I confess I am not a big fan of megaconferences. It’s just too much of too many things, which makes it difficult to keep focus and develop meaningful conversations, the thing I most appreciate in these events. That being said, ticEDUCA2010 had plenty of interesting moments and lots of opportunities for learning. The organization was very good – congrats to Fernando Albuquerque Costa and the team he put together- though more homogeneous sessions would have made it easier to choose what to attend and to engage in productive discussions. You can check the twitter stream to get a feel of what went on and visit ticEDUCA on Slideshare to see some of the presentations. Photos are also available on Flickr and there’s even a Youtube channel where some videos are expected to show up.
It was great to see some friends again, like Paulo Simões, Ana Dias, Ricardo Torres Kompen, Cristina Costa, Linda Castañeda, Gemma Ferrer, Luis Pedro and Carlos Santos – the kind of people you want to hang out with in a conference – along with many colleagues from Universidade Aberta.
I presented “O eLearning 2.0 na prática de uma unidade curricular de 2º ciclo”, which tries to depict what I and the students have been doing in “Materiais e Recursos para eLearning”. You can see the presentation below. For the full text of the article, click here.
Keynote-wise, it was a good balance between Helen Barrett and Graham Attwell. Helen Barrett is certainly the place to start if you are interested in eportfolios, given the extensive work she has been developing for years. There was nothing especially new but it was a good, solid presentation. Graham Attwell was as edupunk as ever, with a challenging presentation around deschooling and a strong presence from Dave Cormier‘s community as curriculum approach.
There were over 400 presentations spanning all sorts of topics, too much for any attempt at summarizing anything. I think the best is to browse the abstracts and go from there. However, I’d like to highlight two moments, for different reasons.
The symposium titled “LMS e PLE: fusão ou choque!” (Ana Dias, Carlos Santos, Luis Pedro, Cristina Costa, Luís Borges Gouveia, Paula Peres, Paulo Simões, Sofia Torrão) was a huge success. The room was too small for everyone who wanted to attend and the discussion was lively and productive. I guess a very important reason for this success was the Facebook page created roughly 2 months before the conference, where the discussion took off. It seems a very effective way to go when presenting at these events.
The presentation by Carlos Santos in the round table “As empresas tecnológicas e a Educação: que convergências?” was a big let down for me. Not because it wasn’t good (which it was) but because it revealed SapoCampus, a great project I have praised many times, is heading a very undesirable way, IMHO. I know how aggressive SAPO, TMN, PT and telecomunications companies are in general, but I guess I hoped they could resist something like this (which, turns out, was clearly wishful thinking). Terry Anderson has a recent post about Facebook that is somewhat related to the kind of issues that trouble me here. I still very much appreciate the project, which has received a deserved international recognition, and hope the best for Luis Pedro and Carlos Santos. Maybe in the current state of affairs, this is the price to pay if you want to develop projects that require heavy funding and means, but anyway I look at this I feel it is not (it cannot be) the right path in the partnerships between public universities and private companies.