Category Archives: lwf11

Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia

I really enjoyed this talk by Jimmy Wales at LWF11.

Jimmy Wales is the US Internet entrepreneur and wiki pioneer best known as the founder of Wikipedia. “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge” Jimmy asks us in this talk and discusses how Wikipedia has grown, the impact it has made and the people who contribute to its creation. Jimmy discusses future directions and plans for Wikipedia and Wikia, Inc. Presented January 11th 2011.

I mentioned this recently in the final ALT-C Keynote.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #069: Where have you been?

Learning without Frontiers 2011 and Learning Technologies 2010 and not a mention of BETT.

With James Clay, Lilian Soon, Ron Mitchell and James Yorke.

This is the sixty ninth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Where have you been?

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Where have you been?

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Learning Without Frontiers, some thoughts

#lwf11 @Jimmy_Wales

Well that’s the end of day three of Learning without Frontiers. I really enjoyed the conference and in my opinion was probably one of the best conferences that I have been to that Graham Brown-Martin has organised.

There was a great community of delegates and it was nice to meet and chat with old friends, meet some of my Twitter community of practice in real life and make some new friends.

I found there was a really good mix of speakers, workshops and discussions. Lots of choice from which to choose a track of sessions that stimulated, inspired and made you question your practice. For me what makes a good conference programme is a set of sessions that means you are forced to make choices and get ever so slightly disappointed that you have to make that choice and miss some really good stuff. That’s certainly how I felt about the different sessions and workshops.

The thing that you have to recognise about Graham’s conferences is that these are not a traditional academic conference, no this a polished theatrical series of performances. This is no bad thing, but even with all the bright lights and sparkly glitter balls doesn’t mean that all the presentations are lightweight, on the contrary, with some big names with big ideas there was lots to be inspired by and lots to make you think.

Some of the highlights for me were listening to Tony Vincent about mobile film making, I also enjoyed Tony’s App sharing session. I really enjoyed listening to Saul Nassé’s presentation about the value of the BBC and how it inspires. Yes it was me that asked the difficult question about Tomorrow’s World and BBC Jam! Evan Roth’s presentation was both entertaining and inspiring. The Apps for Good workshop was a useful session on planning apps, wish I had the imagination and skills to write a good app. The serious debate and discussion on e-safety with Josie Fraser and David White at the heart of this was both useful and informative, this will feed into my own institution’s e-safety strategies and policies. Keri Facer, who did a great presentation at the JISC Online Conference also gave a great presentation that reflected much of what the audience were thinking and reminded us that it is important that when making difficult decisions that we should base these decisions on evidence and facts and not just on what we believe. Stephen Heppell, who I have heard many times once more made us think and reflect on what we do. I loved David McCandless, it was nice to hear the voice behind many of the wonderful infographics that I have seen many times on the web. I also found Jimmy Wales talking about Wikipedia and where he sees Wikia moving forward really interesting and alongside Lord David Puttnam a great end to the conference. I was particularly pleased to see that Jimmy was there at the venue and not presenting over a video feed, which is what I had been expecting. I managed to have a few words with Jimmy and wished I could have had a few more, seemed like a really nice and genuine guy. It was funny to hear from him when he did present he understood the impact of his “personal appeal” for Wikipedia had had on the internet community. But it did work, raising $16m.

Finally a thank you to Graham Brown-Martin for a great conference and a inspiring set of speakers and sessions. I left the conference with new thoughts, ideas, new thinking, inspiration and so much more. I hope to post on these over the next week or so.

Traditional Learning without Frontiers!

I have attended and presented at quite a few Handheld Learning Conferences. Last year Handheld Learning 2010 was re-scheduled and evolved into Learning Without Frontiers 2011 Festival.

This is a large conference and for a conference with a focus on disruptive technologies and new ways of learning, it in many ways is a very traditional conference with the majority of the sessions been what can only be really described as lectures!

Now is this a bad thing?

Well if you ever talk to Donald Clark then he would say yes!

However if you have ever listened to David White then you’ll probably say no!

Inspirational talks and the whole “eventedness” of these talks can be a useful and engaging learning experience.

As with any kind of learning experience, the process is not always the important bit, it is what you learn from it, is what counts.

So for many professionals a “lecture” can be an inspiring, stimulating learning experience, but not necessarily for all.

So is this the same for learners?

Well I would say no and that means no as in not all the time.

Most conferences only last a couple of days, as a result a few inspiring talks is not the same as a year of lectures for a learners. Inspirational lectures are a key part of any learning experience, however as with too much of anything, just giving lectures all the time will result in staleness and boredom in your learners.


I have attended and presented at quite a few Handheld Learning Conferences. Last year Handheld Learning 2010 was re-scheduled and evolved into Learning Without Frontiers 2011.

This is a large conference with over 2000 delegates expected on the free first day and a 1000 delegates for the other two days.

I am presenting a LAWRF session on the first day, which is a fringe session, in other words we have full control over what happens and is presented in that session. Last year (well 2009) we did a fringe event called HHECKL in which we did a Top Gear Cool Wall type session.

How this year’s session will work will depend on how many people we have attending! With it running alongside Jason Bradbury’s Dot Robot Show I suspect that we may have very few attendees, hoping to be proved wrong.

Following our session is Steve Wheeler’s EduPunk, hacking education session. Also that afternoon is Tony Vincent’s App Pecha Kucha.

The final session I will probably attend will be the TeachMeet, though probably not going to present.

There is more to the programme than what I have described, but these are the sessions I will probably attend. The next two days of the conference (or is it a festival) are packed and there looks like some interesting speakers.

Monday starts bright and early at 9.30…