Microsoft’s PDC recently concluded, as have a few more tech events during the course of the summer. As usual, the really good events were/are either closed (conference at Google) or too expensive for the people who really want to learn for the future.
No wonder IBM is paying employees to become math and science teachers and there is a shortage of fresh batches of the “real-world” developers and engineers in america.

Throughout my college days, there were numerous events of such nature in NYC (one of my reasons for choosing a college in NJ, low taxes, yet just a PATH ride into the city) that I could not attend because there were multiple hundreds (thousands even) of dollars involved in entrance fees. Even with the student discounts, it wouldn’t fit any student budgets. Students have a choice, save up summer job money and get an IBM Thinkpad tablet pc or pay for one of these mega events.

Scoble, you offer to get a free ticket to Dave Winer … because he is established in the industry. I believe Dave, and others like him, in a position to spend a couple of grand should pay cash, for that same reason. He is established in the industry and has a paying gig. It’s the students you should worry about, who can only get their glimpse of the event from blogs and torrents of video and audio recorders snuck in (oh, sorry, that’ll be audioblogs and videoblogs now).

How about leveraging your respective positions of power and transferring some of the goodness to students who show real talent, and more importantly, real thirst for the latest knowledge.

I agree this poses a challenge, how do you identify the correct students, among the thousands of wanna-bes and free-ticket-seekers.

I wish I knew, might be go through the forums at channel 9, look for the active people?
The same with other web-forums around the web, newsgroups, blogs!

And I don’t think this post is aimed only at a single person or company, this is an industry-wide problem.

CS is one of the few fields where students learn very little in the classroom. The primary method of learning about new technologies has not changed since the 1980s … look over the shoulders of the more experienced, and hear them and understand them.