Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Online Educa Berlin, day 1

Today was mainly for the pre-conferences. For me the day did not start too well, as there seemed to be a problem with my registration. That’s not even the worst thing, you only hear about it when you are first in line in a long waiting cue. So I had to move over to another cue where all the problem issues were handled. It turned out to be a simple matter, but it caused me a 30 minutes delay before I could join the pre-conference about building a course in Moodle. The session was presented by Pieter van der Hijden, with the support from my colleague Hans de Zwart. It was good to have an in depth overview on Moodle, especially in a workshop format where there was plenty of time to have some hands on experience. All together it was a long run, the session finished at 6.10 pm. Before I went to the speakers’ reception I had a quick meeting with Carin Martell from Giuntilabs about the training needs of our staff. Time was too short to get into much detail so we settled for another appointment tomorrow morning. At the speakers’ reception I met with my fellow presenters and the chair for tomorrow’s session on content repositories. We have worked out a promising interactive format (Learning CafĂ©), but need to have a plan B in case we have more than 100 in the audience. During the reception it was mentioned that OEB2008 has over 2000 participants, so with 15 parallel sessions it may well be that we will have 100 or more people in our session. The reception was sponsored by Blackboard, but the guy who gave a welcome speech on behalf of Blackboard had a hard time to get everybody’s attention. Although it was only 5 minutes, it was a rather commercial talk, so half of the audience wasn’t really listening. Interestingly, he mentioned the University of Twente as one of their promising new Bb sites in 2008.

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