This year Online Eudca Berlin was as great as ever. Meeting all these great people that you are in touch with on Twitter, Facebook, Skype and other media face-to-face again or for the first times makes it so worthwhile every year. This is just my short record, so that I know next year, what I did this year 😉
This year started for me with a pre-conference … oh no, wait, it started with an e-mail on the pre-conference day from organizers asking me if I wanted to join the Battle of the Bloggers as the fourth panelist. Well, this was a really short notice. As I was completely tied up with other things and have experienced a slight, ok a medium, ok ok maybe more than medium, burn-out after intensive work on a proposal bid, I just decided not to. Yes, I must admit I started to regret it the moment I was there. And the other panelists as I found out later were a completely friendly and civilised bunch of people 😉 – (remember the opinionated speakers last year). So yes, next year I’d love to join but with a little more-in-advance notice please?
The real pre-conference started for me with a workshop on “Usable Representations of Learning Design for Educators and Instructional Designers” with Gráinne Conole (and here), C. Vrasidas and S. Retalis. It turned out to be a very good choice and I was so glad to get to know Gráinne in person. I got to know Cloudworks much better and learnt some handy ways of representing learning designs that I will recommend to my team at the Mediencommunity project. Dear Grainne, it would be great to get further materials on the LD tools. I think they will be pretty useful to my project. As we are designing online seminars which are planning to roll-out in spring, using LD tools will be very useful to communicate the design to the design team and to the moderators who will facilitate the online seminars.
After the workshop there was speakers’ reception and I enjoyed touching base with the chair of my session Teri and her colleague Timo both from Helsinki. I then had a wonderfully interesting conversation with Mark Childs about digital identities. Thank you Mark, it was great sharing ideas with you!
Thursday was the first conference day and a complete public transport chaos due to heavy snowfall and ice. As I live outside Berlin, it took me over 3 hours to get to the venue on that day. It was unbelievable – trains simply got canceled and as I had no winter tires on my car I was stuck at the railway station drinking one hot chocolate after the other. Finally when I got to OEB, my session on e-portfolios was already on, so I almost jumped from snow into the presenting mode. It was a good session though and I enjoyed talking about the idea of fostering the readiness of organisations for a change from bottom-up as an important, and often neglected, aspect of implementing e-portfolios. I presented together with my colleague Birgitta Kinscher as we related to our bottom-up activities in the E-Portfolio Initiative Berlin (and here), where we are both members. You can see the slides on SlideShare.
Then I attended the Battle of the Bloggers which this year was called “The Graveyard of Learning”. The panelists were sharing their opinions on learning trends, tools and theories, declaring them dead, alive or zombie. I really enjoyed a good mix of arguments by Tom Wambeke, John Traxler and Hans de Zwart and the fact that the audience was engaged in voting though a new tool called shakespeak invented and introduced by a young start-up. BTW it’s a nice and easy-to-use voting tool.
Last conference day, which was today was full of new encounters and talks, including Sounds of the Bazaar interviews. This year I happened to be on the other side – instead of interviewing I was interviewed, which was nice too. I talked about e-portfolios and E-Portfolio Initiative Berlin. Then we (Judith Seipold and Klaus Rummler as interviewers me, Birgitta Kinscher and Hörg Hafer representing E-Portfolio Initiative Berlin), recorded a podcast about e-portfolios which I am looking forward to see on the Pontydysgu website soon!
The session I really enjoyed today was the one on “Informal Ethics” with the renowned speakers: John Traxler, Andy Black, Steve Wheeler, Mark Childs and Geoff Stead. This interesting and not that often discussed topic was well presented in its complexity and from different perspectives which has inspired me to think and read more about ethics in social media and beyond. Steve Wheeler mentioned a publication coming up soon on “informal ethics” and I am really looking forward to it. Where will I/we be able to find it Steve?
Last session I attended today was the Engage award session in game-based learning. There were 3 winners, among them the winner of the best learning game: http://www.enercities.eu/ Congratulations to all nominees and winners!
Of course Online Educa Berlin 2010 is not over yet! Oh now, the discussion and sharing is still going on. People are tweeting about it simply search by hashtags #oeb10 or #oeb2010 ) and new blogposts, videos, pictures and other user-generated contents is surely popping up on the Web soon.
All in all – what a vibrant, rich conference with a global community feeling! Can’t wait until next year!