The K-12 Online Conference is officially finished and over, but will continue on as all good movements do. There is now a Free-Falling page for the continuation of the conference for those who want to keep in touch.
I have to say that these last few months have been frenetic as I have discovered, taste-tested, and tried to implement some of the latest and greatest web 2.0 tools into my lifestyle and teaching practices. I still have a long list of some to try out. Some are waiting in the wings or quite literally right in front of my face on my web browser (like delicious tagging but I just can’t seem to remember to tag pages). After grappling with a flu-like virus all weekend, I am coming to the conclusion that I just cannot keep up this pace AND have a family life and a social life. One has to draw a line somewhere of how much one can fit into one’s life. So some of those really attractive presentations from K-12 will simply have to wait.
Those of us who took part in the skypecasts in the 24 hour “When Night Falls” culminating event had to agree that there simply could not be *anyone* who had had time to visit and disseminate all the presentation material that was created for the conference. Most of us are full-time teachers and many of us have families (who have had to be very patient with us for the last few weeks). However, of course, the beauty of this free conference is that the materials will continue to be available for anyone to download indefinitely. The drawback is that the opportunity for interactive activity with the material has mostly passed. While it is true anyone is free to leave discussion feedback, it is just not the same.
I have to say my chief frustration with the conference was the absence of face-to-face contact with anyone else “attending” the conference. We addressed this issue somewhat in the skypecast I moderated on Saturday afternoon (Montréal local time). Next year, it would be fun to host a live LAN party à la Jeff Utecht (from Shangai). We decided that if food were involved – let’s make it a potluck! – then more people would attend. I could invite friends and colleagues and we could share ideas as we visited conference presentations.
When I last checked the conference blog’s Clustr map, well over 40,000 visits had been logged. That is astounding! Of course that doesn’t mean forty thousand individuals, but it certainly means a great deal of traffic. The organizers should be pleased that this first attempt was a great success.
Other items of interest for me included Stephen Downes’ address on the Future of E-learning. I listened to it the evening he had made the address – that was how fast he had the podcast up and running. It was interesting – particularly as our school is considering a move to a virtual school as an arm of our school.
I also note that curveriders finally have elgg spaces up and running. While it sounds very appealing, I guess I would want to know if it is worth the money to use their services. Any thoughts out there?