Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Remembering Ascilite 2009

Auckland really turned on some fabulous weather for Ascilite 2009, which was held over December 6-9 in the bright new University of Auckland, Faculty of Business, Owen G. Glen Building. Over 400 attended and for over 100 delegates, including me, it was their first Ascilite. The themes were Same places, different spaces: Blended Space, Virtual Space, Social Space, Mobile Space, Work Space.

There were many mentions of libraries and how they are re-inventing themselves in the digital age and the convergences are obvious. For libraries too, it is getting harder to engage students, and we face the same challenges as faculty and tertiary learning and teaching. One keynote speaker, James Clay, is also the Manager of the Library at his institution, Gloucestershire College. A few other NZ librarians attended, but no others from Australia as far as I could gather.

The full Ascilite Programme, with all the papers, posters are available online.

Some keynotes are online in various places:

GrĂ¡inne Conole, Pushing the boundaries into the unknown, trajectories of user behaviour in new frontiers. These slides are at SlideShare

For James Clay, The future of learning, see Cloudworks . James ran the Twitter backchannel during his keynote (see above), and had his tweets all automated. Pretty neat and folks in the UK were joining in!

The following are links to some of the conference papers that I found especially interesting:

Don't dilly dally on the way - driving towards digital information literacy. Kelly, O etal

Smartphones give you wings: Pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0. Cochrane, T & etal. This paper won an award.

Introducing Jass Easterman: My Second Life learning space. Sue Gregory and Tynan, B

Our paper was: Adding value to first year student learning with embedded library pod/vodcasts. Julia Gross and Eva Dobozy:

Others have already written some great blog posts about Ascilite09. In particular, check out:

James Clay's blog

Col's blogroll


Some of the Twitter action post Ascilite 2009 is at Twapperkeeper and the Twitter search hash tag is #ascilite09

The Ascilite09 Conference Hub has some presentations and loads of other good info for delegates.

Also Cloudworks which was new to me and I love it! Go here for the Cloudworks Cloudscape for Ascilite 2009

Take away messages for me were:

  • Digital literacy and information literacy, what relationship do they have and, where do library/searching skills fit. (Digital information literacies is one of the in EDUCAUSE 2009 challenges too).
  • The potential of Web 2.0 tools to enhance the learning process. With Web 2.0 we need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk: you need to be doing web2.0 or you don’t get it.
  • Is the LMS just another repository of courseware, or can the full potential be realised of it being a fully interactive, dynamic learning space?
  • Second Life is not dead! Several papers had good applications for Second Life: There was an excellent paper from UNE on SL (see above) with ICT teacher education students really engaging them. Also applications in the medical area, language teaching, cultural awareness teaching, and in the NZ TAFE equivalent area with preparation for job interview skills.
  • Use of mobile devices to access learning materials is not yet high. (Our teacher education students are still mainly using desktops/laptops to access the LMS material). This will change over time as smart phones become common within the next year or so in Australia.
  • Question everything, don’t jump on the band wagon without interrogating: Nichols challenged the notion of “the wisdom of the crowd” comparing it to Groupthink. We have all been guilty of that at some stage.
I had a terrific time, met some great people, and came back inspired. Special thanks to the organisers and the Kiwis for the hospitality. And someone (?) for the awesome weather ;)

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