Reflections on “Digital Diversity” – ACEC2010

What a great conference this was! The Australian Computer Educators Conference (ACEC) 2010, proved that many educators are keen to use the emerging technologies to empower learning through all levels of education. The Digital Diversity conference explored interactive and creative approaches to ICT in education.

Here are my reflections:-

Communication prior to conference

  • Communication was excellent and updates were regularly received
  • Twitter gave instant feedback to questions and enabled us to share conversations. There was a twitter handle for the conference @acec2010 and a hash tag #2010
  • Full credit to the organizers for creating a wonderful online sessional booking system. Despite some sessions being booked out, there was the ability to opt in and out of sessions right up to the last minute. It was user friendly and individual programs were could be printed. The online system prevented paper waste and cost!

The location

  • Melbourne, Victoria, my birth city and the city I still love returning to.

The venue

  • The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition  Centre (often referred to as ‘Jeff’s Shed’) was an ideal location. Large spacious area for the trades display.  Within the display area there many learning spaces for conference participants to work in, share conversations or attend special sessions.
  • The area where the formal sessions, keynotes etc was held was equally effective as a conference venue.
  • The venue fronts onto the Yarra River – a great view could be seen through the walkways.

The timetable

  • They were long days, sometimes starting at 8am with the formal sessions finishing at 5:30am but they were jam packed with many session and activity choices. But that also meant we got value for money and could make the most of the days that were dedicated to the conference.
  • There were keynotes, presentations, soap box sessions, hands-on-workshops and papers. Each was clearly marked on the program.
  • Sessions were often 40 mins but up to 60 mins in length. For those who were presenting, this meant the message had to come across quickly and setup time was limited. However, it also meant higher exposure to a  choice of workshops and sessions.
  • Sufficient time was given to meals, morning and afternoon tea. This was great networking time.

My involvement

The keynotes

The keynotes that I attended:-

All had some inspiring message but I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Michelle Selinger is the Director of Education Practice in the Asia Pacific region for the Global Public Sector practice of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group.Michelle’s focus is primarily on education transformation in all areas of formal education. Adam Elliott made me laugh and kept me entertained throughout his presentation. It is great to hear the success stories of students who have not done so well at school. Is data collected on the success of those who did not achieve well in tests etc?

The highlights

  • Networking, networking, networking. I met so many of my twitter friends and made many more connections. The connections are invaluable! Business cards were swapped where possible. Others used their iPhones to bump and connect. The tweetup evening meal at The Chocolate Buddha was fabulous and my first evening meal was spent with some of the keynote speakers and presenters from the UK. Thanks to Bron Stuckey for inviting me.
  • Of the sessions that I attended. I particularly liked the amazing work of the innovative and technologically savvy Steve Collis , loved being in the sessions run by Dr Bronwyn Stuckey who administrates Quest Atlantis. The virtual world offers big possibilities for education. One of these sessions included Lindy McKeown. Another highlight was listening to Judy O’Connell present “Content used to be King
  • The conference dinner at Etihad stadium which provided a circus type atmosphere and entertainment style.
  • Catching up with Jess McCulloch – my great partner in emerging technologies

The technology

  • The majority of conference participants had a laptop, and also a mobile device, either their own handheld iPod touch or iPhone or participants borrowed an iPod touch for the duration of the conference.
  • A special app was made for Ipod touches or phones with which participants could check their room and session numbers etc. Great idea!
  • Many were tweeting during the conference, sharing opinions, conversations, links, the value of the session they were in etc. The twitterfall makes a wonderful record of what occurred and a valuable resource for future use and reflection.
  • The conference website was constantly updated and well laid out
  • A  ning for  networking

Concerns

  • The cost of the conference once accommodation and travel are factored in.

Takeaways:

  • Drive, motivation and the assured knowledge that there are many to help me in my journey.
  • Realisation that I need to provide immediate or as close to immediate feedback to students on their work and assessment and not procrastinate my marking!
  • Desire to learn more about virtual worlds and apply them to my classes. Would like to work with Bron Stuckey and Quest Atlantis with my year 11 students designing some quests
  • Continue to work out differentiated learning for my students
  • Ambition to go to the next ACEC2012 conference in Perth, Western Australia

Transcript for conference tweets

Did you go to ACEC2010 and if so, what were your highlights?

One response to “Reflections on “Digital Diversity” – ACEC2010

  1. Great reflection of your experiences at ACEC2010 Anne. There was certainly a great variety of sessions on offer,and the whole conference was extremely well-organised.

    See you in Perth 2012 – maybe!🙂

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