From my comment at Jon Becker’s blog:
I’m having a difficult time determining why I walked away from three days at ILC so deflated while three days at CMC-North has me bouncing off walls.
It may be an issue of interest, true – I care more about math ed than tech – but give the same presentation outline on (eg.) “Wildlife of the Serengeti” to any randomly selected presenter at CMC-North and any randomly selected presenter at ILC, and my money’s on the CMC presenter every time to put up something lively, engaging, visual, and audience enfolding, scaled up by thirty extra minutes no less.
There is a lack of substantive criticism in the edtechno-blogosphere, I think, which is mirrored in these presentations, where people hop up to the front of the class for an unfocused, but definitely emotional, show-and-tell, and few people either care enough or have enough temerity to suggest that higher standards should apply. The feedback mechanism is, by and large, overly polluted by emotion.
By contrast, the crowds at CMC-North are vicious, though constructively so. I appreciate this and I know that overall session quality has risen to the occasion. As educators, the stakes are too high and the time constraints too stringent to settle for anything less than our best efforts, even if hearing that we shouldn’t lecture from bulleted slides for an hour is painful.
Jon’s response is entirely on point and he invokes my new favorite word, which I am trying to wedge as much as possible into my daily correspondence.