In a nutshell, Podcamp NYC 2.0 certainly lived up to it's self-description as an "un-conference", complete with the aforementioned temporary tattoos, live "podsafe" music performances, free high-powered beverages, proliferation of vloggers bearing minicamcorders and mobile cameraphones, and frequent mention of terms such as "bloghaus" and "creative commons". It was casual and relaxed compared to the other education conferences I've attended (and dreaded), with a noticeable lack of polyester and conservativism.
The camp was by no means perfect, with a small number of last minute room changes and cancellations (which we were told to expect) as well as a couple of sessions I attended which seemed to be less about usefulness and more about someone pitching their concept, product or site. This, however, was certainly not the rule, and some sessions worth mentioning include Chris Penn's high energy (especially at 9 am) Intro to Podcasting; Roxanne Darling's (of Beachwalks.tv) session on optimizing your video podcast workflow (which, even though I don't consider myself a video newbie, I found VERY helpful); Annie Boccio's seesmic panel on video conversations (I promptly went home that very night and recorded my first seesmic!) and Drew Olanoff's very low-tech and highly entertaining conversation with us about "using social media as a toolkit and not a distraction" (he drove this point home by confiscating everyone's cell phone as they entered the room; he didn't get mine, but the message was no less powerful!).
As far as sessions designed specifically for educators, two standouts were Whitney Hoffman's session (she was one of the organizers), which I regrettably came late to, about using new media strategies to optimize learning, as well as John Herman's session on social media tools such as blogging and social networks (a Ning user like me) successfully with high school students. I had no idea, until the very end of the session, that John was the creator of an interactive web series I sometimes watch on Blip.tv called Gravityland (which I suggest you all watch, too!).
And, of course, besides the sessions there was the lively banter in between with amazing and brilliant people. The bottom line is: if you're an educator and you're reading this blog right now, RUN, don't walk, to the next FREE Podcamp (there's a schedule here). I'm already planning to attend the next one that happens to be within a hundred miles of me!