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Archive for the ‘conference’ Category

I don’t think I have used my desk phone as often as I have used it in the last couple of days. And it’s all because of the eruption of the volcano in Iceland which has suspended flights coming in and out of the UK.

This week, there are two important events happening which I am involved in: a symposium on the impact of emerging technology on teaching and learning, and curriculum development; and, a curriculum meeting on ICT with teachers.

The two symposium speakers are flying in from the US and Hong Kong. My 6 meeting participants are flying in from Ireland, Switzerland (x2), Thailand, China, and the US. Yesterday, we decided to just cancel the ICT meeting to avoid the risk of meeting participants being stranded here for days. Re-scheduling the meeting will be a pain but I think it is a sound decision given the volatile travel situation.

The lovely Kathy has recommended Doodle to arrange our next meeting. Great idea!

The symposium will still happen albeit with 30 less face-to-face participants and that the speakers are delivering their keynote address remotely. The quest for solutions started on Monday. I have pulled in wonderful techie colleagues from work (shout out to: Paul H, James, the other James, Craig, and Darren) for advice. And they have given me more solutions that I have not heard of – what a network at work!

We wanted to make sure that the transition from one speaker to the next (from one country to another) is seamless and that they are clearly visible by the 80+ participants in the symposium site. That sound is clear and that we can access their presentation slides without a problem is ideal, too. Desirable: to allow those who are not able to attend the symposium due to travel issues to ‘tune in’.

I’m a big fan of Elluminate and it was the first solution that I thought of but reviews of the tool tells me that the video functionality is not great. Great for voice webinar but not so great with video.

One of our speakers suggested VIA – another tool I have not heard or used before. The interface does not looks as ‘slick’ as DimDim but the functionalities are similar to webinar spaces I’ve seen.

VIA screenshot

VIA screenshot

We’re very happy to have a solution that the speakers feel confident about and we are happy to support them at our end. The great thing about this is that we can invite a limited number of people to participate virtually! The webinar will be hosted and supported by the Univeristy of Laval in Canada. We’re doing a trial run tomorrow and fingers crossed it will work and we’re all set for Thursday!

Magimix CitiZ

Magimix CitiZ

On other gadgety news, my Magimix CitiZ arrived today! I made a decaf espresso. It was ok. Not mind-blowing or memorable. But boy, it looks great on my kitchen top!

I am hoping the non-decaf coffee which I’ll have tomorrow is good or I’ll be really, really, really cranky.

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This year was my second time to attend and present at the European Council of International School (ECIS). Last year was in Nice, France and we experienced that glorious Mediterranean climate.

This year was in Hamburg, a lovely city in Northern Germany. Not a lot of photos from this work-related trip. My few photos were taken with a shaking (cold) hand holding an iPhone. So best kept hidden in my iPhoto events and not shared on the interweb. I didn’t really see much of Hamburg during the day except during the 5-min walk from the hotel to the conference site.

I attended a whole-day pre-conference workshop to be trained to serve as a member of the accreditation team for the Council of International Schools (CIS). This is my second accreditation training for/from two different international organizations and it was interesting to note the similarities (and differences) between the two in the approach to an accreditation visit. For me, another advantage of being in this accreditation workshop for CIS is meeting administrators and teachers from international schools that follow different curriculum models/programme. In a way, during breaks, conversations about education and the future of education is enriched by these different perspectives.

My colleague and I gave two 1-hour presentations on (1) new curriculum developments, and (2) current and future initiatives in the organization. Although we use PC at work, we now have access to a ‘floating’ macbook which can be loaned, so this time, the presentation was done on Keynote. The presentation looks so much slicker!

Apple was one of the sponsors in ECIS and they ran a few workshops. I went to one on podcasting as I have been meaning to start a project on getting Dan North to podcast his spectacular blog.

To me, one of the best things about ECIS this year is the keynote address. Wade Davis spoke about the extinction of cultures and what it means for the legacy that humanity leaves behind. In his book, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, he argues that “the myriad of cultures makes up an intellectual and spiritual web of life that envelops the planet and is every bit as important to the well being of the planet as is the biological web of life.”  He lamented on the lost of language and predicted that of the 7,100 languages spoken today, half will not be passed on.

This makes me think about the death of the beautiful Filipino alphabet baybayin. Our alphabet was one of the casualties of the Spanish occupation. It’s a beautiful script and to me, it looks like waves of water – how fitting for a country of more than 7,100 islands!

The quote below was attributed to the Philippine national hero, Dr Jose Rizal (1869):

This language of ours is like any other,
it once had an alphabet and its own letters
that vanished as though a tempest had set upon a boat on a lake in a time now long gone.

