So yesterday I gave a little workshop at the VITTA conference in
Preston, Melbourne. VITTA = Victorian IT Teachers Association. Here is
a brief report about how it went.
The session I ran was a hands-on workshop in a Mac lab called
"Wikipedia in Schools: An Unexplored Potential".
session 1202) Basically I went through the things that I think are
important about Wikipedia (eg not for profit, multilingual,
wiki/community, free content), then we did some hands-on exploring a
Wikipedia article stuff, then I talked about some different types of
classroom projects that I thought might be possible. That was a very
solid 45 minute session.
It was the first time I have done a "hands on" session in a lab, and I
have mixed feelings about how it went. Basically I pulled up the
article [[Preston, Victoria]] and asked them to pull up the article on
their school or town or whatever and do the same stuff. But because
the room was so cramped there was no way I could walk around to see
what they were doing, and I couldn't really gauge if they were having
trouble with it or whatever. I think in future for *really* hands-on
workshops it makes more sense to be like 1 person to maybe 3 or 4
students and just work in small groups rather than have one person at
the front of the room.
Anyway, people looked pretty engaged and not too confused, and it was
a full session (20 people), so I feel reasonably confident it went
Afterwards I went to the Linux Australia exhibition in the tradeshow.
They were getting really good traffic, it's great to see so much
interest. I left some Wikipedia brochures and stickers on their desk
Pia Waugh from Linux Australia also did Monday's closing keynote,
called Open Source Futures
session 1601). It was a really interesting overview of openness in
education and why it is important. I recorded it and hopefully will
get it uploaded somewhere soon.
I also caught up with Pru Mitchell (hi! ;)) from education.au and we
did some more testing with their browser-based "Live Classroom" thing.
It's basically like an augmented chat room, that you can use you to
talk to slides, or do a kind of webcast, with people logged in from
wherever around the world or Australia. But I still can't get the
audio to work properly on my machine which is a bit of a dealbreaker.
I'm going to try a few more things, hopefully we will do a bit of a
test-run in early December, and if it works well then next year we
could do a bit of a series which would be awesome.
Oh and I mentioned a while ago I was going to talk at a VCAL
conference, that was actually cancelled. It is likely to be
rescheduled for April or so next year.
Another Victorian event: I found out there is a conference called ICT
in Education Victoria (ICTEV) which will be held on 30th May in
Submissions close 19th December. If you are a Victorian and are
interested in doing a workshop or talk please speak up!
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment: