I have wrestled with several weeks on how to write this article.
I don’t want to come across as elitist or condescending but NAB should be mandatory for continued certification for video production teachers. There, I said it. NAB should be mandatory for video production teachers to continue their profession. That is how firmly I believe in the NAB convention in Las Vegas can impact your classroom.
I am going to assume this about you: You like teaching. You enjoy video production. You want to get better at both. I wrote several months ago that in order to be a successful and thriving program, you have to be in two places any time you can: Where you are expected and where you are not expected to be. NAB is the latter of the two.
NAB Show Las Vegas (the official title) is a self proclaimed “ultimate event for media, entertainment, and technology professionals looking for new and innovative ways to create, manage, deliver, and monetize content…” The event site also touts 102K+ attendees from 160+ countries who are there to meet with over 1,700 exhibitors and attend over 200 sessions.
NAB is for educators because the vendors want us there.
I am sure you are thinking the same thing I did - “This sounds awesome but what does a teacher do in that environment? The vendors won’t care about little ole me.” You, like I was, am wrong. I was not only welcomed by the industry reps but embraced. It was an odd feeling to be honest. I love what I do but I am aware of the perception of teachers that exists so it was shocking when I was treated as well or better than others in attendance.
I asked one of the vendors why they welcomed educators the way the do. The answer was simple - If you know our equipment, you will teach our equipment and the next generation of professionals will already know how to use our gear.
NAB is for educators because it is professional learning at the highest level.
Another reason you should go to NAB are the sessions. These sessions are just typical PL sessions. These are real “drinking from the firehose” sessions. Last year, I walked by the Adobe booth and heard a familiar voice. I immediately recognized the voice. It was Vashi Nodemansky. Vashi was presenting on his editing techniques from Deadpool. (By the way, if you haven’t been to his site, go but leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you can get back home. It is so rich with content it’s indescribable) There were sessions on cinematography, photography, graphic design and more.
The sessions run throughout the day at a variety of vendor spaces and are super rich in content that can be brought back to the classroom and used immediately.
NAB is for educators because of the connections.
There is no better way to know what is on the horizon in the industry than to make connections that matter. NAB is your chance to make those connections. There are over 100,000 people at NAB in Las Vegas so there is someone you can strike up a conversation with and make a connection that will impact your classroom. Last year, as we were checking into the hotel, we struck up a conversation with the person in front of us. She was a video director for a major university. We chatted exchanged business cards and now she is one of the first people I reach out to when I have a question about something I am teaching.
While it may be late for this year, definitely talk with your administration about going to NAB and getting involved with the industry on a whole new level. The overall costs for the trip are pretty low considering what you are getting in return, in terms of professional development. This is the time for you to get out of your classroom, make connections that matter, stay in front of industry trends, and learn more than you can imagine.