Sunday, 16 October 2011

Attending a Conference... in my Pyjamas!

Yesterday, I attended a three hour conference with Dr. Gordon Neufeld in my pyjamas. I was able to get up and use the washroom when I wanted without disturbing others, get myself a fresh cup of tea, and make my bed and unload the dishwasher during the break! I didn’t have to worry about finding parking and taking the extra time to commute into the city. I felt connected to Dr. Neufeld and that my presence was acknowledged and valued.

This was accomplished through Adobe Connect, which allows the presenter to use Skype to be seen and heard by the participants. It also allowed Dr. Neufeld to include slides for us to follow along as he talked, and a lively discussion to take place throughout the presentation.  Participants were able to ask questions through a chat box and could indicate if they wanted their audio turned on to enable a voice discussion. 

I am continually intrigued by the power of technology in our lives. As both a school principal and a counselor in private practice, I am intrigued by how we might apply this power to learning and counselling. I wonder what it would take to enable this system to operate in our schools? We could hold live meetings without having to leave our buildings, parents could attend daytime PAC meetings from home or work, principals and teachers could hold video conferences with parents to discuss student learning. The applications are endless! The opportunities for learning boundless. What exciting times we live in!

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