Friday, June 19, 2009

Reflections on #SLTC09

sltc09 When I got back from the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 09, I walked into a maelstrom of committee meetings and exam boards, so here, belatedly but before I forget, are a few thoughts.

Overall, this conference was not as good as the previous two. I'd heard quite a few of the talks before - minor increments don't count. New blood and new ideas are needed before the next one. I felt I identified a couple of themes from the meeting:
  • Many isolated individuals failing to influence practice in their institutions, or beyond.
  • A tendency to ask students to do more and more, be expert in all areas, do everything at once. Get real! If you want them to do something new, what are you prepared to drop so they can do it?
But it wasn't all negative, and apart from personal networking, for me the most interesting aspect of this meeting was the social media amplification which, for the first time, allowed it to spread beyond the walls of the venue:
  • Twitter Hashtag: #sltc09
  • Delicious: sltc09
  • Flickr tag: sltc09
  • Slideshare: sltc09
  • and the SLTC09 Friendfeed Group which aggregates and archives all the above. As well as making it easier to keep up with the disseminated chatter across networks, this FriendFeed group now provides a semi-permanent archive of what would otherwise be ephemera (thoughts, opinions, links) around the main conference presentations.