PGL12 is the hashtag for the 2012 Asia Society for Partnership for Global Learning Annual Conference held at the Marriott, Brooklyn Bridge in New York. The reason I am in the USA is due to a request to take part in on a panel about “Technology and the Future of Education”. This was really exciting for me and shows the power that technology can bring to a personal network.
Although this conference was not a technology based one (as most conferences that I attend are) their use of technology and social media was most impressive. Arriving early on the morning of the pre-conference workshops, I was invited to attend the keynote speaker’s session. Marcia Tate shared 20 Instructional Strategies that will train the brain – a very inspiring lady.
At lunchtime, I sat through a visual media introduction to New York and learnt how 20 treks had been developed using scvngr – a game all about going places, doing challenges and earning points. People were divided into smaller groups and given a metro train ticket to reach the initial point of their trek. At each point, they were to take a photo and take digital notes describing their surroundings. These photos and notes could be shared via a tweet or facebook, using the hashtag #pgl12 so that the whole conference group could share in their learning.
A conference app had also been developed and this one was the best that I have seen or used. On the left hand sidebar, it had direct and ready access to facebook, twitter, a personal planner and the ability to make friends. Features included:-
- Cross platform – android, iDevices etc (not just for iPhones, iPads as most conferences that I have recently used)
- The friends feature was great as this meant a friend’s photo, contact details etc are then shared and nicely contained within the app for future reference. No need for business cards.
- Emailing notes – friends can be emailed your notes
- A schedule for selecting events that participants want to attend – just click a star!
- Exhibitors can be highlighted with a bookmark
- Alerts and updates were available
- Downloaded notes by speakers or presenters can be accessed through the app.
- Maps of the conference centre.
- News rss feed
- Quick access to twitter and facebook
The downside was that internet access was erratic at times at the conference venue.
- The hashtag #pgl12 was used for the conference. Interesting to note that initially there were not many people either registered for or using twitter, but high interest was shown in it as the conference progressed.
Congratulations to the organizers of this event and the embracement of technology to empower social networking.