ICERI conference November 2015

Unable to attend this conference in Seville later this month, I have registered as a virtual delegate, and look forward to visiting the conference online.

Meanwhile, my paper is submitted to the conference plus a presentation, but that didn’t seem helpful, so I have recorded a video to explain the paper and my findings and placed it in YouTube here

The paper is about the experience of developing an undergraduate business degree with a Problem Based Learning ethos. That experience is in its final stages, as the final graduates should leave next summer and the course is closed to new entrants. Was it a failure? Not for the students, who are some of the best motivated final year students I have worked with, tackling challenges and supporting each others’ learning readily. Perhaps for the staff team, who put so much energy and developmental effort into understanding PBL and creating great authentic experiences for students with local businesses. But there is always something to be learned, and the paper, and video discuss some of the learning outcomes from this experience.

Note added after the conference 27th Nov 2015:

Not only did I have full access online to all the presentations at this conference during the event, able to review keynotes and search for all papers, virtual and present, but I have now also received my virtual delegate pack containing the normal conference goodies (pen/pencil/notebook/postits/certificate of participation/certificate of presentation) but also a data key with pdfs of all presentations on pdf from the proceedings.

This was my first experience of being a virtual delegate and I would strongly recommend it – this conference was well organised throughout and I will be looking to consider a virtual presentation again next year.


Information & Communication Technologies in Education conference 2015, Roznov

Just arrived home from another conference on learning with technologies, this time in the soft air and tree-covered hills of Eastern Moravia.IMG_7334

This is a conference with a major focus on PhD development in a neighbouring group of countries hosted by the University of Ostrava. Delegates and presenters attended from Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland as well as the Czech Republic and all these languages, as well as the official language of English, were spoken throughout the event. Proceedings are published in English and presentations are offered with English titles and sometimes English slides, though in deference to the largely non-English participants, the presenter’s own language was often used verbally. The official and compulsory PhD sessions in the conference offer a third and final opportunity for doctoral researchers to gain feedback, hopefully constructive, on their work before moving to final submission and viva in the following year.

I had been invited to offer the opening presentation on Designing with Technologies for Collaborative Learning, a topic which related to an editorial I had written for Interactive Learning Environments last year. Fortunately I was able to review the papers for the conference prior to my presentation and this helped me to get a flavour of the interests and pre-occupations of the participants. Many were focussed on specific projects involving technology in teaching at various levels – a notable example being Ota Kéhar who spoke of a problem based learning task involving public domain astronomical data to get students to learn about using Excel. My perspective is always that thinking about learning precedes and takes precedence over the use of particular technologies. I reviewed some of the key learning theorists who have guided our thinking on the value of interaction and collaboration in learning, before turning to the team perspective of designing learning fit for the 21st century, with academics working alongside developers, technologists, administrators and specifically the students themselves, to find ways of learning together with technology. It was fun to get participants using Poll Everywhere in the presentation, not a well-known way of using learning technology in this part of the world, where worksheets seem to be the most popular learning task.

The conference included much serious effort to gain traction with today’s educational technology. Tony and I were made welcome, but gained hugely from the presence of friend and colleague Dagmar El-Hmoudová, who was herself presenting in the PhD section of the conference yet made the conference particularly enjoyable for us with her ready humour, great company and excellent instant interpretation from Czech to English. We were also grateful to Pavel Kapoun (also the Executive Editor of the ICTE journal) who led us ably on a tour of the local Wallachian open air museum, after I’d enjoyed a brilliant cold and sunny swim in the open air pool at the interestingly named Hotel Relax…

What did I take away? lovely memories of the place, humility at the language abilities of many people in this region, and a clearer understanding of the reticence which many retain about expressing themselves publicly on the web, even if they are aware of the benefits of social media.

Gorg Malia book on The Social Classroom

This book is a collection of chapters for which I enjoyed reviewing as a member of the Editorial Board.

Great experiences often begin with conference conversations – this one at an earlier ICICTE.

Mahara UK14 conference hosted at University of Brighton

After a week of social media at ECSM2014 and SSMS2014 hosted at Brighton, just a few days later Mahara UK14 also brought its conference to UoB.

Being on leave and trying to draw breath after the months build-up to SSMS and ECSM, I did wonder what had possessed me to offer a presentation at the Mahara conference. And having presented at the end of June at the UoB IS conference with Craig Wakefield on creative uses of both Talis Aspire and Mahara as technologies for learning, I also wondered to whom the Mahara conference would be addressed – just technologists?, IS people? academics?

In the event it was clearly a good decision to go to Mahara UK14 since ECSM had already demonstrated the liveliness and engagement of mixed role audiences. This was no exception as delegates included those intimately involved in creating, developing and using and applying Mahara. Developers need to see what teachers and learners need from software, and teachers need to work with and be inspired by the creativity of developers.

