Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Naace Conference

It is a couple of weeks after the conference and I have not had the chance, until today, to start getting my blog up even close to being up to date. Now, sadly, I can’t even try pull together several half written posts to make them make sense :-)

The conference was held in the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool on the 16th - 18th March 2010.

This year’s conference was brilliant, a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring event. The conference centre itself was superb, the rooms lovely, swimming pool fine, food good etc. It was great that, once again, we were all in the same hotel, that brings so much more to the event, particularly to the social networking aspect! So many times in the past I have been chatting to a group of people and had to leave them to get the coach back to where we were staying, or left at the same time as colleagues so that we were not walking alone late at night.

In the main room there was a twitterfall wall used as a back channel; that added a whole new dimension to the event. Huge numbers of delegates had netbooks, notebooks or twitter capable mobile phones so the back channel was a rich source of information and discussion. Many of the presentations are available now at for Naace members, sadly not for others.

A new event added this year was a Teachmeet, sponsored by Vital and very enjoyable. We were treated to loads of 2 minute nano talks or 7 minute presentations on aspects of our work that is new, exciting, motivating or similar to inspire us all move forward in our ideas and ways of working.

During the exhibition many people agreed to provide us (Oxfordshire) with free access to their on-line resources so that we can hold an on-line resources fair through our learning platform in June and July. My next job is to organise that event!! Much of the entertainment was based around the launch of 2Simple’s Purple Mash and they hosted the first night party. Sat on my desk right beside me I still have my potato masher tied up in purple ribbon – not quite sure what to do with it now though :-)

Three of us decided that as we were in Blackpool there were two things we should do – take a tram ride and a trip up the tower for photos. The weather was glorious so we skipped lunch one day and charged down the promenade. The tram lines are all ripped up, being repaired or improved ready for the summer traffic and the tower only opens over the weekend out of season! We failed!

It was great however to meet up with many countrywide colleagues, some that we meet regularly in Second Life and some that we only see at big ICT events. I think we managed to persuade a few more to join us in Second Life and on Twitter!

As a really nice conclusion to the conference – I have since heard that I have become a Naace Fellow – not sure quite what that will mean yet but it is an honour :-) thanks Naace!

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