Wednesday, February 28, 2007

non, je ne regrette rien...

(except, possibly, not paying a hitman to take out Alison "Paparazzi" Purvis last Sunday.)

this is a very un-me-like statement, but i've had an excellent conference. i was going to do the traditional "highs and lows" post (with possibly the highest thing being the excited voice...and the lowest thing being...erm, me) but there really haven't been any lows from a conference perspective. yes, not everything has been stretching or progressive (don't worry, the old Sheffield Hallam smugness is still intact), but the standard of presentations, the atmosphere, the conversations with people during the breaks, the organisation, have been really good*.

so, here are some of the things that stand out for one reason or another:

  • the keynotes - particularly the world bank keynote, but the standard of keynotes here has been in a different class to the usual uninspiring, same-old-same-old drivel about planets, zoos, what dead or fictitious people would think about e-learning, etc. and no one wearing a freaky hat or ceremonial costume. which was nice.
  • scholar - i know there's a certain level of scepticism (sp?) about this amongst the team at SHU, but from what i saw, and the conversations with Bb staff (who, yes, are bound to be a little bit biased) in my very focussed focus group, and at the stand yesterday, this looks like a v promising development - familiar interface, flexible, and something that might just encourage academics to begin engaging with ways that many of their students' will be living their lives.
  • following paul's link to the chipmunks site just now, and absolutely killing myself laughing. brittany, eleanor, jeanette - they're all here, but i'll let you decide for yourself who's who.
  • not spending the whole time listening to the usual suspects - there's been quite a diverse group of people presenting here - not everything's been relevant, but the vast majority has been thought provoking in some way, and people seem to be very willing to share.
  • the very high standard of presentations from Sheffield Hallam...
  • Helen inventing the Boardman Shuffle (do do do do do de de de do do...).
  • oh, and not once being dragged into a conversation that involved the words "Blackboard" and "patent" in the same sentence.
*not to mention the sheer volume of free bombay sapphire on offer throughout the trip. truly, truly excellent.

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