Saturday, 25 September 2010

Conversations

So the talking has started at the cefpi World Conference in San Jose, California. Even after just a few minutes here, literally, I was delighted to meet up with a number of old friends including Randy Fielding, Ewan McIntosh and Christian Long. As always I am also meeting loads of new people, all interested in the same priority; making learning better for students. It's a great opportunity.
I often talk about making far greater utilisation of technology to avoid unnecessary time wasting travel, but international events like this are just so different. Here the conversations start, develop and continue as new people join in bringing in their own perspectives, experiences and national priorities. Conversations continue over coffee, drinks, dinners, contacts are made, and opportunities identified for joint working, supporting each other's projects, and forging excellent international, professional relationships. (It also does seem slightly bizarre to travel all this way and meet people from the UK for the first time but...)
Interestingly, there have been a number of people from various aspects of of IT, including Ewan and DK from UK based Mediasnackers. This just has to be positive - the lack of ICT representation at cefpi has been an extremely conspicuous gap in the last few years apart from the occasional key note speaker such as Professor Stephen Heppell. This is especially true when compared to the UK where there has developed a much greater defined process in an integrated approach to education, ICT and school design. There is a way to go here in this approach in many cases.
Mediasnackers are experts in the use of social networking, working with anyone who wants to work differently - no wonder that they are busy! This really is an area that schools are going have to explore far more and be brave in adopting new approaches. There are examples of this, but no where nearly enough and usually to a very limited extent. This is bonkers as so many young people use it all the time out of school - why shouldn't schools harness this expertise and use it for the better?
I will post more about the conference as it proceeds, but if the start is anything on go by, it promises to be a truly fantastic event!
For Randy's websites click here: Fielding Nair, Design Share
For Ewan's website click here
For Christians website click here
For DK's website, click here

3 comments:

Ewan McIntosh said...

Great to finally meet you, too. I've never spent more time travelling than since technology connected me to as many people. Of course we want to meet face-to-face at some point. We're social beasts, and the beast part will always want to share a beer, share a meal and share the craic.

DK said...

Appreciate the feature and linklove there Gareth - thank you.

Just to be pedantic (sorry) we focus on social media not just social networking: http://mediasnackers.com/2010/03/social-networking-vs-social-media/ :-)

You're very right though in terms of the opportunities this new media / technology affords school designers in connecting with their ultimate end users - like you say, not to, is simply "bonkers".

Keep in touch sir and hope our paths will cross very soon.

Gareth Long said...

Fiar comment DK - thanks for the clarification - I am sure that our paths will cross again.

G