Friday, May 31, 2013

The Gathering of Irish Learning Technologists at #EdTech13, Day 2

The second day of the EdTech 2013 Conference started out with a keynote presentation from Kyle Peck of Penn State University. I hadn't heard him speak before and he talked about "opening up education". He gave us some very interesting comments on badges, which he said "equals currency for future employers", and told us that we may end up giving "away learning experience and charging for assessment" with the advent of MOOCs and badges. He also made the prediction that, what he called "nomads", would be wandering the educational landscape for learning opportunities, and in the process become "knowmads".

My next three sessions were breakouts: I saw some brilliant work my Seán Ó Grádaigh from NUIG about using iBooks for teaching, and some honest and interesting feedback from Aidan O'Donovan of UCC about a project to add lecture capture tools to each classroom in UCC. This was a lesson in perseverance! The final breakout was a really interesting talk from Robert Griffin of IADT about open data - there's so much about open data that I did not know, but I am much better informed now.

There were two more keynote presentations - the first by Ross Mahon from Google, brought us through Google's thinking about enabling education. Ross summarized Google Apps for education and told us a bit about "Course Builder", though not quite fully ready will allow us to create courses in Google. This is intended to be a platform for MOOCs from Google. Eoin O'Dell from Trinity finished the day off nicely with a discussion on copyright. He brought us through copyright law, and managed to keep it very interesting with reference to St Columcille and bull's heads.

"#edtech13" report from TweetBinder.
I used Twitter a lot during the conference. I hadn't really planned to, but I found it a great way to take notes - I referred back to them by searching for the conference hashtag "#edtech13" for writing this and the previous post. According to TweetBinder, there were 1,029 tweets during the conference using the #edtech13 hashtag, with contributions from 189 Twitter users - that's more than were at the conference. With 51 tweets, I came out on top in the "Most Original Tweets Generated" category, while I was also the third "Most Active User" (data from TweetBinder, see screen shot to left for more). I probably would have tweeted a bit more, but my iPad was running very low on power preventing me from doing so. I like this type of "back chat" - in addition to a great way to take notes, it also lets you see what others were thinking during the presentations (including ones I missed).

This was a great EdTech conference, and many congrats to the organisers for putting on such a memorable event. Until next year!


  1. Sometime on Day 2 I realised that twitter is indeed a great way to take notes; It would be interesting to get a class to do it as a way to create shared notes; it would also be interesting to look at a set of class tweets to see what points people captured.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Yes - I was surprised at how much I documented and noted over both days via Twitter. I did not take any other notes, but saw many others using pen and paper, plus a few using a tablet/laptop to take notes.

    Thanks for the comment!