I’ve spent the past three days at the Instructional Technology Institute Conference at Utah State. I feel bad about my lack of blogging during that time — though not that bad, as I needed to finish my presentation and I’m a lousy note-taker. Thankfully Stephen has attended most of the same sessions that I have, and he’s done his usual thorough work.
The event was simply outstanding, one of the best I’ve ever attended. Each session I was at was strong — no clunkers — and the relatively small size and relaxed atmosphere has made it easy to chat and mingle. I won’t try to match Downes for detail or incisive commentary, but do want to offer a few shout-outs:
* It was a thrill to see Lawrence Lessig… and he set the tone with urgent pleas for saner copyright laws and the culture of remix. There wasn’t a whole lot of surprises in his talk, but he’s a legitimate A-Lister, and when David Wiley introduced him as one of his heroes, it was hard not to agree.
* Ulises Ali Mejias gave a great talk on the qualities of orality and literacy in discussion boards, weblogs and wikis; and outlined his model for Distributed Textual Discourse. He backed up his theory with the framework for a tool that would take many of the strengths of wikis and address many of their weaknesses. Right now the tool is vapour-ware — but his presentation seemed to pique the interests of a few of the local code-geeks, and if his idea comes to fruition it would constitute a tremendous addition to the array of hypertext systems. I really enjoyed meeting and talking with him.
* Trey Martindale led two sessions: one, an analysis of a set of categories for notable educational websites (the compiled list of which is itself a valuable resource); the other a melodrama concerning the travails of introducing weblogging into a higher ed institution. Trey is one of the best facilitators I have ever seen — instantly creating a vibe in the room that’s warm and cooperative — he’s got that rare gift of being very funny without going off-topic. He’s co-presenting a session with David Wiley (no slouch himself as a teacher) on weblogging at the AECT Conference in Chicago this October, and I’d love to see those two in action together. (I’m flattered they chose to call their talk “Bloggin
Man. REALLY sorry I missed this one… Good to hear it was a good one!
Ditto, ditto. Let’s hear it for what the Canadians are doing in IT 😉
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