IADIS 2011 mobile learning: the meta takeaways

This conference wasn’t big, nor full of headlining Big Names In The Field.  It’s been a while since I’ve haven’t been to a conference where Big Names filled the rooms and where presenters, having travelled from afar, were feasted on like leftovers.  I have to say that this is one of the things I appreciated the most about this conference, where every session I attended drew equal amounts of participants and everybody seemed to be on a level playing field in terms of what they had to offer.  The attendance was incredibly globally diverse, and I couldn’t get enough of the diversity of contexts that we work in ranging from “our institution had an iPod program” to “in my country no institution has a hope in hell of having an iWhatever program, so what advice do you have for me?”  It was one of the few conferences where at least one presenter didn’t have to be dragged off the stage because they were overtime but still had 10 critical slides left, and where every question and answer session was fairly engaging.  I had expected a little more display of flashy gadgetry, but again, the mobile learning problems that presenters focussed on were real, and not really about the “look what we are doing with all our toys” variety.  So my biggest takeaway is that stepping outside of your usual conference circuit and into the smaller, less headliner sphere can be really rewarding.  And definitely for a topic like mobile learning, there is perhaps more to be learned from developing countries than from countries where gadgets know no boundaries.

Avila, Spain

One Comment

  • Lori

    Sounds like a conference I would attend. I love it when everyone plays a fair game of sharing and discussing for possibilities to improve future practice.

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