Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thoughts after e-fest

So here I am facing a blog from the inside for the first time. It feels really strange - I can't imagine that there is anything that I have to say that could be of interest to anyone else, but having spent the last two days with people who know, I've been sufficiently convinced of the value of blogging to give it a go!

What is it that I want to get out of blogging? I suppose it's a great way to consolidate my thoughts, which tend to meander with the project of the moment. At least I'll be writing them down, and with any luck, the odd good idea will emerge. I've heard other people talk about how blogging changed their lives... so with that in mind, here goes. Any guidance from anyone who still remembers starting out on their blogging journey would be gratefully received.

So...e-fest... The first time I've attended - not quite so shocking, I hope, when you realise I've only been in NZ for two years, and definitely not the last! It was great to be around so many people speaking the same language and so many of them a lot further down the e- road.... What amazes me repeatedly about the e-learning community is the generosity of so many of the people involved, and their willingness to share, collaborate, and simply give away really great ideas.

I was in a session facilitated by Clare Atkin, aka Arewenna Stardust (sp?) in which she took us through the SLENZA midwifery project, which I have been following for a while via Sarah Stewart's Blog. The project itself is impressive, but the people involved are really amazing, and their enthusiasm for what they do is infectious. A number of us in the School of Nursing at UCOL have caught the SL bug, so hopefully we can get something together! With any luck we'll get a push start from people like Clare who are so much further down the road.

It was also the first time I participated in 'open-spaces', and I have to admit that I have mixed feelings. I'm not sure that 'whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened' works for me! I was involved in two sessions that were run this way, and whilst one was interesting, the other was 'hijacked' by some very dominant personalities who ran a three-way discussion that took up most of an hour, and which had nothing to do with the session title (Are LMSs dead. I still don't know. Are they? Please tell me!) And whilst, in theory, I could have voted with my feet, the reality was that the venue was so small that leaving would have required some undignified clambering over some equally trapped souls. So my jury's still out on open spaces. I'd love to know what other people think.

I've also been motivated to sign up on Twitter - we'll see how that goes. I can't see myself doing much 'tweeting. Once I signed up, I could see that the e-people from the conference were wining and dining in town, while I was cooking mac 'n cheese for hungry and grumpy kidlets... not really worth tweeting about. I was too jealous, anyway!

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