Edulearn11 reflections


Well I’m back from the Edulearn conference in Barcelona and I thought I’d post some notes on the whole thing. The conference was fairly large (700 odd attendees, although I’m not really sure that there was ever 700 there at any given point) and very diverse. The attendance list was very international, with no real country dominating (i think there were less than 10 people from the UK for example).

Given the loose focus (education and learning technology can cover a lot of things!) and the suspicion that quality control was sacrificed for conference fees my overall experience was patchy. The keynote from Professor Sugata Mitra was interesting, but he’s from a university 20 miles away!

The twitter activity (mainly #edulearn11 ) was patchy which again was a bit troubling, given the audience and the fact that using twitter as a conference back channel is one of the clear ‘wins’ of twitter, but at least this helped me hook up with a few interesting people.

Due to the sheer numbers each talk was limited to 15 mins, which was really tough (on presenter and listener). Too many presenters wasted their time with preamble and background and I guess we were a little guilty of that with our talk, sorry! here are the slides from my workshop, which were basically the same as the talk given at the conference (although don’t fully acknowledge @ElaineRTan who co-presented at the conference and was a big help with the project).

So my first day back in the office will mainly be spent sorting expenses and following up on some of the interesting contacts I’ve made, and thinking about how it might be possible to rate conferences in future! Maybe there could be a site for conference reviews? Would organizers welcome the feedback?

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About digitalscholar

I am a sociologist with an interest in new technology. Previously I’ve worked on a number of projects at Lancaster University and the Open University looking at the use of new technologies and social media by researchers. I was also a social sciences teaching fellow at the foundation centre at Durham University teaching sociology and anthropology. I am now a senior lecturer at the University of West London's Institute for Teaching, Innovation and Learning where I oversee the foundation provision and support retention. I'm sure I'll still be interested in, and occasionally blog about, tech related things. I use this blog to post thoughts about using new technologies in my professional academic life and wider thoughts and links relating to technology more generally.
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