Conference season is in full swing. As we go out and learn, share and contribute to our shared knowledge of our chosen fields of endeavour – it is important to think of and include indigenous people of the lands upon which we meet.

Why? Well, whether you believe the lands upon which you meet are stolen, occupied or rightfully taken — acknowledging an indigenous history at minimum shows respect and understanding that there is a past with which we need to work in order to move towards the future. Problems don’t disappear because we ignore them – when we ignore problems, they fester. It is not divisive to apologise or acknowledge past hurts, it is a healing gesture that takes courage and honesty.

So, if you are presenting in a country where the lands were taken from those who once were caretakers, consider researching who those people were and acknowledging them.

This video from the University of South Australia presents a good format for doing so:

31. January 2012 · Comments Off on Lifelong learning and information literacy · Categories: My personal learning journey, Presentations, Technologies

Information literacy is a human right, according to the Australian Library and Information Association. I found this incredibly moving and inspirational fact out while researching a presentation on lifelong learning.

It is obvious to me that information literacy underpins lifelong learning — and that digital literacy skills are essential to both.

One of the learners at a session I gave yesterday asked me “Where do you find the time to learn?”

I replied what I always reply to this:  Learning and professional development are not selfish acts.  As a professional, you have a responsibility to your organisation and the people whom you serve (clients of Family Dispute Resolution services in this person’s case) to progress your knowledge of not only your field of study, but the environment in which you and your clients/students live and work and the technologies that are shaping our society.

I am fortunate to work for an organisation that actually makes it a KPI of  my job description that I progress my learning and are happy for me to block time out each week on company time to do so.

There is an old chestnut that holds true:  To any manager or business owner that asks “What if I train my staff and they leave?” the best reply is “What if your staff remain untrained and ignorant and they STAY?” 

My presentation is embedded below. To view it full screen, click on the arrow facing right/play button, wait for it to load and then hover over the word ‘More’.

05. August 2011 · Comments Off on Mark Smithers on why lecture capturing is a woeful use of technology · Categories: Issues, My personal learning journey, Presentations, Technologies

I wish I could add something pithy to this – but when someone makes the point so very, very well – all you can do is point others to it.

Being me and unable to NOT state an opinion, I will preface this link as follows:

As an online student who had to sit through hours of crappy video of somebody lecturing in front of a white board I can’t see clearly – lemme tell you something: watching video lectures is BORING AS HELL. It added little to the learning experience – especially considering there was no assignment following it that allowed me to apply the knowledge.

NOTE TO SELF AND OTHER PRESENTERS: Unless you can juggle or do magic tricks like Jonathan Finkelstein, or you create instructive works of art as you talk like Nancy White – YOU JUST AREN’T THAT EXCITING TO WATCH

Thanks to Kerrie Smith, writer of You are Never Alone for bringing Mark Smithers’ post to my attention via her daily Twitter roundup!

Had a really frustrating experience at a conference in Second Life today but am grateful for it due to the thinking it has stirred.

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no, but you are MY STUPID HUSBAND

"no, but you are MY STUPID HUSBAND" CC (by) nayrb7

The session was about social networks and viral systems (no, not going to name the conference or the session or presenter, this isn’t about dissing).  Because viral content spreads across channels, my first question was – what’s the tag for this session?  The presenter told me to ask a conference organiser.  The organiser said there was no tag.  Okay, some people don’t think of this stuff – but in a session on viral marketing, gotta say I expected it.

The lecture progressed on interactivity and social networking and the instructor failed to engage with the text chat in a constructive way.

Some people in the audience complained that the text chat was distracting them and was blocking the powerpoint on effective interaction.

If you’re not laughing yet — let me explain why this is sadly funny:

  • A session on interaction where interaction is discouraged and/or dismissed
  • A session dealing with social networking that did not allow for cross-channel seeding via tags
  • A session on social networking that compared Facebook and Second Life — two completely different tools – and made judgement calls because one was not like the other.
  • People attending a session on social networking who don’t like it happening and find it distracting
  • A session on social networks and viral marketing where avatars sat in chairs, faced front and the presenter did not build in any time for interaction and social networking

What if we’d gone to this session on social networking and he’d removed all the chairs and replaced them with rings or platforms with different keywords or interests and asked us to pick one, meet three people, move to two others?

