Learning Technologies 2007 Revisited

Did you miss the Learning Technologies 2007 conference… ?
The videostreams of the presentations are now available on the conference website..

Here are some of the highlights (for me) from the 10th Learning Technologies conference.
I know I’ve said this before… but one of the reasons I love this conference is we always manage to gather  a group of committed, innovative learning practitioners.
I’m not going to review each presentation but just select some of the key issues from practice that attracted my attention.

The theme for this year’s conference was: Telepresence – so naturally there was lots of focus on defining this and Wikipedia seemed to be used as the obvious source:


"Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance that they were present, or to have an effect, at a location other than their true location."

(I can’t link you to each presentation – only the page that contains the videostreams – so you’ll need to scroll if you want to view them in the order outlined here!)

Perhaps a good place to start – to set the scene –  would be with Michelle Selinger, from Cisco Systems: The What, Why, When and Where of Telepresence.

Then scroll back up to Melissa McCarthy, from the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children to find out how they teach deaf and blind babies language skills using video conferencing!! Yes – that’s right – how do you communicate through video conference with deaf and blind children – and babies???! This was probably one of the most moving sessions for me – these educators are achieving awesome results – a viewing must!

To change the pace a little, view Dr Robert Brown & Dr Scott Brewster, from University of North Carolina: Gaming as a Telepresence Technology. Some serious games – high end multimedia (with a price tag to match) – innovative and engaging!

Now – Julie Woodlock, from Barrier Reef Institute and her work on Palm Island is inspiring – make sure you watch the rap song!

For more innovations with video conferencing – watch the Global Nomads project: Connecting students around the world via videoconference. This is how we break down barriers, cross cultural divides and all learn together!

Then take a trip to Second Life with Jo Kay. And there’s one thing I can confidentally predict… we’ll be seeing many more examples from the virtual worlds at future Learning Technologies conferences.

And now for the students themselves!
You could set the scene and look at my presentation: Gen Y: The changing face of the adult learner… (or get the slides from SlideShare)
Or skip to Laurence Zwimpfer presentation: Ten years on – the evolution of Learning Technologies. Stay with this presentation… after Laurence has done his review there are interviews with a number of students from New Zealand (via video conference) and 2 students from University of Kansas who were part of Dr Michael Wesch’s Digital Anthroplogy project. There are some great comments from the students – in particular – my favourite from New Zealand: " But we want you [us Baby Boomer educators] to learn with us!"

Then – if you still have the time… watch the remaining presentations! Remember, this is just a selection of presentations that had an impact on my context… the others are all equally as engaging!

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