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Some thoughts on Educamp09

April 21st, 2009 by Graham Attwell

As promised yesterday, some more thoughts on the Educamp09 conference held last weekend in Ilmenau in Germany.

The overwhelming memory is of the atmosphere and buzz around the event. much of the reason for this was the superb organisation. Just small things really – a selection of different coffee, cartons of juice available throughout the conference. Great lighting and sofas to sit on to chat. Good music -all that kind of thing.

Another thing was the tech. This was not just a conference – it was an event. Every session was streamed out live. The sessions with online presenters worked. Big screens projecting the twitter stream. Very cool.

A lot of this was because it was an unconference. Apart from the opening panel discussion and a couple of invited international speakers, all the sessions were negotiated on the Saturday morning. No abstracts, no agonising over whether papers would be accepted. And the programme was simply filled in on the spot on a computer and then projected all over the conference spaces. No fiddling around to find out what session was where (Alt-C take note). And it was run by a volunteer organisation relying on (probably too small) sponsorship for funding. No funding bodies to keep on board, no policy bodies who had to have their egos massaged. A conference for the community run by the community.

There were no fees (Alt-C, Educa On-line – take note again). One result of this is that the conference was accessible to students and to teachers. The largest grouping at Educamp were teachers. And that brings another perspective to discussions on technology. The teachers came to share their own experiences and to learn as part of their practice.

If course the confernce was aided by the growing buzz around Web 2.0 and learning in the German speaking countries. I personally suspect that this is helped by the previous relatively low level of technology adoption in education. there is less baggage in the form of legacy technologies to be overcome.

The buzzwords from the confernce were “Bildung Hacken“. What is that? It is a term coming out of the Hacking Education confernce held in New York on March 10. However, Bildung Hacken is not really a precise translation – it means more in German – anyone care to attempt a translation / explanation?

The next Educamp is planned for Graz, in November I think. I am planning to be there. But here is a thought. Why not a UK based Educamp – and if we were to hold it at the same time we could link the two conferences electronically.

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2 Responses to “Some thoughts on Educamp09”

  1. Martin says:

    for all – the link to the next educamp in graz is http://www.iunig.at .. an english version should be available soon ..

    but the date is fixed (6. – 7. november 2009) at Graz University of Technology
    http://elearningblog.tugraz.at/archives/2065

    greets
    Martin

  2. Techno Blog says:

    Thanks, I enjoyed reading your post. It

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