We’re into Day 1 of the Open U’s annual learning tech conference! The theme is Learning in an Open World, and practising what we preach, for the first time, it’s open to the world, and rather than being f-f at the OU, it’s 100% online (sync stream in Elluminate / async in Cloudworks). Kudos to conf chair Martin Weller for leading the way.

In this narrower bandwidth medium, giving talks and fielding questions is a reasonable experience (but missing the more subtle audience feedback like laughter and attention levels, and the sense of the speaker’s presence). The key challenge is how good people feel the social interaction is, which is after all an essential part of what a conference is.

I gave an update on progress with SocialLearn (slidecast below/PDF/PPTX) which points to the beta2 website at sociallearn.org where you can play with an interactive demo and register to get news as soon as we open the door.