I presented on the second conference day on Supervising Research students with Mahara – in our UoB world studentfolio. The audience was keen to discuss and ask questions – giving rise to more ideas about good quality research supervision. Prezi can be found here

Various lovely artefacts via storify, Pinterest and epilogger from this conference as for SSMS and ECSM – see previous blog posts.

one storify

One delegate take on Pinterest, thanks to Linda Pospisilova from Pardubice here

Another delegate take on storify thanks to Domi Sinclair here

Epilogger link re this conference hashtag: here

JISC implementation toolkit for eportfolios here: here

UFHRD conference at Brighton

Developing people at and for work makes social and economic sense as well as introducing people, sometimes for the first time, to the joy of continuing openness to learning.

At the UFHRD conference – HRD in Turbulent Seas – Continued Global Economic Uncertainty: Challenges and Opportunities – to be held 4-7 June 2013, delegates will be exploring diverse issues around developing people.

Here are the different academic streams of papers – as seen below, five of them are offering the target of publication in a a related journal Special Issue:

  • Stream 1: Action Learning – research and practice – Special Issue Opportunity
  • Stream 2: Comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD
  • Stream 3: Critical, theoretical and methodological issues in HRD
  • Stream 4: Diversity issues in HRD
  • Stream 5: Doctoral workshops
  • Stream 6: Employee Engagement & HRD – Special Issue
  • Stream 7: HRD Evaluation & Learning
  • Stream 8: HRD: identity, community, profession
  • Stream 9: HRD in BRICS+ and Multinational Corporations (MNCs) – Special Issue
  • Stream 10: Innovation, Sustainability & HRD – Special Issue
  • Stream 11: KM, learning organisations and organisational learning
  • Stream 12: Leadership and Management Development
  • Stream 13: Scholarly practitioner research
  • Stream 14: Technology Enhanced Learning at Work – Special Issue
  • Stream 15: Training and development, and retaining the talent of older workers
  • Stream 16: VET and Workplace Learning
  • Stream 17: Workplace Conflict

I’m involved in Stream 14 on Friday’s programme – looking at opportunities to use learning technologies for enhancing learning, and we have a call out for additional papers on this TEL at work theme for our BJET special issue – so if you have a paper/research study on that theme, even if you have not submitted to the conference, you can still upload submissions for the SI at the BJET website, noting that you would like to be included in this SI. Here is the Call for Papers of the SI.

Meanwhile the UFHRD itself has a very useful resource area on learning and teaching:

Link to great resources on HRD learning and teaching.

Counting down to ECEl 2011 at Brighton

The conference website is showing 2 days, 18 hours and 48 minutes to go before Mithras House in Brighton Business School welcomes 200 delegates to ECEL 2011.

With three great keynotes and over a hundred academic papers plus a doctoral symposium, we are going to be busy.
We have mini-tracks on accessibility awareness in e-learning management, personalized learning in online environments, open source and OER in e-learning, beyond virtual silos and institutional walls, e-submission and intelligent tutoring on e-learning platforms.
Lots of information on the conference website and photos during and after conference, but for now, to keep up with the conference follow us on Twitter #ECEL2011

Rhodes sunshine and genuine community learning at ICICTE

This year’s ICICTE conference, my second visit but it’s been a while, was a good learning experience.

learning experience at Greek Night, Aresh not listening!

The link here to the conference website shows the visual evidence, photos from every day of the conference and a great way to remember the names of new friends.

icicte 2011 first eveninghere are Antonis and Olga from Greece, Andrea and myself from Brighton, Aresh from London, Liam and Stephen from New Zealand

As always with conferences, you can choose to have the best conference ever, or you can be passive. The difference is made by being proactive, being open to questions and asking them frequently, being prepared to find common ground and really attending to speakers. All offer some great learning – particularly if good time-keeping means you can really choose ones which interest you.

view from hotel room to Turkey

I enjoyed sessions on digital identity – good paper by Carolyn Woodley, assessment – good paper by Bostock from Keele – and Facebook – our final session which included a lovely example of interesting students in maths by putting up a Facebook page for a revered ancient mathematician and attracting friends. The latter session was where I delivered my paper right at the end of conference on Facebook: perceptions of purpose, learning from the experience of retailers which, like the others, can be found in the ICICTE website where the proceedings are downloadable. Can also be found on the public prezi site.

Andrea Benn delivered her paper at the start of conference so between us we bookended the event, talking about our new Business with Enterprise course based on PBL – lots of differing definitions of this among the audience and some useful experience shared.

A highlight was the keynote from Michael Grahame Moore and his presence throughout the conference – here at the Philospher’s Cafe:

Michael Moore at ICICTE 2011

Michael Moore at ICICTE 2011

His ideas about the vertical disaggregation of HE learning struck a chord, a world of aggregated learners and disaggregated (by merit across the world) resources for learning. And an absolute belief in the power of online interaction and affective communication.

Although the work didn’t end with the conference (have netbook, will work), a few days afterwards in the warm blanket of Rhodes sunshine was an exceptional treat.