March 10, 2011
BrainStorm Technology Conference
Last week I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the annual BrainStorm Technology Conference, for K-12 IT personnel, in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The goal of the conference is for K-12 IT personnel to network with their counterparts from all over the Midwest and to connect with technology vendors who tailor their products for the K-12 community. The focus was on infrastructure, servers, storage, security, networking, hardware selection, system management, and other related technical areas.
You are probably picturing me with a pocket protector or dressed in my favorite sci-fi garb like attendees of the annual Comic-Con conference. If so… sorry to disappoint you. What I did see at the conference was a vast array of school colors attending sessions, touring the vendor expo, and socializing with each other. Attendees were forward thinking, yet practical, and much discussion centered around real school challenges pertaining to technology. Below are a few testimonials from attendees shared on the BrainStorm Technology Conference’s website:
Paul P. Potter, Director of Technological Infrastructure – Tomah Area School District
If you’re looking for a conference that you walk away from having gained useful knowledge and tools Brainstorm is the one. The ability to network with peers and discuss real issues gives this conference the power to improve technology in our schools.
Donald Johnson, Ed.D, Executive Director of Instruction and Technology – Eau Claire School District
Brainstorm is a touchstone event for the Eau Claire Tech Staff. Not only are the sessions of value to experience exemplary practice in the state and the nation, but also a practical way to share what works. From policy to technical knowledge to innovative applications and hardware, Brainstorm is an event not to be missed.
Vicki Lyons, Information/Instruction Technology Director – La Crosse School District
Brainstorm is the ONE IT conference that has helped La Crosse School District support its technicians, network administrators, and coordinators. We have gone to this conference the last four years as a complete team, learning together and solving problems through the expertise of the information gained from presenters and participants. Since it is focused on IT for the educational environment, we are able to discuss the challenges, successes, and frustrations of this unique environment – supporting instructional technology through strong information technology and systems – they do work together!
Cory A. Jaeger, Network Manager – D.C. Everest Area School District
The Brainstorm conference is the ONE conference I make sure I never miss. It’s well worth the what we spend on conference admission, lodging, etc. In fact, every year I have picked up at least one tip that saved our district more than the cost of sending a couple people to Brainstorm. The sessions are filled with technical and support information instead of the hour-long marketing sessions like you find at some conferences. We face challenges supporting technology that are unique to the K-12 environment. This is the only conference I’ve gone to that addresses those challenges at a technical level we need.
I’m looking forward to next year’s conference to witness the education sector stepping back into the spotlight to talk about technology, and their deep care for children. The BrainStorm Technology Conference was enjoyable and very well-organized. Congratulations to all who contributed to its success.