Tuesday, 3 November 2015

#OEB15 Mixing audiences and discussions make great conferences

There are many conferences focused on online education. Some are more academically oriented, some are more corporate, and then there are those who offer mix of technology, corporate, practitioners (either academics, trainers, or teachers), as well as EdTech thinkers. There are two conference organisers who offer this wonderful mix, which pushes new insights and lets you see implementations of EdTech across disciplines and social philosophies (education for all, education for profit, education as an ethical instrument...). The eLearning Guild offers such conferences, and the ICWE who organises eLearning Africa and the upcoming Online Educa Berlin are such organisers.

Online Educa Berlin is an event I always look forward to, as it will give me inspiration. This inspiration can come from either meeting up with old and new acquaintances, listening and experimenting with new technologies, engaging with multiple people with different EdTech viewpoints, and of course by simply perusing through the program.

Admittedly some of the most inspiring talks - for me - are those who align with what I like to see unfold. Inevitably this means I look forward to the talk/s of Cory Doctorow on the future (12 books on content, new tribes, the future... really wonderful and inspiring reading), Cornelia Daheim (also future of Ed oriented, but from a slightly less activist standpoint), of course Stephen Downes on his ongoing vision and lead of the Learning and Performance Support Systems (LPSS) program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics, and Jay Cross who will be presenting his new book on Real Learning. I still need to plan the concurrent sessions I will go to... ah, what a wonderful array of choices!