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!


About Me

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