What if he’d canvassed a wider variety of social networking tools, explained there are horses for courses, asked how we used them?

What if he threw out his opinion or findings or whatever they were that Second Life is NOT a valid social network because 1 million people can’t be on at once and we can’t use our real names and asked us to challenge it?

Finally, what if he’d been using a social networking tool during his lecture and invited us to interact with him there as well as in SL?

The thought process this irritation set in motion sort of hooks into a blog post I wrote a while back about people at a tech conference complaining about others who were Tweeting.

There are multiple tools available to us all – for group learning, collaboration, communication.  Viral communication works best when it’s organic.  And as different people are drawn to different tools or communications channels — communications jumps channels. I find out about great YouTube videos via Twitter.  I find out about great web sites via, or Second Life, or Twitter, or Flickr or Diigo. I can start a conversation in Twitter and it will end up in Second Life or Skype.

And it’s easy to find conversations when they are tagged with keywords that would stir my interest or that are unique and shared across networks.

In creating learning modules and sessions on interaction, communication, collaboration, engaging learners — in short, all the faboo ways teaching and learning is being transformed — shouldn’t we ensure that we model those teaching and learning practices in our modules and sessions???

At two other sessions today, presenters standing in front of rows of avatars while standing on stages said we have to get rid of the sage on the stage mentality. *sigh*

Anyone – care to design a conference where PowerPoint, whiteboards, chalkboards, flip boards, butcher’s paper, videos, stages and seating that faces in one direction are outlawed?  Where there are NO presenters or presentations – but facilitators in the truest sense of the word? We could do it in Second Life — I can get us some free space.  We could do simultaneous sessions in Skype.  Maybe Elluminate.

It CAN be done.  It doesn’t mean anarchy.  I worked with Jo Kay and the Jokaydians last year to lead educators through tours of Second Life that taught them a helluva lot more than any PowerPoint could have. Jo shows, tells and offers opportunities to get hands one.  A role model.

Frankie Forsyth of Pelion Consulting, a consutlant from Tasmania, facilitated sessions for educators that drew information out of the participants in a structured way to achieve a common goal using an online classroom. She introduces research summaries, has questions where participants write out free form replies and then presents all the answers given and leads discussion.  She’s another of my role models. Because she takes it out of theory and puts it into practice.

I attended an Elluminate session on Friday sponsored by Edublogs on how to engage audiences using interactive tools and guess what? The presenter used interactive tools and we interacted and fed back what we thought and how we could use those techniques in our own sessions! Wow! Another role model!

So — are you a role model?

Image license is CC (by) –

09. November 2008 · Comments Off on Second Life sessions for EDayz08 · Categories: My personal learning journey, Presentations, Second Life · Tags: , , , , ,

The countdown is on to South Australia’s EDayz and I’ve been working up the in-world sessions for the people coming to my Second Life sessions.

On Wednesday night, we’re going to do a nuts and bolts session on the basics — how to walk, talk, teleport and interact with objects.

That’s taking place at the learning loft I’ve built on my Plot 13 sim.

To get there:

Keep your web browser open to this post.

Open Second Life and connect/log in.

Return to this blog post in your still-open browser and click on this link: Plot13 Jokaydia.

It will open up a web page.

Click on the orange “Teleport Now” button (see image above).

Go back to Second Life — a teleport window should have opened.

Click on the Teleport link (circled in red at left).

Having problems with the SLURL?

Check that you’re logged into Second Life and have fully connected.

If you’re still having problems, you can contact my avatar in Second Life and send an instant message.

My avatar’s name is Pandora Kurrajong.

To send me an instant message:

  • Go to the edit menu in Second Life
  • Click on Search
  • Type my avatar’s name into the search: Pandora Kurrajong
  • View my Profile
  • Click on the “Send Instant Message” button
  • Type a message indicating that you’re having problems
  • Click send

I’ll send you a Teleport to where I am.  This will pop up in the top right hand corner of your screen.