Created by Ruth Elliott

Welcome! Join me as I reflect on my learning journey with Web 2.0 tools. I'm sure I will find bandwagons to jump on along the way. Let's enjoy the trip.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Social Technology in Education Conference #steconf

This morning I noticed that there is a Social Technology in Education Conference (#steconf) taking place at Harvard University. It is overlapping with the Open Education Conference (#opened09) in Vancouver. I discovered this SlideShare presentation from the conference titled A Survey of Social Tools by Ed Lyons.

I would love to listen to the livestream recording of Ed Lyons. I don't know yet if there is one. At the moment, it seems ironic to me that #opened09 seems so open to the entire online world with live streaming video of each session and mechanisms for online feedback to sessions while #steconf appears to be holding a private conversation in which only the people present at Harvard are invited to listen and talk.

So I have done a little searching on the internet for this conference. I still can't find out how much it cost the 200 + people to attend this one day conference. It seems that Ed Lyons has (maybe) organized the entire thing. Here is a link for the day's schedule.

At first I was disappointed that I could find no livestreaming video coming from this conference. However when I see that it is one man's vision to get 250 people together in one room to listen to speakers for 30 minutes at a time, I can see he may be a man after my own heart--someone who makes things happen, maybe with a small budget. I believe that the SlideShare presentations from each talk may be available. I notice that Ed Lyons is the second speaker. His second SlideShare presentation is already available for download. (

I still wish that this conference day was live streamed and open for all of us to listen in and interact with those in attendance. At first I saw that this may be an issue of elitism (after all it is being held at Harvard) and exclusion. However, now I am taking a kinder view. That there may be an issue of lack of resources. As well, I believe that the way of holding conferences around technology is in transition. In the past, if you were putting on a conference with room for 250 and 250 showed up, that conference would be a success. However, now there are greater expectations for conferences. Especially in the technology realm, the most influential conferences fling the doors wide open so that the world can participate. I know that some people far away from the Vancouver time zone have been losing sleep this week trying to keep up with the live streaming video from the Open Education conference there (#opened09). The conference at Harvard today will impact those 250 people in the room with some dribbles of information and SlideShare presentations trickling out to the rest of us.

So thanks Ed Lyons and whoever worked with you to put on this conference. I don't want to come down too hard on you. But next time, all you technology conference organizers, could you please include a live stream feed so that the world wide web can be just that.
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  1. Given infinite time & resources, it would have been video'ed. It was the next project on Ed's list, but he just ran out of bandwidth. Regarding cost- it's entirely free, and aside from the venue is a pretty no-frills setup.

    -josh sheldon

  2. Josh,

    Thanks for the feedback. When you hear that a conference is being held at Harvard you tend to think elitism and exclusion of the common folk. It's great to know that it is free. I'm sure that people in attendance will get the word out to the rest of us.

    Is it mainly educators in attendance? Are you there?