“To My Fellow Children”,
English translation by P. Morrow

Here is a good link, maintained by Paul Morrow, to the ancient script in the Philippines: http://www.mts.net/~pmorrow/bayeng1.htm

Wade Davi’s book is a good read and comes with an annotated bibliography. Or you can also watch him here on TED talking about endangered cultures.

Oh, and I had a tweet-up with the lovely @gravesle who went to see our presentation. We had a lovely chat about collaboration and master’s classes and, of course, time for photo ops! Look on Leigh’s flickr. And here is her awesome site that should be on your RSS reader!

tweet-up @gravesle and @kloza

tweet-up @gravesle and @kloza

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Work with a view © kloza

Work with a view © kloza

I don’t know about you but when I see a rainbow and I superstitiously suspect that I’m going to have an awesome day! And today, at work, I saw 3 rainbows at different times of the day. At one point, two were even overlapping!

Indeed, there were three great things about today:

  • My colleague and I are giving two presentations at ECIS in Hamburg this weekend. I’ve just downloaded a Keynote remote app which will allow me to control our presentation from my iPhone! I’m looking forward to meeting teachers during our presentations on new developments about the programme and on the different initiatives in the organization. There are some really good line up of presentations this year, too, so I’m hoping to attend a few of them. Of course, I’ll also be in our exhibition stand.
  • The symposium in April 2010 is going according to plan as we might have the second speaker by next week! Being part of a team planning for this symposium on learning and technology is one of the many things that really makes me love my job. It means I work with people I don’t normally work with, plus, I get to put a little group together to start writing blog entries relating to the theme of the symposium and contribute in choosing materials for the reading groups.
  • RT feature on Twitter

    RT feature on Twitter

    Twitter is really awesome for someone like me who is interested in what people like to share. It’s great for crowd-sourcing, finding out cool stuff about technology and education, and making connections with other educators. Last week a colleague asked me about how I use twitter and I thought about making a little screencast to share with people at work and other teachers. Maybe work on something using Google Wave? Any Wavers out there? Psst… leave me a comment! Anyway, today, twitter has launched another new feature on ReTweeting which twitterers know as “RT”. In the world of micro-blogging where every (140) character counts, RT is one of the best compliment you can have as it means someone is acknowledging that you have something worth repeating.

If you want to get started using Google Wave or if you are going to be on ECIS in Hamburg, leave a message or tweet me!

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travel pains

French Riviera © Kirsten

Finally back to my cosy flat checking my email, updating my twitter (which updates my facebook), uploading photos on iPhoto for export on flickr, did a software updates on my iMac, fashioned my Firefox (more on this another time), and putting my feet up!

I am back from the ECIS conference in Nice, France where I presented with S about the work we are currently doing. I thought it was a good turn-out and we presented well together. We attended a few other presentations as well as helped out in the company exhibition stand. I met new people and got on really well with H and E.

In spite of the nightmare of a journey, we all managed to keep our cool and resisted throwing a hissy fit. I mean, *I* resisted throwing a hissy fit!

Our flight from Nice to Amsterdam was delayed and then we heard news that our flight from Amsterdam to Cardiff was canceled. When we arrived in Amsterdam, we queued for about an hour and a half to get new boarding passes for flights the next day. After sorting our flights and making sure that our bags are transferred, we headed to book a hotel near the airport for the night. G (the only bloke at this point) decided to break off from the girls and head to town to get his room and we all headed to Hotel Mercure. A pizza, a bowl of peanuts and a bottle wine after, we said good night and agreed to meet at the reception in the morning to take the shuttle back to Amsterdam Schipol airport.

The flight from Amsterdam to Cardiff was on time and we are all looking forward to being home. Unfortunately, S, G and my bag did not turn up at the airport so we left with just our hand luggage. For me, this means that until I get my luggage bag, I will have to wear a skirt as the only 3 trousers I own are in the bag! Maybe this means I should go out a shop for clothes. I wonder if my insurance will cover that…

Anyway, I need to keep going for the rest of the evening so I have some energy to go to Spanish class.

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olive oil

 

olive oil, originally uploaded by missy & the universe.

While in a conference in Budapest, I got an email that this photo is going to be published on this site. It’s always good to see a picture I took outside my flickr page elsewhere. However, this only ever happens to photos I tag assiduously.

After a lot of pressure coming from a prolific blogger also sometimes called the boyfriend, I will start using this blog… errr… while maintaining my super-secret blog 😉 (Btw, if you want some good reading about films, see Dan’s blog called Spectacular Attractions)

I will post a series of blogs based on my contributions in an online assessment workshop which I am currently taking. The framework is a primary curriculum that promotes international-mindedness and global citizenship.

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