I’ve been attending the STAVCON, the Science Teacher’s of Victoria Conference for more than 13 years now. During this time I have presented numerous sessions, some hands-on science and others with an ICT bent. For most of these conferences I’ve been the lone voice advocating the use of Web 2.0 and the like. Most times I’ve attracted modest audiences with the practical hands-on science sessions generally garnering much more interest than the ICT ones.
Thankfully this situation is slowly evolving with last year 4-5 sessions with an ICT focus on offer and this year even more have been included in the program. Adrian Camm who’s excellent work with virtual classrooms using Ning, Elluminate and other tools has now expanded into the use of games was there. As always it was great to get the chance to chat with him but it was even better to meet Nik Bagshaw another enthusiastic younger teacher who was presenting on his use of Edmodo. Maybe we’re on the cusp at last??
The VITTA, (Victorian Information and Technical Teachers Association), conference was the complete antithesis of STAVCON. Here the conversations are almost universally focused on the use of ICT’s in education interspersed with face to face catchups with Twitter and other social networking contacts. One of the highlights was catching up with the lads from the Edtech Crew who were recording and Ustreaming live from the conference.
As I had once again submitted more abstracts than perhaps I should have, both my days were filled with presenting and getting ready for these. As a result I didn’t get to take in any other sessions which was a pity. Despite this I am finding more and more that it is the conversations outside the scheduled sessions that are increasingly more and more valuable. The conversations in the sessions that I present are similarly important. Indeed I now find that unless I get to interact with the participants in my sessions I come away feeling that something is missing. These conversations contextualise things and very often extend not only fellow participant’s thinking but mine as well.
For both conferences I debuted a new session all about Search and the use of Search Engines, which seemed to be well received. Cloud Computing and Getting Started With Edmodo were the focus for other sessions.