Hi, it has been a few days since the 2012 Plymouth Enhanced Learning Conference (PELeCON), just enough time for all of that information to sink in a properly reflect the goings on for the day that I attended and presented on my KINECT Generations project.
I was lucky enough to attend this event last year and was even luckier this year to present at the conference. The conference was open by Steve Wheeler who welcomed everyoneand introduced Alec Couros who gave a fascinating talk on a project where his students created all of the resources for. I also liked his “Learning Project” this is where his students decided to just pick something they could not do and learn how to do it. It seems really simple but very effective; it got me wondering about how often we as teachers over complicate something when a simple solution can be found.
After the break it was my turn to present! A few months back I was on a train returning home from the 2012 BETT show after presenting on the Microsoft stand showing off the KINECT and KODU. Whilst on the train I was talking to my good friend Dan Roberts about how I should present at PELeCON if my paper got accepted, I decided that if my paper did get accepted I would present only using the KINECT and not touching the laptop. This didn’t seem to be so much of a risk at the time until I was actually in the lecture theatre setting up. The idea was to use hand gesture to navigate the presentation. Thankfully it worked and was very well received. A copy of my presentation can be found below; I have had to take out the videos as they were too big for slide share to handle.
Another highlight for me was to attend Helen Keegan’s talk on how she used an Alternate Reality Game to run a module at her University. The game was totally immersive and was based around a character called Rufi Franzen. Rufi would contact students via YouTube and leave them clues by remixing Steve Jobs speeches. The students where very unsure at first but then decided to answer Rufi back using similar responses. Eventually the students where directed to the town centre of Manchester. The students believed that they would find out who Rufi Franzen was what they found was their work displayed on the big screen. They loved it, and couldn’t believe that they had been part of a game for the entire module. It was all very clever and the students really enjoyed taking part.
I had an excellent time at the conference and was very pleased that my presentation was very well received. If you get chance to go to next year conference I would whole heartedly recommend it.
As I am finishing writing this I am expecting a Skype call about a webinar I will be conducting very soon on the use of “Skype in the classroom” so watch this space for an update and details of how you can tune in.
Till next time.