I spent as much time tweeting my experiences at American Educational Research Association 2011 as I could. This was largely for my doctoral students that could not be there, but also just to archive my experiences. The mobile phone service during it was abysmal and I actual saw an “o” code on my phone, which I looked up and means 1G speeds. I never had 3G and was on Edge almost the whole time.
One morning, I attempted to live-tweet a session, but the 140 character messages would not go through. Still not sure if it was Twitter that day or my connectivity. There were apparently 533,000 at French Quarter Festival during the conference. Nice to have things to do, but not great conference planning. 14,000 AERA folks, 533,000 party people, and a major community college conference with untold, fabulous hordes of participants.
There were a lot of other times where I would just save a draft of the tweet and just keep trying. They wound up out-of-order often, which was odd. I switched to text messages for a lot of things because those seemed to go through, which is good because my seven graduate students and I were constantly trying to engage in logistical concerns. In addition, I had poor Internet and a couple of grad students sent huge files to my UNT account, resulting in it being unusable most of the conference. Here is a tip for graduate students: When dealing with huge files, find a product that does not clog faculty inboxes like Dropbox. The university does not think we should have massive email boxes and they clog quickly.
New Orleans was great and I look forward to returning. It was also exhausting because of the demands of the conference, the heat, and a 20 block walk each way to my hotel out by I-10, which, while invigorating, had me completely beaten by Monday afternoon. We do not walk much in Denton as we might be blown away. Some local TV station interviewed me in Jackson Square about how much money I was spending while I was in town. It was entertaining while I ate a cupcake.