Talk, talk, talk… how do we make the big small?

Three days, three events.

Today, I’m speaking at a panel co-sponsored by UBC Career Services and the Faculty of Graduate Studies entitled “Connecting to Careers Beyond the Ivory Tower.” Perhaps I was asked to serve as some sort of cautionary horror story, as one year after completing my Master’s I was living in genteel squalor, making about $500 a month digging holes, clearing tables and doing other crap jobs for crap wages. In any event, here I am — and one trick pony that I am, my angle today is Networked Networking.

Tomorrow I’m going to be manning a booth promoting Social Learning, a collaborative weblog/resource bank that is initiating a very gentle launch countdown, for the BCEd Online Conference. Not sure how that’s going to play out — perhaps with me slumped at a display table alone for hours on end…

And on Thursday, Stephen Downes emerges from seclusion to deliver the closing keynote at this same conference. As D’Arcy Norman has already noted, Stephen is sharing his time and stage with us. We are hoping to break open the standard structure for a keynote, create a vibe that is more conversational and participatory.

How we do that remains to be seen. Our plans remain fuzzy. I’m not worried about dead air — the three of us never have trouble gabbing about ed tech on our own, much less together. But I’m told we can expect an intimate gathering of anywhere between 200-500 people. A little bigger than a salon or a hootenanny. If anyone has ideas on how we can make this behemoth dance, please don’t hold back. We’ll be equipped with wireless mics, so we can move around if we wish. And D’Arcy has started up a wiki for people to add suggested topics.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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6 Responses to Talk, talk, talk… how do we make the big small?

  1. Nick Noakes says:

    Brian, do you know how the room is being set up? tables (even in a large venue like at E2004 in Denver)? chairs that are movable (into small circles/U’s)?

  2. Brian says:

    Hey Nick — I think given the size of audience (and location) that we are looking at a big room in a hotel/conference centre — so we will likely have little flexibility with regard to room layout.

    I asked that question, but even the organizers were not quite sure. But they did hook us up with wireless mics — at least they are supportive!

  3. Gardner says:

    Here’s a counterintuitive whacked idea: why make the big small? Why not make the scale work for you? If you get a buzz, or a laugh, or a wave going in a room that size, it could feel like a good concert at a cool club. Rather than fight the bigness, explore what scale has to offer.

    No specific suggestions beyond that right now, just some mull fodder.

  4. Brian says:

    Nice perspective Gardner. Worth mulling about how we can make that energy work for us.

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