Experimenting with different online learning opportunities which take advantage of the affordances of openly networked online social technologies underpins my approach to learning and teaching. Just as I encourage participants in the subjects that I teach as part of the Master of Education at QUT to take a leap into unknown online spaces, I try to practice what I preach, by taking part in different learning opportunities as they arise.
Late last week, I was privileged to experience online learning in a new format; the PressEd Twitter Conference. This is an international conference, in its second year which is described as:
PressED is a twitter conference (#pressedconf18/#pressedconf19) looking into how WordPress is used in teaching, pedagogy and research.
The organisers (and two of the nicest people I’ve met online) are Natalie Lafferty (@nlafferty) and Pat Lockley (@pgogy). Both are advocates of open education; you can read more about their work on the PressEd Conference home page. The conference addressed many topics associated with open online learning, blogging, using WordPress as a host for higher education and more; you can see the tags below which describe the topics presented.
How did the conference work? The detailed schedule was published a few weeks prior to the event. Each presenter had a 15 minute slot, during which time they presented between 10-15 tweets. A minute or two followed each presentation for questions, and then the conference moved onto the next presenter. It was fast and furious, but it was so much fun! In the first hour, there were presentations from Australia, the UK and Japan.
There were also keynote presentations during the evening. Pat Lockley observed that in the previous year, the most popular tweet from the conference had 10 000 views!! What a way to create real world research impact! Not to mention how much learning has been made accessible to those who may normally not be in a position to attend a conference – for so many reasons. This type of conference overcomes so many barriers, and is offering a truly participatory and open learning experience.
last year the most popular pressEd tweet had 10,000 views. I bet this one is way, way, way past that.
And numbers aren’t, but 10,000 people at a free conference is a big deal for access and the public #PressEdConf19
— Pgogy WebStuff (@Pgogy) April 18, 2019
Although the conference ran through the night, no one missed out, because the organisers used Twitter Moments to collate all of the posts, and linked the presentations to the schedule. Click on each presentation title, and you will be taken to a page with the tweets listed in chronological order.
I have embedded my presentation below. It’s a little long, so I’ll close the blog post here, by saying THANK YOU to the amazing organisers and my fellow presenters. I cannot recall a Thursday evening where I learnt so much while sitting at my desk at home :).
This was another wonderful example of how we can creatively leverage to connectivity of social technologies to enhance learning. What’s more, not only did I learn through the process of preparing my presentation and the experience of engaging on the night, I also made some wonderful new connections!
Here’s my presentation:
#PressEdConf19 PhD and beyond: A WordPress adventure!