Day 16 - Vancouver BC

2nd day of STLHE conference - a lucky Friday 13!

well, dragged myself out of bed at 7am to go to the first session at 7.45. This was a bit different - what is called a 'walk and talk' - instead of a presentation inside, you stroll around in a group with a facilitator who initiates conversation on a topic. The one I was interested in was called 'Do your kneecaps learn: Awakening our cellular memory through the teaching learning contract". (yea - real flaky eh? just up my alley!) Anyway, to motivate people to actually go to these things they have a 'door prize' draw - just like picking a luck number out of the hat - and I won!! I mean, I NEVER win these things. So I got a free conference T-shirt. Neat eh? - on Friday 13 as well.

As it turned out the walk and talk was really worthwhile - I connected with the presenter Leslie Robinson who teaches at the Uinversity of Victoria which is on Vancouver Island just across the bay - about ecology, Capra, embodied learning - she has just done a phd on all this flaky stuff. The next session - in keeping with the off-the-wall theme, was 'The jazz of teaching: transforming the classroom through music synthesis and improvisation'. This was also really amazing. The presenters were lecturers at the Berklee College of Music in Boston - perhaps the most prestigious schools of jazz in the world. It started with one of the team on a Mac G4 powerbook, who handed out a list of artists like the Bee Gees, Tchaikovsky, Buffalo Springfield, etc. He then took 2 names at random from the audience, and mixed the songs together on the computer - can you imagine Tchaikovsky mixed with the Bee Gees? The point was to get us thinking and working on ways of combining out academic disciplines in new and creative ways - we did a group task on interdisciplinary teaching which was really neat. After that I went to a session on 'Blended learning' (continuing the jazz theme) - by the guy who I told you about Mands whose book I had just bought on 'E-learning in the 21st Century'. We had a good talk afterwards about deep and surface learning in relation to elearning - so everything was pointing towards a good session for my own presentation.

Which it turned out to be. I had 17 participants - there were 23 concurrent sessions and some were only getting 2 - so I felt heartened by the turnout. I was energetic and there was a good buzz and interaction, and good feedback on the evals afterwards (which you get straight away). So a really inspiring day academically.

And have also found a place to watch the All Blacks play tonight - at a sports bar in Stanley Park. So I am going with Kathryn (the other kiwi here) and my Canadian roomate called Chris who is into rugby (his 17yr old daughter plays it - and Canada are in the World Cup). Only bummer is it is a 12 midnight kickoff - but hey - I've had a good week and am going to party a bit before I get on the next flight tomorrow night.

Posted: Fri - June 13, 2003 at 09:04 PM   Stan's Travel Blog    

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