EdTech 2009 - the 10th Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) was held this year at the National College of Ireland, and I was the local organizer for the Conference. We had over 150 delegates and 50 presentations, plus 14 exhibitors - quiet a lot of planning and work had to go in to get this show going. While I co-ordinated much of the local activities there has been an ILTA committee working on this for the past year which I was part of. The College did a good job of hosting the Conference.
I attended many of the presentations. The first keynote address was from Niall Sclater from the Open University in the UK - I was particularly interested in his thoughts on "Does location matter?" where he shared some ideas about the traditional approach to learning and whether students actually need to be in a classroom. The other keynote address was from Richard Katz of EDUCAUSE who had some interesting comments about the future of education and made excellent use of a tower and clouds as metaphors for reaching for new goals. We also had some break-out sessions. I gave a presentation called "Lipstick on a Pig? Lecture notes as video podcasts on the iPhone" and I was delighted to have about 20 people attending. I was also impressed by some other sessions:
- Markus Hofmann of Blanchardstown IT who spoke about compatability challenges for file types in use on the iPhone - really interesting for me
- Michael Barrett of Sligo IT who spoke about managing module descriptors - something we all could do better in Colleges
- Oliver Joyce, also of Sligo IT, spoke about using clickers in class and we all had a chance to use them as part of his presentation
- Dr Aidan O'Dwyer of DIT talked about using on-line resources with mixed success for engineering students
- Sean Connell of Athlone IT spoke about using Google Docs for teaching spreadsheets
- Terry Smith of Pepperdine University in California gave a most interesting talk on project based learning and he entertained us with great video examples of his work
- Imogen Bertin of NAIRTL showed us some interesting uses of video, though unfortunately sound was a problem
I missed loads of other sessions that I would have liked to have gone to - I seemed to be spending most of my time running round the place trying to appear calm.
One of the interesting features of the Conference was the use of Twitter - especially during the closing panel discussion. the tweets were even posted on the screen for all to see. I tried to get it going on my iPhone - I have a Twitter account, but have not used it before. Interesting use of technology at a technology conference.
I was relieved when it was all over - back to normal, and a lazy weekend coming up!