Bringing innovation to life: From adversity comes opportunity

Those of you who know me will know that I quite like online conferences and have participated in a fair few over the years. JISC are running their fifth this November.

The JISC Innovating e-Learning 2010 Online Conference takes place between the 23rd and 26th November 2010.

The online conference will explore how colleges and universities are sustaining and encouraging innovation and creativity in technology-enhanced learning and will cover topics including assessment and feedback, open educational resources, mobile learning, curriculum design and delivery and institutional change.

Innovating e-Learning 2010 will explore why it is more important than ever that universities and colleges continue to innovate in their use of technology in the current climate of economic constraints to compete globally.

If you are a researcher, institutional manager or practitioner involved in technology-enhanced learning and teaching, Innovating e-Learning 2010 will be of interest to you. Delegates from further and higher education and from overseas are welcome.

Proceedings take place in an asynchronous virtual environment which can be accessed wherever and whenever is convenient to you. The 2010 conference includes real-time sessions in Elluminate® for each keynote, a tool that facilitates participation and interactive online collaboration.  You will be able to see presenters on video, meet other delegates in the Virtual Coffee Shop and try your hand at new tools and techniques. You can also follow delegates at the conference on Twitter using the tag jiscel10 and enjoy the informative and entertaining conference blog.

The fee is £50 per delegate.

There are a few advantages of online conferences over traditional face to face conferences, feel free to add to them in the comments.

With an online conference it is feasible to go to all the presentations and workshops even if they are at the *same time*.

If you are a reflective person, then like me the question you actually want to ask the presenter is thought of as you travel home on the train, with an online conference you have a chance to reflect and ask that question.

You can attend a meeting at the same time as attending the conference.

You can deliver a lesson or lecture at the same time as attending the conference.

You can watch Strictly Come Dancing at the same time as attending the conference, or listen to the radio.

You can attend the conference at 2am, useful for insomniacs and those with small children, and especially useful for those who live in different time zones.

Nice comment about a previous online conference.

Enjoyed the conference last year so will be doing my best to attend again. Worked from home one day during last year’s, for my lunch break I treated myself to a stroll round my local park – having the freedom to dip in and out of sessions is a real plus. Also, I’m ashamed to admit that I often don’t enjoy conference ‘networking opportunities’, maybe I’m not very good at it, but it often seems to involve hanging around drinking too much coffee and feeling a bit lost. Of course sometimes you pick up some gems of info, but not always.

Having said all that it is useful too to make time for the conference, shut the office door, work from home for a bit, wear headphones, move to a different office, work in the coffee spaces in the college or university.

You can see presentations again, you can ignore them and (virtually) walk out without feeling you may be offending someone as their talk doesn’t relate to you as you thought it did.

No more do you have to stand on platform 12 at Bristol Temple Meads wondering if the delayed 18.19 is in fact ever going to arrive before you freeze to death.

The coffee is usually better.

A few disadvantages as well…

No bag, so nothing to add to that huge collection at the back of the cupboard in the office…

No physical freebies, no mouse mats or mugs…

Finally the JISC have asked if I will be the conference blogger again for the third year running, hmmm, do they realise what they have done…. Probably by now!

Go, you’ll enjoy it.

Find out more.

Photo source.

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