… it didn’t all go downhill on Day Two of EdTech 2007. In fact it got even better.
Jon Dron opened the morning sessions with an amusing and thought provoking reflection on ‘Designing the Undesignable’. It involved some shameless plugging of his book but was not any the worse for that. And the Borg voice on his presentation was a nice touch. It felt uncomfortably close to the truth about dealing with a VLE discussion board!
Avril Behan and Frances Boylan had some interesting things ot say about the institutional level challenges of bringing a more blended course into play for a mixed agenda group of students. What they said about their students reactions to this particular WEBCT initiative was a bit of a reality check but excellent in its way.
Brian Mulligan’s session was also top class. He ‘walked the walk’ by putting what he was doing out to the web in real time using Macromedia Breeze. And what he said about his and Bob Kennedy’s work with a mix of onsite and offsite client bases – and the dynamics of teaching and learning in this mode made a considerable amount of sense. The problem as always about the kind of thing that he and his colleagues are doing is that it is not captured in a way that makes for easy sharing; if you aren’t in Sligo IT and up to your neck in solving the day-to-day issues as they present or in DIT yesterday to hear Brian talking them through (or on the webfeed) you missed it. Not sure what the answer is to this or even if there is one but a practitioner series of blognotes / webcasts may be one possibility. If there was only time!
Rhona Sharpe’s closing note was a very good one and a super end to the conference. She referenced extensively the work (completed and ongoing) that she and others are doing for JISC in the UK. And also one of my own current favourites – the DEMOS Their Space work. All of which could have been a bit of a dampener by comparison to what’s been funded in research and development terms over here. But the images and ideas put forward on the unintentionally / intentionally subversive underworld of technology that younger HE students in particular are increasingly comfortable with and expectant about, were really useful and brought about one of the most interesting discussions of the conference. Again there was a bit of ‘subtle’ book-plugging. Though it was a light touch and pointed towards a useful text.
It was also interesting to put faces on people I’d only ‘met’ on Moodle and to catch up with people like Kevin and Helen (Helen should only be a coffee away but because of the increasing pace of newcorporate life at Belfield you have to go to a conference to meet someone with an office 5 minutes from your own!)
So. All in all two days well spent.