Yes I know Mlearn 2007 conference was sooooo last week (I’m now at WA E-Learning Conference) but I have to share the story of people like Simon Brown, from my network, who did not attend the conference, but felt a sense of “being there” through the blog posts, flickr photos, twitter, Skype, wiki sites and live Elluminate sessions.
People like Simon are the exact reason why we need to ensure, wherever practically possible, that conferences do provide:
- services for people unable to attend to be able to participate virtually through live broadcasts of sessions using virtual classroom tools like Elluminate
- free wireless access for participants so they can maintain contact with their networks and live blog if they choose
- a site that brings together all the information about the conference that is being uploaded to the Internet as it is happening (such as the blog posts, twittering, photos).
If our desired goal of conferences is to inspire changes in work practices catering for our global virtual audience will ensure inspiration is spread beyond the walls of the conference. Through this live interaction with mLearn 2007 Simon now wants to incorporate mlearning into his program.
Simon teaches stonemasonry trade skills to apprentices at SkillsTech Australia in Brisbane (Queensland). He tapped into all the live Elluminate sessions and we skyped plus twittered to each other all day, every day.
While he enjoyed all the Elluminate session I was totally blown away by his response to Marcus Ragus, Sam Meredeth, Daniel Dacey and Ian Whitehouse presentation on Embedded technologies (in particular RFID technology). So while I was relaxing after a busy few days of attending the conference Simon was busy investigating RFID technology and trying to work out how he could get his hands on it.
Finally in frustration, after several hours, he skyped me to ask if I could give him more details. Fortunately I sitting on the lounge area at the conference (was tooooo tired to move) so I told him to ring me using Skype and I grabbed Daniel Dacey (New England Computer Solutions) who was able to answer all his questions.
When I asked him why RFID technologies was the one that inspired him the most he said “while I enjoyed the other sessions I could not see practical applications whereas I could see immediate application of RFID in my teaching area”. As a result Simon is interested in purchasing a single handheld unit, and tags & software for a pilot study in the Eagle Farm stonemasonry workshop for:
- building-site induction
- training workshop for triggering learning content on the subject of safe of tools, equipment & machinery operation , and assisting with demonstrating practical skills.
His idea is to use the RFID technology for blended delivery within his workshops, giving students choices about when and where they learn. Check out this post to learn what RFID technology is about and why Simon was excite. Contact Daniel Dacey to find out more about the RFID learning table.