I’ve been attending the e-fest conference here in Wellington. My overall impression is that the eLearning field in NZ has now matured to the stage where there is an increasingly shared body of knowledge. I’m sure the governmen’s initiatives in this area have really helped in this regard. I enjoyed the exposure to some conceptual models which were new to me – eg Sandy Britains’ model of amplification of capability and attenuation of variability.
My strong interest in open source meant the chance to listen to the keynote by Martin Dougiamas (of Moodle fame) and meet him in person was really enjoyable for me. His expertise as a technical developer is matched by his insights into online learning and communities.
With regards to developing practice and learning design, Marc Prensky’s post-conference workshop was very stimulating, and it rekindled my interest in games and simulations and how they can be used to engage learners in the post-Blackboard era! The workshop moved on from his keynote and participants began to explore ways of connecting and integrating such activities to ensure transferable and relevant learning.
Just prior to e-fest, I attended a staff development session at AUT presented by Dr Ann Kerwin who teaches in the Faculty of Business. I found her model of the requirements of learning (time, space, energy, attention, reward) interesting and I’m currently reflecting on how this can inform my existing beliefs about effective teaching, both online and face to face.