Final reflections from Graham Davies
It is often said that if you return from a conference with three new important impressions or ideas then the conference has been a success. These are mine:
1. Bernd Rueschoff, talking about wikis in his plenary presentation on Web 2.0, pointed out that an analysis of the answers given by the audience in the German TV version of “Who wants to be a millionaire” were predominantly right. He reflected that the criticism levelled at wikis such as Wikipedia may be unjustified, as collective knowledge is increasingly proving to be reliable.
2. The video that Grainne Conole showed in her plenary presentation of the student living in a high-tech house and using a variety of digital devices as part of her everyday life left a lasting impression on me. Teachers need to be aware that the new generation of students feel completely at ease with new technologies.
3. Uschi Felix – who declared her intention to retire from academic life this year – warned us that students will not be impressed if they are confronted with “boring old technology” at school or university. On the other hand, they often react negatively to teachers who think they are being trendy by using Facebook and other social network sites that are popular with young people. Students often perceive such sites as “their” property, which they want to keep for themselves.
All in all, this was a great conference. All the sessions that I attended were good. The weather was kind to us, we observed a perfect sunset from the venue of the conference dinner, were entertained by the best Irish/Scottish band (with a fabulous dancer) that I have ever heard, and we danced ourselves to exhaustion at the Ceili. A big “thank you” from me to all the organisers, presenters and participants.