In just over a week educators and technologists will be descending on Plymouth University to attend the newly rebranded Plymouth e-Learning conference PELeCON. I have taken on the role of managing the social media for the event, and with live streaming and social media discussions we are hoping to spread the conversation and debate well beyond those physically present at the event.
Our attendees will inherently be a connected bunch already, so we wanted to try some different things with the social media at the event. One of the most important parts of the academic side of the conference is the presentation of papers and ensuing peer review and discussion. A robust discussion brings benefits for all; the audience get to air their views and develop their thinking, speakers get their ideas tested and refinements suggested. To aid this process we have timetabled sessions with plenty of time for discussion, and posted all of the abstracts online with a commenting feature on the PELeCON website. This will allow capturing of points of view from the conference, but we are also encouraging those not attending to add their thoughts to get as much feedback as possible.
Back in October conference chair Steve Wheeler wrote of his interest in learning from failure, and this is something we intend to explore at PELeCON 12. Throughout the conference delegates will have the opportunity to enter our confession booth to confess their failures, and reflect on what they learnt from them. The booth will be linked to our YouTube channel, sharing their confessions in audio or full video with the world so that others might learn from them.
Similarly to the abstract comments, we invite people from across the world to confess their failures this April, tweet the link to our @PELeCON twitter account, and we will add them to our Failure Confessionals YouTube playlist. These will then be shared online, but also offline on screens at the event. Failing is one thing, but learning from it is the most important, so get onto YouTube and start sharing your failures and their consequent learning with us. Whether you choose to show your face or not is up to you, cover the camera if you want, the key is getting those failures out into the open so others can learn from them and you can move on.
Twitter backchannels and live streaming are well established elements at many conferences, and we want to push the use of social media beyond observation and discussion ‘behind the scenes’ to make a significant contribution to the offline event. Join us in commenting on abstracts, confessing your failures, and more opportunities to be announced around the event. For more follow @PELeCON on twitter, watch the #pelc12 hashtag, and keep and eye on the PELeCON blog.
Photo: foto_mania on Flickr
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