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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-08-16

  • Pepsi spill causes sticky mess in science blogging ecosystem #
  • Just started reading “Unseen academicals”. I love Terry Pratchett #
  • Plagiarism Is Not a Big Moral Deal. I teach professional ethics in practice, and I agree with this #
  • Mobile Phone Learning on the Move in Africa. #
  • Juxio – combine image and text into visual streams. Could be useful for creating small learning resources #
  • Comparing Books & E-Books. I’m still not sure where I stand #
  • @tony_emerge nice to see I’m not the only 1 still up 🙂 was good to chat at the colloquium on Friday #
  • Do New Tools = New Learning? I don’t think using new tools automatically maps to new learning #
  • What You Need To Know About Data Portability #
  • Social networking and loneliness. See this in some of my students…the pressure of living for an audience #
  • @ianuct Wow, I’d love to have a look at how you do it. Maybe I can meet up with u sometime during the week? Do you have the desktop version? in reply to ianuct #
  • @ianuct What are you thoughts on #Prezi I’ve played with it but actually find the lack of linearity hard to work with in reply to ianuct #
  • Thank you. RT @ianuct: Drew the keynote “Experiences in personal learning”. Find a balance between consuming & sharing #
  • Battery getting low, so in case phone dies before the end…thank you #Maties for awesome #TEDxStellenbosch #
  • Weird…they handed out #vuvuzelas during intermission at #TEDxStellenbosch & are surprised that people are blowing them? #
  • @jpbosman hey man, how come you’re not at #TEDxStellenbosch Thought this would be the sort of thing you’re interested in #
  • @geekrebel where are you? #
  • Vegetarian meals only at #TEDxStellenbosch I’m not a vegetarian but…what a great idea when promoting sustainability #
  • #TEDxStellenbosch We’re moving from an era of “me”, to an era of “we”. Similar ideas in education with social learning #
  • Comment from earlier speaker at #TEDxStellenbosch “Africa isn’t poor, we just don’t have a lot of money” #
  • @geekrebel Thanks for organising access, #Skyrove doing an awesome job again 🙂 #
  • @elodiek I’m going back to obz so can help you guys out if you still looking (i know henk) #
  • @geekrebel I just got here and am 1 of those 4 🙂 I’m right at the back and can’t see any screens #
  • At #TEDxStellenbosch so impressed with setup, thank you #Skyrove for wireless, always appreciated #
  • Just got home from #ipex had a good 2 days, learnt a lot. Leaving in an hour for #TEDxStellenbosch ( #
  • Spent most of yesterday marking tests & assignments, same again today…sigh #
conference education

Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa conference

heltasa welcome

I just got home from the HELTASA conference (my first) at the University of Johannesburg.  I’ve enjoyed the last 4 days, and think the conference organisers did a great job of making the programme interesting and engaging.  The keynote speakers were all very different, and each brought an interesting dimension to the event.

Here’s a few thoughts from the past few days:

Positivesheltasa poster

  • Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and really went out of their way to make us feel very welcome
  • The organisers tried hard to make the conference memorable by doing things differently
  • The presentations were generally diverse, although a little too focused on academic development and foundation programmes (for me anyway)
  • The cultural events were great
  • It was the first time that I was able to spend a few days in Johannesburg, and it’s really changed my perceptions of the people and the place…for the better
  • The campus was beautiful


  • No wireless access at either the conference venue or the residences
  • There’s still no-one recording video and audio of all the presenters and making it available for download
  • No printing facilities for presenters (like me) who needed to make last minute adjustments to their work
  • The cost for the residence accommodation was a bit high (although it did include breakfast)
  • Attempts to “enforce” socialising didn’t always go down well

heltasa buildingsAll in all, it was a good experience, I got some good feedback from my presentation, and came away with a lot of ideas for changing my practice.  Here are my notes from the speaker presentations, my abstract, and my presentation.


TEDx Johannesburg

I’ve been a longtime fan of the TED conferences and found out last night about the TEDx conference being held in Johannesburg in a few weeks time.  The theme is “Uplifting communities“, which ties in nicely with the project proposal I submitted to FAIMER last month (see previous post).  So I decided to apply as a speaker for the conference, using the same ideas on innovation in education using emerging technologies.

You can see my speaker profile here.

conference education

HESS conference (day 1)

OK, so we’ve finished the first day of the conference and it was pretty interesting.  Almost every speaker had something to say that I found interesting.  I attended the following presentations, most of which were in the e-learning track:

  • Keynote: Opening up spaces for research and enquiry
  • Introducing the construct of “conceptual infrastructure” to support higher education development
  • Developing communities of practice in large class teaching using tutorials and forum discussion
  • A theoretical exploration of the potential use and benefits of social software as an emerging technology in support of e-learning in tertiary education
  • A model for ensuring the quality of multimedia learning materials
  • Superstars to teach large classes
  • An overview of teaching and learning in geomatics
  • Uniting life and education
  • Computer skills for university entrants
  • Implementing mentoring using ICT tools

When I get home from the conference, I’ll have a few days to collate all my notes and will try to provide a summary of the conference, or rather, the conference as I experienced it.

I learned a lot today, but the main thing I learned is how much I really don’t know.  The problem with these conferences is that you get to hear about all the really cool things that other people are doing, and in the end your brain explodes because you can’t do everything you want to, not matter how much you really, really wish you could.


Here’s a few pictures from day 1

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