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Open Online Conferencing

November 5th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

It was the first day of the on-line conference on the Training of Trainers, sponsored by the Network to Support Trainers in Europe and Evolve.

Not bad. Particpation in the different sessions varied between 25 and 45 people. This compares to the 110 who have registered for the conference which is about in line with other free and open online events I have organised. People either choose whch session interests them most or work around various meetings and other work activites. And of course, some people register but then find something else has come up.

We had some technical problems with firewalls but that is par for the course. A few people got lost in the sandbox but we managed to dig them out and get them to the right place.

We had the usual problems with sound levels and microphones not working. But – once more as usual – these settled down as the day went on. And – most interestingly for me – the techncial barriers seemed no worse with the conference particpants who were for the main part researchers in education and training – and not educational technologists – thean we have had with techy online conferences in the past.

The presentations were good and the discussion even better. I would go as far as to say the discussion was better than at many face ot face conferences I have been to. Once again the use of the back channel provoked lively exchange.

We are presently editing the audio and creating slidecastsso that the conference proceedings will become Open Educational Resources.

So my conclusions – online and open learning using video conferecing is mainsteaming. Lets build on it!!

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