My conference checkist – 2016 edition

As I get ready for the Ohio Educational Technology Conference this week I though it would be a good idea to revisit my conference checklist.

1. Charge devices and battery packs

My devices I’m currently taking are a 2010 MacBook Pro, iPad Mini 3, and iPhone 6 Plus. I’d like to take my Kindle and a Raspberry Pi, but I get tired of lugging a 30 lb backpack around for three days. My current USB battery pack of choice is the PowerGen 12000mAh External Battery (unfortunately, it looks like it is now unavailable). The nice thing about this battery pack is that it supports pass through charging, which means I can power a Raspberry Pi and plug it in to charge without disrupting the Pi.

During the conference I’ll rely on my iPad Mini or iPhone a majority of the time. Even though I now get almost 7 hours of battery life out of my MacBook Pro, that’s still not enough to get through three days of a conference.

2. Set up IFTTT to capture my notes and tweets

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a web service that can interact with services and do things on your behalf. To facilitate my note taking during conferences, I set up IFTTT to automatically append all of my tweets with the conference hashtag to a file. With this set up, I can share what I learn in the sessions and automatically save them to my notes.

3. Set up a keyboard shortcut for the conference hashtag

And, to make it easier to use the conference hashtag, I will use the iPhone keyboard shortcuts and set ooo to be the conference hashtag #oetc16. I’ll also have oxx set for the OETCx unconference hashtag #oetcx.

4. Add a workflow to Drafts for tweeting during the conference

Drafts for iOS is my go to app for creating notes and automating tasks on my iPhone. For conferences, I’ll set up a workflow that will tweet the draft with the conference hashtags. With this set up, I click Drafts, type my tweet, and then run the conference tweeting workflow which will append the conference hashtag to the Tweet and then send it. Pretty nifty.

5. Get gas, cash, and Ho Hos

The Ho Hos should not need an explanation.

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