It is all about putting random people together to think through “how might we … ” type questions.
Unfortunately, the travel gods are not working in my favor. We were do to return Tuesday night – arriving at a reasonable hour in the Pacific time zone. I had planned on getting a good night’s sleep so that I was prepared for the conference tomorrow. Instead, I’m spending the night in a hotel in Buffalo. We are on the first flight out tomorrow morning. We will return in time for me to arrive at the conference ontime, however, I’m apt to be tired. I likely won’t make it to the end of the day’s agenda, especially if there is any hope of me being present for conference day 2. I could miss the first day and ensure I’m well rested for day 2, but I really hate missing the opening session. I find the opening sets up the entire conference, and it sucks to miss it.
The schedule looks rather jam packed. I’ll do my best to attend as much as possible and write up a couple of blog posts. Keep an eye on my twitter stream, as I also hope to be tweeting during the keynotes and plenary sessions (#bif2015).