Tales from ReLIVE08

On way home from ReLIVE08 as I start this post…

It was a fantasticly enjoyable event, great to catch up with so many people I know and meet some new people involved in a range of exciting projects. Some of the sessions were broadcast online – and the first days broadcast sessions are now available here. My own session from the first day is here, where I talk about some of the issues we had in engaging the SLOODLE community with our research activity – time differences and other things making life a little complicated. OK, not the most exciting topic I’ll admit, but great powerpoint if I say so myself… see the virtual world as you’ve never seen it before.

Highlights were many, but I’ll briefly mention Kieron Sheehey’s presentation. A man who loves technology, but is obviously hated by technology. Sadly not available online. Day two I demo’ed SLOODLE again, which went surprisingly well for the larger group size.

In the afternoon I shared a panel with Paul Hollins & Anna Peachey, chaired by Sarah Robbins-Bell, on ‘Crossing the Digital Divide’ where we discussed a range of issues relating to virtual worlds and accessibility. Recognizing that there were many in the audience with more expertise than ourselves in many of the issues we wanted to discuss (Hello Simon & Rob!) we wisely made this an open discussion sessions with only a brief presentation to raise some issues. A Twitter feed for ‘backchat’ during the session worked very well. This was shown on-screen during the session and shared with the audience joining us online – partly inspired by Paul’s earlier observation that conference participants not on twitter were being excluded from many dialogues occuring in the background.

From where I sat it seemed that this use of Twitter helped keep the flow of conversation going and genuinely helped bring in more points of view and observations from the audience than otherwise would have been likely – so a point or question in Twitter made during someone elses question could be addressed later.

At the end of the session a straw poll revealed that most (not all!) of the audience thought it had added to the session. You can see the whole session here, and see the stream of twitters from the session here. At some point, the ‘Crossing the Digital Divide’ wiki page should be updated with a load more links, resources and notes. If you have anything you would like to add or insert, please do!

Some more notes later…

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