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Last week was the ISTE Conference (formerly known as NECC), which describes itself as the largest education technology conference in the world. But you wouldn't know it if your sources for technology news are the main technology blogs. I've looked -- and I'm actually hoping I'm wrong here -- but it seems as though the event was unmentioned, uncovered by anyone.

A failure on the part of ISTE's PR? Perhaps. But it's also a failure on the part of the tech blogs, isn't it? (And yes I realize, I share part of that blame.)

So why wasn't the event covered?

1. There was no news.

Often, tech companies use events like conferences and tradeshows to announce new products, services, upgrades, features, special deals. The timing is perfect as the media are already present and paying attention, so your chance of getting coverage increases. But I didn't receive press releases (nor did I see any coverage elsewhere), so perhaps none of the exhibitors opted to time a launch with the conference. (It's possible.)

2. There was no news for the tech blogs.

Maybe there were announcements, but they weren't the sort that companies felt should be pitched to the tech blogs. (Again, it's possible.) "Big Computer Distributor Wins Big District Contract" or something along those lines. Perhaps the companies that exhibit at the ISTE Conference have no interest in wooing or wowing the tech industry or tech investors. (This seems highly unlikely.)

3. Educators don't care about tech blogs.

Maybe most educators don't read the main industry tech blogs (Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, The Next Web, Silicon Alley Insider), but instead favor The Chronicle of Higher Education, THE Journal, or eSchool News. (Likelihood: Maybe, although this doesn't hold true with the tech-savvy teachers I know.)

4. Tech blogs don't care much about education technology.

Technology blogs churn out a sizable word count on exciting new widgets and gadgets and whatsits, but they don't necessarily pay a lot of attention to how and if educators can use those tools for teaching and learning. And while some education-oriented press releases are blogged, they're often the ones associated with big players like Apple, Microsoft, or Google. Edtech as a whole doesn't rise to the top of tech blogs' priority list. (Sad, but true.)

5. Techies don't care about education.

Bullshit.

So why didn't the largest edtech conference hit the radar of the major tech blogs? Is it just a perfect storm of all these factors? Or am I missing something?

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Audrey Watters


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