Much went on behind the scenes of the Global Education Conference 2010, with so much connection, communication and collaboration between so many global volunteers. This is how I saw it, from the ‘land down under’.
Prior to the conference
- Steve Hargadon and Lucy Gray spent possibly 12 months talking and planning the over all concept.
- Interested individuals were invited to regular online meetings to plan it in greater detail.
- Expressions of interest for Chairs of continents were called for. Regular meetings then took place between these people, with Julie Lindsay appointed the Chair of the Educator Advisory Board. This was another great way of connecting with others, globally.
During the conference – (entirely from my perspective)
As one of my passions is global education, I was keen to be part of the action, but also realised that this time of year is demanding of my time with year 12 exams looming etc. I offered to moderate several sessions and also present at some others.
- I loved having a Scottish moderator for my Australian presentation “Global Education is not an Option!” – we represented nearly two extremes of the globe!
- Moderating a session, immediately before my joint session with Lorraine Leo of Boston, USA, I felt comfortable knowing that Lorraine would be in our room early. Upon entry to our session room 10 -15 mins before the official start, I became alarmed that Lorraine was not in there. A quick check with skype, revealed that Lorraine thought our session was the next day (reinforcing the very confusing issue of time zones). With great composure, Lorraine entered the room and co-presented like a trooper. No-one would have known the flurry from behind the scenes.
- In another session that I moderated, the presenter could not get the application share to work. She wanted to use prezi and her computer seized up. Participants started to leave the room and as I tried to help her, my friend from Greece, Dimitris who was also participating, helped us out by sharing the application himself and giving excellent advice.
- Whilst in school, and having started my IT class just before lunch, I noticed a skype message come up from Mayte, in Sth America. She trains people in elluminate and teaches in elluminate, but just as she and her students were to enter their session room, elluminate failed to load and sent up error messages. I hastily went into the conference e-lounge, where Kim Caise, from USA, was on duty. Explaining the situation, Kim contacted Mayte and set up a conference line through elluminate so they could still present.
- Nerves, a flurry of organisation and practise were part of the behind the scenes for Hawkesdale P12 College and Beijing International School students, as they prepared for their role in the student summit session.
- Pronunciation of names or participants became a big challenge for me as a moderator and presenter.
- Uncertainty of the participant’s gender – except for people of Anglo -saxon origin, as the name no longer gave me a clue
- In one session, I watched Spanish being used in the chat and used google reader to translate.
- Entering the elounge for the conference to seek help on another occasion, I was surprised to find that Steve Hargadon himself helped me out. It was early hours of the morning for him, yet he was still on duty! Thanks Steve
- Steve popped into the elluminate rooms 10-15 mins prior to the sessions, to ensure everything was okay – another amazing effort!
Thanks to everyone who volunteered, helped me out, participated in sessions etc. A fantastic global venture!