8 April 2011

CCAEducause 2011

My Top Ten Takeaways – in no particular order

  1. The traditional lecture paradigm is seriously ill. Diana Oblinger’s presentation on next generation learning and Shirley Alexander’s The gifts change brings. brought tweets like this…
    @mrees: If a lecture can be replaced by a podcast, do it, use face-to-face time for interaction, Shirley Alexander, #ccaeducause
  2. Totally outrageous suggestions for changing the game in higher education are a great way to kick off the conference and open minds for new ideas. Following HG Nelson’s ideas for higher education in the opening address (medical theatre reality TV, chocolate wheels, universities with no students and cycle-powered universities) the suggestions of more serious presenters throughout the rest of the conference were all within the realms of possibility – not so way out in comparison. This was a great bookend for the day paired with @BryanAlexander’s closing keynote on the first day in which he asked us to imagine how we would work in different scenarios that might arise in 2016.
  3. Simon Porter’s presentation on University of Melbourne’s research data adventures. A summary of the paper is available. The network analysis run over research data was impressive, also the data inference for reducing the number of times same data has to be entered for different purposes. “a new model for research administration in which each new process is a continuance of a conversation that builds upon everything that has been previously entered about a researcher, both locally and via externally available data sources.” – abstract
  4. IT strategy – There were a few papers on this theme, but the standout for me was ‘Do technical skills matter anymore in a university IT department?’ by Peter Nikoletatos, CIO at Curtin University. This one offered insight into his thinking and the importance of master data management, and reducing risk. The paper is not available on the conference site at time of writing. Get the abstract.
  5. Viral leadership – @lisacluett’s presentation using viruses and infections as a metaphor for developing skills amongst staff is worth a follow up. Who’d have thought someone might brag about being a superinfector? – Get the paper.
  6. Taking time to become skilled with use of videoconferencing tools and presentation techniques pays off for engagement. Lance Ford was dynamic, on his feet, flicked the view on the screen between various cameras, devices, screens all the way from Oklahoma and there was no sense of the technology getting in the way of his message. There are several shots from the presentation in the slideshow embedded below.
  7. If you are a poster presenter put a QR code on your poster that links to your research paper/preprint/blog post/your contact info or whatever is related to the content. This was an opportunity lost. None of the posters had a QR code, but I saw several people taking photos with their smartphones of sections of the posters.
  8. I would really love it if all presentations were available online within a day or two of the presentation (or even before – even if its not the final version).
  9. With some practice the ipad is almost as efficient for conference note-taking and tweeting as a netbook. But the furniture was just not quite right for ipad ergonomics, and I would still prefer a keyboard for true typing efficiency.
  10. The conference mobile app had some great features, but I think was just not quite there. I liked the ability to provide feedback, fingertip access to the program including the upcoming sessions in the next hour. But, the online engagement was going on in twitter and I only thought a couple of times to see if there was any shout outs in the engagement section – and there was nothing. Did any presenter have time to set up a poll? It was only released a few days before the conference. Also the abstracts weren’t accessible in the program session. If I’m ever organising an event this type of app needs to be released at least a month prior. And the starred abstracts and presentations were not linked to my login – so they changed as I moved from phone to tablet and back. But more than making up for those quibbles was the fantastic wifi. I did not see a single tweet about it dropping out. It just worked. Smile

Tweets from the conference are archived at Twapperkeeper: CCAEducause hashtag (starting on the Tuesday)

And my Twitter list of conference tweeters if anyone wants to follow up on conversations.