Thursday, May 15, 2008

TLt Conference

I'm enjoying the TLt conference in Saskatoon--the ID pre-conference yesterday, and the full conference today and tomorrow. It's a joy to see old friends (though some object to the "old" part--probably fearing the potential association with this old guy) and the presentations, both keynote and concurrent, have been very good. I finally met George Siemens face to face. I caught his opening keynote last night but wandered to a couple other concurrents this afternoon, so I'll have to check out the notes from that presentation. It's interesting comparing the "Information Processing Model" perspective from yesterday (so modern and foundationalist, with emphasis on the teacher telling students what's important) and the more constructivist/collaborative outlook of most presentations today (including Alan November's inspiring, informative sessions and a brave attempt by Brian Lamb to disturb our complacency). I'm beginning to wonder if the key piece that I want to focus on in the application part of my project is actually also a conversation--at this point, I'm thinking cognitivist / constructivist.
Two other things: I have some excellent take-aways re: digital literacy/critical thinking re: and via: the web, and it's interesting to be "part of the experience" as Heather Ross wonders about the usefulness/propriety of the backchannel. I leave my laptop in its case during sessions mostly because of its short battery life, but also because I need time to think about what to post, and writing notes in longhand (complete with doodles!) helps me condense my thoughts. On the other hand, I really ought to learn to write small pieces to be corrected/reshaped later rather than give in to what Brian Lamb labels the waterfall effect: waiting until everything is in place before going public.