Thursday, July 10, 2008

First day at the Read180 Conference

I'm so tired but I needed to get this out before I turn in. I feel deceived. When I walked into this conference I really believed that I would learn something that I could take back to my Read180 class. Instead, I feel that I have been used to create a marketing campaign for Scholastic and that this entire conference was created to inform Read180 teachers about a new product that they want us to purchase, the "L-Book".

My evening began with a reception of 800 educators. The Read180 team created a talk show that resembled the set of Oprah in order to present the Read180 speakers. Now I am a huge fan of creating entertaining ways to present to audiences, but when I looked around and saw all of the cameras, I realized that we were all props in a marketing campaign. We should have been notified in advance that they would be video taping the conference for their own purposes.
We were provided a wonderful dinner spread and free drinks. During this time, again, the cameras were everywhere. They also had Scholastic representatives rounding up educators to give a brief testimonial about their Read180 experiences. At my table, they approached my Polynesian colleague and asked her to speak on camera. She declined. Then they asked me. I declined. There were six other people at my table, but none of them were asked to speak (they were Caucasian). Then they walked around a bit, found a table with an African American man, and asked him to speak. He agreed and was walked over to the interview area. The Scholastic Rep returned, searched around the crowd and approached an African American female, who agreed to speak on camera. Why were they singling out the minorities? Was I the only person paying attention?

Tomorrow will be my first conference session. I really hope that I learn something that I can take back to my classroom. Right now, I feel like this conference was not created for the educators, but it was created to collect a bunch of Read180 users in one place in order to build a marketing campaign.


Pretlow Kamara Jones said...

Wow, you're a very perceptive person. Thanks for the insight!