Friday, March 28, 2008

Attending a Conference, Looking for an Exit

by Terry Caesar

What would constitute a good example of the nadir of experience at an academic conference? Halfway through reading your paper, you get a coughing fit and can’t continue? Outside in the corridor you bump into someone and it’s your ex-spouse? (Or the ex-chair from your ex-university where you were denied tenure.) But these are exceptional, individual moments. Recently I experienced a more routine, structural one. ...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Conference Connections: Rewiring the Circuit by George Siemens, Peter Tittenberger, and Terry Anderson offers a useful overview of ways to use technology to improve conferences.

Technology as a tool for transforming practice in conferences is largely our focus here. Computers, mobile phones, podcasts, blogs, Second Life, RSS, Google Reader, and many similar tools afford new ways of interacting before, during, and after conferences. Like general approaches to teaching and learning with technology, technology use in conferences runs on a continuum: augmented, blended, simultaneous-blended, online, and unconferences—with a corresponding level of participant control.

They also note the potential drawbacks of technological tools.

One simple tool that sounds very useful is the designation of a conference tag that can be appended to online communications of various kinds before, during, and after the conference to enable searching. The Society for Ethnomusicology, for example, could use SEM2008 for this purpose.