Wednesday, May 23, 2007

...on the subject of online conferences...

2nd Annual K-12 Online Conference–”Playing With Boundaries”

Announcing the second annual “K12 Online” conference for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice! This year’s conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, October 15-19 and October 22-26 of 2007, and will include a preconference keynote during the week of October 8. This year’s conference theme is “Playing with Boundaries.”

Call for proposals is here.


Artichoke said...

I am interested in the notion of an online conference Fiona - I want to understand how an online conference is different from a face to face conference, barcamp, un-conference etc.

I am thinking about how necessary conviviality and dialogue is to professional learning for adults - all that social connection stuff.

Does this sudden rush to provide online conferences mean we have it all wrong about the social part of learning - or is it simply a cynical and economically driven initiative.

It is undeniably cheaper to meet check box outcomes for contract delivery of professional learning when you don't have to arrange travel accomodation venue hire conference dinner registration etc etc

I wonder if the social stuff in learning is overrated - can we get deep insight and new learning from sitting alone gazing at the shimmer of the screen and typing text on a keyboard?

If we can learn professionally through virtual connection then can we expect an increase in the offering of online conferences for adults and then in time similar events for kids.

It would it make the delivery of educational learning experiences (including video conferencing) to kids in NZ heaps cheaper if we didn't have to bring them together into classrooms each day and instead delivered all their learning experiences through a monitor at home.

Artichoke said...

Arghh it is already happening - as i blogged the last comment this arrived in my inbox ...

* Your cluster will receive one Face to Face visit and one audio conference this year,

We are trashing the F2F stuff in professional learning support in the ict_pd clusters

And for audio conference read "phone call"

Fiona Grant said...

I quoted Miguel Guhlin in my TUANZ post (March 29) as saying “ attending these types of conferences (f2f) was often not so much about the workshops and geekware as the connections and conversations”.

I would not be keen to see “conviviality and dialogue” totally replaced by online delivery. However I do believe it’s about exploring how these opportunities, like integration of new technologies in our classrooms, can add value to learning.

Having the choice and opportunity to organise my learning both through online delivery and f2f over the past few years has been invaluable in terms of how much more I have been able to achieve. While some of this has been formal study I have realised that increasingly the options available through new web technologies has also enabled me to participate in learning with people that I would not have had the opportunity to connect with in the past…many of these ‘deep insights’ have come not from sitting alone typing, but through real time conversations online and the time to reflect that asynchronous communications also allow.

While the online conference is new for me and our cluster I am interested to participate and contribute but like you will be weighing up the pros and cons.

I guess in summary its about ‘give me choice’ when it comes to where and when I learn…however if doesn’t deliver it won’t survive in this 21st century… whether it’s f2f or online.