Participant conference preparation, when faced with choice how do you decide?

Banff by John Mason
Open Education Global Conference, Innovation & Entrepreneurship April 21 to 24, 2015 in Banff, AB Canada (image by John Mason, cc-by)

I rarely get the opportunity to join a conference outside of my subject matter (Teaching English as a Second Language) or sector (not-for-profit, settlement, language) and for the past several years I have usually been presenting.  This will be the first time that I have gone to a conference and not known a single person. Although I am not without context as almost every presenter has one or more of the following: organizational website, blog, Twitter, G+, openly accessible research articles/books and/or have offered a MOOC that I have dipped into.

My only dilemma, choice. The streams for the #oeglobal conference include: innovation, evidence of impact, strategy, implementation, pedagogy & design, ROER4D & GO-GN Research. Which session to attend? I recently declared my learning goals for the OERu, Digital Skills for OER which generally covers my learning needs for Open Education – policy development, evaluation of effectiveness, and workplace learning. These are the sessions I think will meet my workplace needs.

Pre-Conference: A full day overview of Open Education. I expect to gain a vocabulary with shared meaning across the conference. I am also interested in the Policy section as I need to be able to frame the case for moving into the Open. As a language teacher I NEVER thought I would talk so much about technology. However, in my current workplace context I talk ‘tech’ every day: databases, software development, hardware, user experience, course design, social media not to mention the hardware and network/security considerations. With luck the technology portion of the day will give me some things to consider when making decisions to use technology in the Open.

Each room has multiple presentations. Pro – I can expand learning to sessions I may not have selected. Con – timing between presenters in other rooms may not align (moving between rooms not as easy as an online environment). (The grey sessions are ones that I am interested in and might sneak between rooms).

Day 1:

Day 2:

 Day 3:

Needless to say I am looking forward to be going as a member of the audience to the Open Education Conference (#oeglobal). It was not easy to determine which sessions to attend. I hope that the breaks will allow me to listen in and join conversations for the sessions I missed.

See you soon, tweet to @mbjamieson and I will be following the #oeglobal hashtag.


  1. omw Briar – Just enjoy, enjoy, enjoy – you’ve chosen well.

    It broke my heart to see the abstract from Derek Moor and Domenique Woolbridge. Yes, for many SA students – where is the next meal coming from? But it also made my heart swell with pride – their focus follows the great tradition of Wits, my alma mater (University of the Witwatersrand, a bastion of liberal thought and antiapartheid activism.)

    If you see these lovely people – please send greetings and respect from me (I was the first woman to be elected to the Student’s Representative Council in an open election. My maiden name – Gloria/Claudie Erleigh). You don’t want to know how many years ago. I’ll twitter them…

    Thought about that (funny) post by Len – MOOCs doomed to fail – no dating. Hard to get to know participants in a MOOC. Through wariness, time constraints, sense of propriety, one touches other’s lives briefly, superficially and fly away, not really having a chance to get to know the person. In a bricks and mortar – hey, the Cafeteria was the most important place on the campus….got to get to know the people you sat next to in lectures.

    Maybe same hold true for F2F v online conferences….shmoozing is part of the fun…So – shmooze! (But you know I am a fan of online too.)

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