Phew! Speed Conferencing

I spent the last day of the working week at yet another conference. How much of this can a girl take! USQ’s 3rd International Pedagogies and Learning Conference was held this year at the Springfield campus, in the outer Ipswich-Brisbane suburbs. This corridor is one of the fastest growing in Australia, and if the immigrants from all over the country keep arriving, Springfield will be a big city in years to come. Right now it looks a little like the town in The Truman Show, very new, very shiny, lots of space that trees and people will fill in eventually.

I enjoyed the conference sessions, even though they lasted a whole 20 mins each! Wow … just as you get started, it’s all over. The thing I enjoyed was sitting in on sessions that related not to higher ed, but to secondary and middle-school education. I heard the occasional mention of ‘every student has a laptop,’ and I pricked up my ears for mention of the ‘digital native.’ I didn’t hear it, nor did I hear any mention of the Gen Z tots’ ability to race around the web and do the sort of stuff we discussed at the AUC conference earlier this week. Still, just ‘playing purposefully’ with Web 2.0 (the thrust of my own speed presentation) must mean they find out what’s out there, sift and sort and pass the parcel to one another… as long as the teachers are reasonably au fait and encourage them to dig into the big digital playbox.

There was much talk of learning styles, and for teachers, a lot of talk about the IDEAS program now a hot ticket in many Australian, and international schools. All light years away from my own teaching days back in primary and secondary school. Sounds wonderfully vital and refreshing.

And my presentation Digital Doodling and Podding? Well, OK I guess. It looked great I have to say and didn’t have lots of slides crammed with text … which I then read at the audience. Oh dear, when will presenters learn about this! (How to lose an audience stone dead.) The presentation was videoed for the archives (I hope someone finds it useful) but I had to race to get through. I looked out at one stage, and one of the conference organisers was holding up a card with ‘5’ on it. For one silly moment, I thought she was giving me a mark! With 5 minutes to go, I had to cut corners, so it was all a bit rushed and unsatisfactory. I’m not good at 20 minute presentations … maybe I should be!

Author: Kate Wilson

Actor, director, teacher, dabbler with paint, serial traveller.

2 thoughts on “Phew! Speed Conferencing”

  1. I actually like the 20 min format — and have attended a few 10 min ones as well which have surprised me as you learn a lot in them as well.

    What can I say – I have do two online presentations this week using virtual classrooms — give me f2f any day.

    Not looking forward to my three weeks of conferences.

    Sue

  2. Kate,
    I was conferencing this week also. One of the things that was really helpful to me was Stephen Downes challenge to all of us to be willing to let go of the concept of courses that kept us thinking about delivering structured content. So, how can we isolate and deliver essential segments just when they are needed over the technology that makes sense for the context? Seems simple, but if we truly embraced it, I doubt we would ever sit through another Powerpoint slide reading again…

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