Maybe it was my mistake. I expected a workshop but instead listened to five presentations between 10am and lunch, and a further four in the afternoon. All were good stuff, but it felt like a heavy load when what I was anticipating was a session in which the participants would exchange and brainstorm about how researchers are evolving in a Web 2.0 world of collaboratively created content and interactivity.
There was interactivity – Elluminate was used for the remote presentations. If you have an OU login, go to Open Learning network trial or if you don’t go to http://elive-manager.open.ac.uk/join_meeting.html?meetingId=1232970332920 . Elluminate has a whiteboard on which you can see slides whilst the presenter talks about them. There is a chat window which provided a useful backchannel. However from my perspective, sitting in the room, the audio of remote presenters was at times so distorted that I could only understand one word in five. Through the chat channel, it was apparent that some of the remote attendees had a similar problem, although I think the audio was understandable, just sounded like the presenter was on helium.
We also used Cloudworks as another channel for discussion and comment alongside Twitter with a #OLNET tag for up to the minute observations and dialogues. I may have missed something as I still don’t know for sure what Olnet is, although I met people who are working on it during the lunch break so I know it exists. [Addenda: just googled it and it stands for Open Learning Network for researching Open Educational Resources. I guess OLNET sounds better than OLNOER.]
There were a few interesting questions at the end of each presentation, and there was a session at the end of all the presentations when those who had stayed for the whole day got together into groups.
Doug did an admirable job of liveblogging the presentations both in the morning and in the afternoon, Hopefully the interactivity I was hoping for will take place through blog comments and through cloudworks in true Web 2.0 style.
by Gill Clough