Chairing and presenting – multitasking and that is what conference participation is also about

There are so many different ways and reasons to attend a conference. Sometimes attending a conference is to gain new knowledge and new insights whilst networking as best one can. However, there are also other reasons to attend a conference, such as chairing a session / workshop. This is the case today.

The eminent Jesper Balslev was appointed this honourable assignment of chairing a session pertaining ‘Pedagogical and Technological Innovations in Education’ at the EDULearn 14 conference. Jesper and Karen (Karen Fritzbøger) are also presenting their paper during this session and this small blog will attempt at narrating just how this session went.

Below Jesper is opening the session.

Mr Chairman

We had the pleasure of attending a session with wonderful presentations.

Among the presentations we heard Dr. Arnau Gifreu-Castells’, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, personal experiences in ensuring learning environment where students create interactive platforms. Amazing platforms, aesthetically and content-wise. The ways in which Dr. Arnau Gifreu-Castells surmised the module it became evident that students’ motivation increased during the course as well as the learning objectives were achieved. The motivation increased due to the ways in the students were enabled to design their own platforms and the ways in which the students were involved in creating their own narratives and reflections.

The session also entailed an interesting presentation on global citizenship education and the importance of global citizenship education. One way of enhancing pupils’ awareness is through digital storytelling (Joe Lambert – http://storycenter.org).  Very interesting and a paper worth reading.

Then the highlight of the day – Karen and Jesper’s presentation. As the picture portrays, their charisma was mesmerizing and the participants laughed when they heard that Denmark is the happiest country in the world and Copenhagen the most livable city.

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Above Karen is presenting the model of check list and the experiences obtained from engaging the students in learning design activities. The interesting experience is among other things that students albeit digital literate are not necessarily digital literate when it comes to learning systems.

The learning landscape was presented as a way in which students can be actively engaged in the design process of a module / course / curriculum. The conclusions from the two experiments conducted show that involving and engaging students in this design process increased their motivation, their engagement in the learning process and their digital literacy.

All in all the experiences from both chairing and presenting at conferences such as EDULearn are that it is a way to present our various projects, experiments and experiences re. developing excellent studies at KEA. It also allows us to reflect on the value and quality of our projects, experiments and experiences.

  • Have we initiated the right projects and experiments?
  • Have we based these projects and experiments on the right sources of theories and knowledge?
  • Have we conducted the documentation and evaluation of these projects and experiments in ways which enable us to convey our experiences to others in such a way that it makes sense?
  • Do the projects and experiments possess potential value to others than ourselves to such an extent that we should aim to disseminate further than just one conference?

The paper, which Karen and Jesper have written and on which their presentation is based, indicates that although KEA is not frontrunner in digital learning, blended learning and / or e-learning, the approach adopted in the experiments described in the paper is highly relevant to other institutions, too. It has become evident at this conference that many institutions still assume that e-learning requires choosing between various technologies and thus share experiences on how to use Facebook.

The experience from Karen and Jesper’s research is that the question is not which social media to choose but how we intend to interact with technology and what we aim to achieve by engaging with technology when it comes to learning.

In closing, Mr Chairman did extremely well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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