Monday, 20 April 2009

Interactive technology in education - conference in Finland

This week on Thursday and Friday I will be immersed in the wonders of social media and all kinds of cool tools for education - I hope! First time ever, I am attending and ICT conference, all paid for by my school, thank you very much. I did have to do some persuading with my principal to get the green light to go, since I am a mere foreign language teacher, and this has traditionally been the exclusive area of ICT teachers only. Maybe this is a turn of the books, since this time I am the only teacher from my school attending - our ICT people are not into social media in any way. They focus mainly on technology, hardware and more traditional LMS solutions, so they opted out this year. Social media, interaction, or communication is probably considered more suitable for humanist hippies like myself, not something the more serious technical types would waste their time on. Oh well, I am looking forward to it very much! At least around 1000 educators from all fields will be there and I am keen to see how I will fit in.

One participant from a Finnish educational network I am a member of has put up a Google map for participants to introduce themselves. I've had funny experiences with Google maps before. Somehow I find the logic of placing your pin plus any other information there rather peculiar. I had at least 5-6 unsuccessful attempts before my photo finally appeared in the right place with all the introductions and links I wanted to include in it! Yet, after all that hard work, today I noticed that I had mysteriously moved from my hometown Turku further south-west to the archipelago. The joys of interaction!

After managing to bring myself back to where I belong, I noticed that some others had been moved across the sea from Helsinki, all the way to Estonia, while others had landed right in the middle of the Gulf. We could make this into a nice icebreaker introductions game to get to know each other. Just move other people's pins to interesting new locations!

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