Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More presentations available

A few more presentations are now available on SlideShare - follow the link to the Slideshare eFest NZ 2008 Event to see them all listed. And a reminder to add the tag efestnz08 to any slides you post yourselves.

The following Elluminate session recordings are also now available (requires Elluminate java client to be installed):

eFest message from Midnight Assembly

A message to eFest attendees from the Midnight Assembly team

Hello! What an incredible time we all had together in Auckland in September.

Following the excited energy raised regarding our e-learning ideas, we would like to hear from those of you who are interested in helping us develop the following:

  • A learner-centered sister conference to eFest to be held next year, one which proactively engages in projects and hold challenges for its participants. This idea engine is to also serve as a data mine of information to be presented back to the annual eFest.
  • MAOS (Midnight Assembly Operation System), a streamlined software platform for primary, secondary, and tertiary educators. Essentially a MASSIVE holistically designed piece of software that is capable of cultivating an inspired learner cross-spectrum culture in New Zealand. Understandably there is a lot more to this idea than a few sentences and we welcome detailed discussion on it.
  • An infrastructure for Midnight Assembly that can continue pursueing and organising these events when its trustees are occupied elsewhere.

We are a youth operated charity - perhaps the youngest in the country - and need your support networks, wisdom, and can-do!

If any of this has raised an eyebrow then that's the perfect reason to get in touch!

All the best,

From the Midnight Assembly

Thursday, September 11, 2008

eFest over for 2008 - was it worth it?

Well with the conference now complete it's time to get back to the real world. But before I shift from conference/networking mode to sifting through all the emails and tasks in my Inbox I wanted to reflect on a few things about this years eFest.

Overall I think the conference was a success, but as part of the organising committee I am always conscious of what doesn't happen and looking to address this in future iterations of eFest. A few ideas along these lines:
  • Remote speakers: disappointed with interaction during these sessions - feel we had it right with Peter Higgs on first day with structured breaks for questions through out the presentation. The EdTechTalk session also went very well with people using both microphone and text chat channels to ask Jeff and Dave questions throughout. Need to explore these issues more thoroughly for next year and then be more directive to remote presenters about how they structure their presentations.
  • We under-utilised James Farmer - great energy and knowledge. Should have had him run at least one other workshop perhaps focussed on practical use of (edu)blogs OR on more advanced social networking topic for experienced elearning people. Definitely on the re-invitation list James :-).
  • It's always difficult to get the balance right to cater for the range of participant experiences - beginner through to advanced, technical through to teacher, practitioner to manager, educator to policy maker. Would be great to get more managers involved.
  • Definitely need to get better at supporting the conference online back-channel and potential for community building. Will look at how the Ako Aotearoa site may be able to support this once it's released in October. Also keen to open up eFest to remote participants, although need to work through the cost/revenue implications for this as it still costs significant $'s to host such a conference.
  • Enjoyed my conversations with Paul, Dean and Danny from the Ministry of Education. I can see some great opportunities developing from these and was impressed with their receptiveness. It highlighted the lack of prescence from TEC who actually hold the $'s that could be used for establishing many of those shared services that were mentioned in a number of presentations.
  • Overall there was too much "presentation" not enough conversation in the keynotes. Some great information but I missed the type of interaction we had during the FLINZ-led sessions we had on day 2 of eFest 2007.

I see some others have been sharing their thoughts on the conference or ideas/people they connected with - see the Google Search feed on the left of this blog. Although the organising commitee will be distributing a conference evaluation form shortly, it would be great to hear some feedback from anyone else who attended - or even those that didn't :-).

PS - George Siemens and Stephen Downes have posted copies of their presentations. More to come over the next few days.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

News and links from eFest08 Day 3

A few notes for the start of day 3
  1. Phil Ker's bog is at
  2. George Siemens - eLearnspace, Connectivism, ALT-C conference, George's SlideShare space
  3. Spaces available at Wed afternoon WikiEducator workshop - BYO Laptop and register with Amy at registration desk ASAP
  4. LDNet - learning design community soon to move to the new Ako Aotearoa Site
  5. Secondlife in Education in NZ - SLENZ project blog
  6. Learning design - James Dalziel & LAMS. LAMS Community, LAMS Foundation, LAMS Demo
  7. Stephen Marshall's eMM site
  8. Otago Polytechnic - WikiEducator and IP policy

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Correction to Leigh Blackall URL

Now that teaching is dead - how do we learn?

In his talk, Leigh Blackall will reflect on his notorious statement at's Global Summit in Sydney 2006, teaching is dead, long live learning. Leigh will give us a part 2: Connected learners. Leigh will draw on his experiences to date working at Otago Polytechnic with developing informal learning, open education, learning through social media, and online networked learning.

You can access an audio visual recording of Leighs' 2006 talk at

Monday, September 1, 2008

One week to go!

Just one week to go and the last minute registrations are coming in as excitement mounts :-).

Everything is going smoothly with arrangements but there have been a couple of last minute tweaks to the programme. The web site programme pages have been changed and a new PDF version is available for download.

Details of changes:
2:15pm Online Communities: by students for students - Hannah Pia Baral
3:00pm iTunes University (iTunesU) / Podcast Producer - Chris Chester and Roger Thomas, Renaissance.
4.00pm Dancing with 2Touch: Using New Zealand’s own, giant interactive whiteboard - 2Touch (workshop)
See you there!


Friday, August 22, 2008

eFest 2008 programme published!

The full programme and speaker details for eFest 2008 have now been published (phew!). We're really excited about the level of expertise, experience and variety of stories that will be shared at the conference.

Some highlights:
See you there :-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Rough eFest programme and speaker bio's released

eFest 2008 will run over 3 days with a similar format to eFest 2007.

  1. Day 1: a mix of keynote speakers and parallel presentations or workshops
  2. Day 2: mainly keynote speakers with opportunity for group discussion and activities
  3. Day 3: a mix of keynote speakers and parallel presentations and workshops

More details will be published shortly and please note that the scheduled presentation days are subject to change. You can also view the speaker summaries organised by conference theme here.


Monday, July 28, 2008

More eFest speakers confirmed!

In addition to the speakers announced last week we can confirm the following people will be joining us at eFest 2008.
  • James Farmer
  • Wayne Mackintosh
  • Stephen Marshall
  • Alexandra Pickett
You can read some more about these great speakers here.

We now have a sponsorship and exhibition info kit available and don't forget to keep those presentation proposals and registrations coming.

Friday, July 18, 2008

eFest 2008 - Speakers announced

We have some great speakers confirmed to support our Connected Learning themes, with more to be announced shortly:
  • George Siemens and Stephen Downes (Virtual)
  • James Dalziel (Virtual)
  • Leigh Blackall
  • Owen O'Neil
  • Terry Neal
  • Dr Sandy Britain
  • Peter Higgs (Virtual)
The call for papers is also now open, as are registrations (conference fee is $400 + GST for the full 3 day event).

About Me

eFest web site admin promoting eFest 2008 - Connected Learning, 8-10 September 2008 at SkyCity Auckland Convention Centre