Friday, March 2, 2007

My Conference Experience

Well now I'm back and I have access to suitable technology, I thought I would post a quick summary about my conference experience. It was an interesting experience, but I was somewhat disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I didn't see the innovations in use of Bb that I was really expecting to see.

The breakout sessions that I attended were all in the "Extending Learning" section and I was really hoping to get some new ideas for innovative uses of Bb. I was surprised by the basic approach by most of the sessions I attended, or by the mismatch between the 'advertised' session and what was actually presented. One session had nothing about Blackboard (or WebCT) in it at all, it was actually about paper based materials! Although it was interesting in it's own right.

The keynotes were worth seeing though, and that really does make a nice change! The presentation by the e-strategies advisor from the World Bank, Bruno Lanvin, was excellent and it was interesting to hear about the digital divide in global terms. Bruno talked a lot of the digital divide existing as a content divide rather than necessarily a technological divide.

We all got good feedback after our sessions, but Helen did really well and had a packed room. She got some great feedback, see the evidence!

It was an enjoyable conference and the sessions were all interesting, it's just not been the amazing innovative conference that I was expecting. Maybe that says more about the standard of practice at SHU than it does about the conference?

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