7 May 2009

Thoughts post Educause

I had a great time at Educause – not least because of the back ground discussions happening via Twitter. Kathryn, Con and I started coverage using Coveritlive and pulling in our Twitter feeds. The coverage was on show at Libraries Interact and the invitation went out to other delegates to join us, and they did.


So, even in the not so great sessions, it was possible to check out the discussion of what was going on in other rooms.


Networking opportunities were plentiful with tea breaks, lunch, welcome drinks, conference dinner and Sundowner drinks providing chances to meet up with colleagues from other institutions and Twitter acquaintances previously known only by an @ID.


As with any conference the presentations were a mixed bag. Some great, some bad, plenty middle of the road. I enjoyed the repository managers symposium, although I have not been working in that area for a while now. It started off with fast and furious 2 minute case studies and then the audience broke up into discussion groups to brainstorm some burning questions .

I also thoroughly enjoyed the panel session I took part in with Kathryn, Con and Penny. We organised this session via a Skype chat and alter a conference call. This one also elicited a lot of input from the audience and based on feedback it seems we may have convinced some that this social media phenomenon in personal learning environments is not just a flash in the pan – Hi John, nice to meet you at the dinner – wonder if he has started a Twitter account yet.


Other highlights for me:

Arshad Omari's keynote on IT governance. There were a few resonances in that one that related to the project I'm working on.

Kathryn's presentation on why librarians need to learn about emerging technologies was very well-received. She is such an enthusiastic speaker.

Carie Page's closing keynote was another enjoyable session scanning through some inspired ideas for applying technologies in the classroom, or taking the class outside the room.


Disappointments:

There were a few changes to the program on the Friday before it started, and these were not well communicated so attendees may have missed presentations they particularly wanted to see. Although some announcements were made, they did not always have all the relevant details and there was no printed sheet with a list of changes. That could have been inserted in the printed program. The other opportunity lost for communicating these changes was making use of social media. The conference blog contained no content – but was an ideal place to publish changes as they happened. And there was no conference twitter feed – There were heaps of twitterers at the conference and they could have gone a long way to helping spread the news about program changes. “EdAust09” made it to no.2 on Twitter trends – which means very little, other than the tag was used frequently in a relatively short time – so surely asking someone to be the official twitter voice would have been worthwhile.



To finish on a positive, I was glad to have the chance to play with an iPod Touch for the duration of the conference too. Apple must have had quite a few of these available for delegatess to borrow. Conference program, session recordings were easily accessed from the iPod. Also handy to log into Facebook, get directions from Google maps while in a strange town. But I won't be rushing out to buy one.

PS> I might update this later with some links and photos.