Saturday, October 28, 2006

k12 Online - Week One

The k12Online Conference has been going on for about a week. I wonder how successful it has been . The idea was to have a virtual conference in cyberspace, via podcasts, video casts, and or screen casts. Presenters also have their show notes on a blog or other web pages and David Warlik has set up a Wiki for "attendees" to keep their notes in.

I don't know if its the time of year (grades are due Monday) or the structure of the conference, but I haven't been able to get excited about k12Online. When I first read about it I was intrigued and certain it would be great.

So far I've been a bit underwhelmed. Maybe I know too much, but most of the presentations I've "attended" have been like preaching to the choir. Maybe this is just how things have been schedualed and they're putting the really basic stuff first. Next weekend I'll try to comment on the whole conference.

The second impression I have about this conference is one I didn't really think about until Ben over at the TechSavvy Educator mentioned. One of the things I really like about conferences is meeting people face to face and being able to talk about and share impressions about the sessions. I know there are "fireside chats" on the adgenda, but his is not the same. These seem more like the question answer period at the end of a talk and are not the one on one spontaneous conversations that occur after (or durring) a talk at a traditional conference.

I like the idea of a conference that can be attended by anyone in the world without having to spend lots of money to get and stay there, but this feels less like a conference and more like a collection of resources for educators.

Now, to the positives. There are, of course, some benefits of pre-recorded OnDemand sessions. You get to view/listen to them anytime you want. You can fast forward through the bits you're not interested in or even leave a talk without distracting anyone. You can also pause them to give you a chance to take some notes or look up something to enhance your understanding.

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