2013 Conference Marathon Part 4 & 5 - Mission Completed

The 2013 Conference Binge is Over!

Five conferences within 25 days, three of them abroad? Yes, please!
In the meantime, two grant proposals and one paper completed. Not counting regular teaching and supervision. Plus intense networking going on all the time. A busy month. As always. 

Actually, I rest at conferences. When I'm home, I always have dozens of projects and duties calling for attention. When I'm away at a conference, I leave the regular stuff behind and finally have time to sit down and talk with people over lunch or beer. On the one hand, this is still work. But the kind of work that recharges batteries.

 

Part 4: Online Educa Berlin, 4-6 Dec

My first time to Online Educa. I hadn't expected much from an event of this magnitude, building its image on high-tech hype and high-profile corporate/govt presence in a highly expensive five-star hotel. I was pleased to find out I had been mistaken. The dashing young leaders-of-the-future with broad ambitions and narrow minds were, of course, there, but in fewer numbers than you would think. I met dozens of dedicated and highly competent professionals, who were acutely aware of the strengths as well as weaknesses of innovative education. I was deeply moved by the quality of the plenary talks (if you ignored Jose Barroso on the first day) and the MOOC debate. With small sessions, I wasn't that lucky; about half of what I attended weren''t worth the time. But these few items didn't spoil my impression of the whole. It was a great place to exchange ideas, find inspiration, review the tools, and meet partners for international collaboration. I have no doubt I want to be there next year. 

Weather was rough. And changing. Snowstorm outside:





Saudi Arabian desert inside:

 

Part 5: Digital Learning Congress, 9 Dec 

Five hours on the Berlin - Warsaw train, immersed in mobile learning I brought from Online Educa: printed Book of Abstracts. With all the hype around m-learning, it's good to remember that learning has been mobile, situated and immersive for centuries - if only you remembered to take a book for the journey.

There was no point coming back home in the meantime, I stayed in Warsaw for the weekend. With a friend who works for CDP.pl and cooperates with us at Gamedec: no separation of job from private life, again. That seems to be the curse and blessing of creative industries and academic work alike. Involved in both, I am doubly blessed. :)

DLC felt like a micro version of Online Educa. 30+ program items in 6 rooms for half a day, with the crowd composed of educators, edu-consultants, trainers&coaches, educational NGOs and govt agencies, and IT companies offering software for e-learning and m-learning. In my humble judgment, the quality of talks was comparable to OEB.  Networking opportunities of course, much smaller due to the size of the event, but not to be underestimated anyway. It is another event I don't want to miss next year. 

My case study "Gamification@UKW: How Theory and Practice Collide" strongly applauded, with quite a few people willing to investigate and collaborate. Another achievement unlocked. Now it's time to level up.

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