TeachMeets and OggCamps: a noob at the unconference

TeachMeet is new territory for me. So too is the OggCamp. Both are unconference events that encourage leadership and participation from the attending crowd. Thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve been to an ‘unconference’ before, although I’ve wanted to facilitate an event like this and perhaps not yet been confident enough to do so!.

I am hoping to go along to the next in my area at Winchester this month. Teach meets are all about getting teachers together to share their good practices. The idea isn’t that the event is focused upon technology, but I’m hoping to hear from some teaching staff who have had particular successes in the application of technology, with a view to informing some of the decisions we make about the development of ILT. Of particular interest to me are two areas.

Firstly, how are staff incorporating new hardware and software with their practice, and what do they regard as being the key steps toward success? The recipe for swift and comprehensive adoption of new technology is sometimes elusive, and whilst pockets of success are often easy to achieve, embedding throughout the curriculum is far more challenging.

Secondly, I’m keen to understand about how attitudes toward technology within other organisations may be changing. As we move through a period of rapid change, it is my belief that in order for our provision of technology to support the curriculum, things must change. Reading Elliot Masies’ post about second screens got me thinking a little where he suggests that the organisational firewall could become more porous. This might be a controversial suggestion to make to any network administrator. However, as it becomes more the case that our learners will demand more open access to a broader ranger of services while utilising our bandwidth, we need to come to terms with a change like this being more likely, or even necessary. Considered in conjunction with the second screen – a device owned and managed by the learner – there is great potential for us to move beyond our current position.

OggCamp is also something I’ve not experienced, but have heard a little about it from the likes of @tonywhitmore. I have registered to attend the summer meeting nearby in Farnham this summer. Before the event arrives, I’ll need to think about what I want to achieve. Since I’m less technical than I used to be, I don’t really expect to be getting stuck into any really deep discussions about Linux or open source coding. However, I hope there will be enough interest from others to talk about the place of open source in the enterprise, how we reached this position, and what is required form us as community members to maintain our successes.