At the end of last week I was privileged to be able to attend a few sessions of The Global Education Collaborative, an online and free conference facilitated by Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon. The aim of the conference was to "significantly increase opportunities for globally-connecting education activities and initiatives." (from the conference wiki). Sessions took place in multiple time zones and multiple languages over five days. I dropped in and out as pressures of work allowed and sometimes was so hooked I stayed late into the night.
It was great to meet a number of people I have worked with and shared conversation with on line and IRL. The sessions and schedule page worked really well with descriptions of each session, the presenters, the link to the webconference page and importantly the time for your time zone.
Fortunately there was a twitter hash tag which meant that I usually knew when a session I wanted to attend was coming up. It was great to meet Vicki Davis and Anne Mirtschin, both good friends presenting at different times. Luckily if you missed any of the sessions or did not know the conference was on you can still catch the recordings here.
Some sessions that I want to catch up with are Gayle Berthiaume on Connecting Kids Around the World, Gail Casey, Web2Where: Online Social and Participatory Media for the Global Classroom, Sharon Peters, Project Purpose: Students Making a Difference in Mozambique and Ewan McIntosh The Problem Finders: how design thinking is releasing learning.
And on Friday I went briefly to the Big Fat Edtech Tweetup at a bar near Federation Square.
I got to meet Joyce Seitzinger, Stephen Heppell, Steve Wheeler, John Pearce, Mark Smithers, Linda Ruff, Lois Smethurst, Jenny Ashby, and Shelley Gibb. So nice to meet up with them. I had an interesting conversation with Steve Wheeler (love his description of himself as a disruptive activist) where he discussed his experiment with twitter and identity which he has blogged about.
I was interested because I felt I recently had to take on another twitter identity to deal with my burgeoning interest in permaculture and beekeeping. I didn't want to bore people who have followed me out of an interest in educational technology with stuff about my other interest and so I have had to split myself in half. I don't think this is a bad thing, just interesting. It is a very new identity so I have to be humble in my new space and learn the ropes in another community. It feels like a bit of an experiment and a definite learning opportunity. Thanks for the discussion Steve and I hope you learn a lot from your experiment although it is different from mine. I will look forward to reading more of Steve's writing and I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet you.