Online Educa Berlin 2009

Well it’s obviously hard to sum up three days of conference w. 15 tracks and a conference programme packed, stacked & racked from 9:15 to 18:00 or 19:00… So just some brief notes. Videos from the conference should be available shortly, radio-podcasts are already up.

Organisation was very well done as always, including deciding a hashtag for the twittering about the conference (search for #eob2009 to see what everybody had to say about it all)

Thursdays opening keynotes generally got good reviews, and should appear online shortly
Digital Identity session hosted by @stylianosm2 -All interesting & relevant different angles on the issue by @stevenwarburton @shirleyearley @grahamattwell and @margaperez – This session btw. got it’s own hashtag: #eob2009DI

For the next round I tried COM18 “Putting the web to Work in the Class – practical tips & new ideas” But it still seemed like a vaguely unfocused sales pitch when I left 5 mins later… (I’ve decided to have no shame what-so-ever about getting up & leaving – there are 14 other tracks, my workplace paid for me to attend, oh, and I just hate generic sales pitches!)
So I joined MED27 in stead: “Mixed Media for Learning: Hype or Hit? Which was great: Christine Redecker, Inge de Waard, Paul Den Hertog (on upscaling web-lectures at Hogeschool v A’dam – need to get a hold of him for info on their podcast solution) & John Hill.

Then SOC35 on “Web 2.0 Leading to Learning 2.0”: Helen Keegan on a very interesting use of blogs, Trevor Baker on SL and Sebastian Kelle  on Game-based Learning, which turned into my last session of the day, as I fell into interesting conversation over a beer with first Helen Keegan, then @margaperez, @cristinacost and a couple of others before I had to rush off to dinner with a bunch of Danes in East Berlin…

Friday morning had two parallel sessions, I picked “Responding to the Changing World of Work” chaired by (Keynote speaker) Charles Jennings (as the other one, even though chaired by Gilly Salmon sounded to me like another “oh, no the tech savvy youth are real scary!”-themed thing…) Tarkan Maner (Wyse tech.), Martin Dougiamas (Moodle Australia) and David James Clarke IV (Toolwire) – the latter with a very interesting presentation on Experimental Learning at Phoenix University.

Next session STR48 chaired by Graham Attwell on “Narrative and Storytelling in Teaching and Learning”, All interesting examples of storytelling in use: Christopher Murray had Med-students doing photo-stories about their feelings regarding home visits to patients, Lucia Pannese on serious games in e-VITA, Christina Costa on childrens digital storytelling in a cartoon setting.

After lunch I attended VAR66 “Battle of the Bloggers” (again: separate hashtag: #oebbattle) I found the attempt to change the format to a battle scenario interesting, but it didn’t really work for me: It was oddly unengaging -or maybe I was just put off by the assumption that we all know the panel (I knew none of them, but that may be my fault) – plus that we all know the same 4-5 theories of learning, evaluation etc debated – which I’m sure are the dominating ones in a british/american context, but to my knowledge isn’t in a scandinavian one… Also there was much ado about the backchannel (direct + feeding in Twitter via the tag), but it didn’t seem to be used for anything but a “show” of engaging the (not very full) room. Disappointing I have to say, cause it could have been fun – in stead it seemed to turn into a dinner conversation for the usual suspects?

After that I tried out the STR79 session, but I’d just heard the first speaker in Copenhagen recently, so I dodged out and took a tour of the stalls – and then went on to join the TweetUp-crowd. The bar session was quickly substituted by a trip to East Berlin for dinner. Ordering dinner however took a lot longer 😉 But it was fun & great company. Between the 8 people around the table: @christinacost @torresk @mariaperif @juizee @grahamattwell @gcooney @cosmocat (who org. it) & me @anetq) A quick count said we spoke a total of 19 languages (20 if you count Latin) to at least some extent… So next year we’re aiming for 30 languages, if you’re coming to Berlin, please join us!

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