My conference checklist updated for 2020

It’s another year for the Ohio Educational Technology Conference so it is time to update my conference checklist! If you are planning on attending the OETC 20 on February 11-13 in Columbus Ohio, track me down and say hi!

I will be presenting 4 times:

  • Rock Google Slides Like the Boss You Are – Tuesday, February 11⋅10:30 – 11:30am in B131
  • The Art of Why – FREdTalk – Tuesday, February 11⋅2:15 – 3:15pm in A211
  • Google URL Tricks – Wednesday, February 12⋅10:30 – 11:30am in A210
  • Not the Rhythm, The Hackers Are Going to Get You – Thursday, February 13⋅2:15 – 3:15pm – B142

My OETC page is under construction, but I’ll be sure to share it before the conference. The page will have the Google Slides presentations along with my schedule.

1. Set up a hashtag shortcut on my phone

Under iOS, keyboard shortcuts can be set up to speed up typing. For the hashtag, I will set up a keyboard shortcut for ooo, which will expand to . From then on, I can type ooo instead of switching to the symbol keyboard for the hashtag.

2. Charge & configure my name tag

This past year I bought a new LED badge name tag.


This one pins to my shirt, which I don’t like. But, I can program it from my iPhone, so that part is very nice.

3. Decide on devices

There are three portable computing devices that I’m planning on taking to the conference: Microsoft Surface Go (with keyboard), an iPhone 11, and a fold up Bluetooth keyboard. The Go will be used for longer work sessions or if I have space, for notes during sessions I’ll use the fold up keyboard with the iPhone 11, and for everything else, the iPhone.

4. USB Battery pack

Because the Surface Go’s battery life isn’t the best, I bought a RAVPower 26800mAh USB-C battery pack that puts out 30W so it can charge the Go. The pack also has a couple USB-A ports, so it can charge my Go and my iPhone at the same time. The battery also supports charging from USB-C, so it can be fully charged a lot faster than regular USB batteries. Power has changed, I don’t worry about running out of battery power anymore.

5. External monitor

As a birthday present, I bought a Lepow 15.6 external monitor. I don’t know how much use I’ll get from it at the conference, but it’s compact enough to pack in my backpack. The monitor is powered and connected through one USB-C cable, which is really, really cool.

6. Configure Drafts

I’m a huge fan of Agile Tortoise’s Drafts – Quickly Capture Notes, Share Anywhere!. With Drafts, I can quickly capture textual information, and then decide what I want to do with that information. One workflow that I will set up with Drafts is a Tweet  action. The action will simply take what is typed into Drafts, append the conference hashtag, and then tweet it out on my account.

Anytime I want to tweet something about the conference, I open Drafts, type the tweet (without the hashtag) and then invoke the Tweet  action.

7. Set up IFTTT to save my notes

The IFTTT recipe appends everything I tweet with the conference hashtag to the oetc20notes.txt file. This includes tweets I retweet.

So now I can Tweet and know it’s saved or retweet and know it’s saved. It’s great because I can share and save my notes at the same time.

8. Use the mobile app to set my agenda

There are so many good sessions, and very little time to plan for them while at the conference. Using the conference app, I will go through the schedule and add the sessions I want to attend to my agenda. One less thing to worry about during the conference.

9. Get cash, gas, and Ho Hos

Cash is still handy, and by the end of the conference I’m exhausted. I just want to get home and I don’t want to stop for gas. The Ho Hos? You always need to have Ho Hos available.

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