Saturday, October 10, 2009
ULearn '09 Reflection...
ULearn is a fantastic conference to go to... 1750 delegates from all over NZ, with a growing contingent from overseas who both present and attend. A huge variety of workshops, spotlights and keynotes to satisfy nearly every e-learning enthusiast!! It's definetly one conference to plan for in your diary each year!
Once again it has been and gone for another year. As I said earlier, this year I didn't get to attend any breakouts unfortunately but went down to hang out at the bloggers cafe with Dragon09 (my very first blogger/twitter friend!!) and see some of the amazing twitter and blogging people I get to collaborate with, learn from and talk to on a daily basis. My friend from Christchurch who attended ULearn for the first time was so amazed by the friendly atmosphere that greeted her from the bloggers cafe. She was most amazed at the fact I had met all these bubbly people through twitter and blogging... I am extremely lucky for the people who I am surrounded by! I was stoked to have the chance to meet Lilylauren and Chris Betcher for the first time, who were over from Australia, but unfortunately missed Helen!
This year I presented 2 sessions - I will post the presentations up in seperate posts. After a long haul of putting my presentations together and touching them up - I was stoked to present them in breakouts 6 and 7 to 2 groups of keen and interested teachers. A big thanks to those teachers in the graveyard Breakout 7 shift who participated in the session with enthusiasm. I was even more excited on reading the feedback forms and getting an overwhelming positive response to my sessions. I liked that fact that many of them thought that the workshops and content were "realistic" and "engaging" among many other adjectives within the written comments! The number scale is great, but the written feedback, whether postive or negative is worthwhile as I learn much more from this! It does make the hard work worth it, to know that your audience is leaving enthused, keen and with some new ideas! It was interesting to see how many people talked about the fact I seemed so passionate about what I was talking about - this I was very happy with!
One thing I was extremely careful with was trying to work closely to what I had placed as my abstract for the workshops. When I sent in my proposals these were to be 2 new workshops that I hadn't presented on, but had a HUGE passion and interest in. So I made sure that I worked closely to what I had written. Many people have previously complained of attending workshops that didn't match their abstracts - this is a huge disappointment for these people.
I think I am becoming more confident and relaxed with my presenting and my presentation style. I enjoy working with the keen groups of teachers who have chosen to attend the sessions. It was good to see also, that I sparked some teachers into sharing ideas and tools that they have used in the classroom and were willing to share these via my presentation wiki page with others from the session - great collaboration!! I think that the more I present and work in front of adults the more fluid I will become in the way I present and interact with my audience. I know this time around, I felt I was a lot more relaxed than I have been in other years. It's really not that long ago the idea of talking in front of a group of adults was an absolute no go for me!! But that being said, I look forward to having the chance to share with others in the future!
Image of the ULearn09 stands used under CC: coreednz