Warm Feelings From Megaconference

Did you participate in Megaconference yesterday? Did you stay the whole time? Did you get up early to see the presentations from Asia? What a treat of dance and music from the Chinese Academy of Sciences! First thing in the morning (EST) and then at the end of Megaconference last night (EST). The ending performance from Beijing, “The Greeting From Heart,” by the Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe was exquisite. One of the dances created a heart to share with the world.

Yes, there is incredible value in taking time beyond your usual schedule to connect to countries around the world. The Chinese message and theme of “Peace +Friendship +Harmoniousness +Advancement” came through strong and clear. Yes, we CAN feel connected and together even though we are geographically far away.

Leaving my office in the snow & cold last night, I had a feeling of awe and community. How close we are to each other. How much we can learn from each other. “The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.” Nothing compares to signing that song in a funny echoing round with 26 MCUs cascaded together! If you haven’t stuck around for the closing ceremonies of Megaconference before, plan your schedule so you can next year.

0 replies on “Warm Feelings From Megaconference”

  1. Janine,

    Your recap of yesterday’s Megaconference captured the essence of the experience so well. Although obligations pulled me away before the end, I can affirm that, “Yes, we CAN feel connected and together even though we are geographically far away.” I feel privileged to have been able to experience in person a performance by the Disabled people’s Performing Art Troupe—truly a moving experience and one I’m glad to hear they shared around the world.

  2. What’s next for Megaconference?

    Yes let’s celebrate the technical achievement and the list of sites
    connected. Like Ruth Blankenbaker I didn’t watch the whole event, I
    looked in from 8:00pm UK time to the end. I continued to watch because I was interested to see some great conferences. Although I saw some great presentations I did not really see any great interactive conferences.

    When I’m trying to persuade teachers – and I mean PERSUADE teachers
    working hard in their classrooms, they are not naturally excited by the thought of an additional resource UNLESS it does two important things: 1. Does it add value to teaching and learning? 2. Do you achieve something that cannot be achieved in any other way?

    So let’s put that simple test to Megaconference. The first, based on what I saw I would give a very cautious yes, but I want to see more
    interaction and discussion. Secondly, I could not really see why I needed to spend hours watching back to back presentations. Without live interactive content, would it not be better to get all the presenters to video, edit and present themselves as a podcast, to be watched at a time convenient to myself or yourself?

    My verdict:

    Congratulations on a great technical logistic achievement. Now I would like to see discussion, debate and an ability to interact and collaborate with pupils, to move towards understanding what its like in Taiwan or Australia or Europe.

    I tell my teachers and students that videoconferencing is the resource that will change the world. As educators we have a duty to make that happen.
    If Megaconference and Megaconference Jnr are one of the leading activities then I think its time to raise the game.

    Global-Leap/ Videoconferencing in the Classroom Teachers Association
    Supporting, Delivering and Extending Content and Promoting Interactive
    Communication Technology to add value to teaching and learning across
    the curriculum around the world.
    Global-Leap/ Videoconferencing in the Classroom Teachers Association is
    a Not-for-Profit organisation funded by UK member subscriptions.

    The Global-Leap.org website is a resource for teachers and part of the
    “Videoconferencing in the Classroom Project” which received funding from
    the DfES between 2001- 2004, and from BECTa during 2004-2005.

    Telephone Number: +44 (0)20 8866 6036. Call to arrange a face to face
    test. Lessons and Testing on request, School partners and International
    Links, Museums and Galleries.

    Global Leap Automated Videoconference Test Facility ISDN +44 (0) 20 8426
    IP Automated Test (recommended 128K).

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