I just want to take a moment and thank all of the awesome teachers who tweeted from NCTE 2010 this weekend. I was able to follow many sessions and presentations via the great Twitter updates. If you did not get a chance to follow, check out the hashtag #NCTE10 for the latest updates. Sounds like it was an amazing conference and I am so sad I could not go this year- I am already planning for NCTE ’11 in Chicago. (Formulating some presentation ideas right now…..proposals are due in January!)
I do have one complaint about the NCTE Convention, though. Last year I presented and a lot of the presenters (myself included!) uploaded resources, Powerpoints, etc to the NCTE Ning. I looked forward to the same thing happening this year. While it is not the same as being at the presentations, obviously, it’s phenomenal to get resources from other teachers and to be introduced to new people through those resources. This year I was dismayed to find out that NCTE had the presenters upload to their Connected Community. I find the new Community to be frustratingly impossible to navigate as it leans towards Web 1.0 instead of 2.0. The threads are all over the place, the division between topics is hard to distinguish, and the navigation is bizarre. But I was willing to work through the bumps in the road for the Convention materials.
Well, boy was I miffed when I clicked on the community entitled “2010 NCTE Annual Convention” and got the following message:
Sorry you are not eligible to view the Digest
What? Weird, I thought. My membership was up for renewal on November 30th, so I assumed it was related to that. Off I went to re-up my membership (and change my journal subscription from Voices in the Middle to English Journal!) Done and done, I tried the Connected Community again. Still no go. So I turned to my PLN on Twitter. Apparently I was not the only one having this problem and we soon realized NCTE controls what every member sees on the community. Apparently, only registered conference attendees have access to the convention digest on the community. What?! What happened to open access? Think that maybe they are going in the opposite direction that teachers are steering their students in?
Thankfully, some presenters were upset by this, too- they posted their presentation materials on Slideshare, blogs, and even the old Ning. But come on, NCTE! Why are you segregating members based on the money they were able to spend in this economy? I would love to have gone to NCTE but lost my job when I should have been planning the trip. It just wasn’t a possibility. Will I be there next year? I sure hope so! But you are alienating your members with your new “community”. I have no plans to participate in the Connected Community thanks to this experience. I get so much more out of the English Companion Ning and I will stick with that!