Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DEANZ 2008 - Te Papa Tongarewa

Tēnā koutou katoa - Greetings to you all
DEANZ - The Distance Education Association of New ZealandDEANZ 2008 Forum
above forum - Hon. Steve Maharey, Mike Hollings CEO TCS, Dr Paul Grimwood
below forum - Nancy White rallying enthusiasm from interested participants

The DEANZ Conference 2008 at The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, was certainly the place to be this week!
There was much happening here over the three days – 18 to 20 August my head’s full!

Here's my (very!) brief note on my recollections of some of the keynote speakers:

Emergent technologies and chocolate

Nancy White (alias Choconancy1), Full Circle associates, was simply spectacular both as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator extraordinaire! Where does she get her energy from? Chocolate of course! Her keynote, bridging together the needs and perspectives of a diverse set of people, brought into focus the bridge between the hype and hustle of emerging technologies and the people who use them.

Nancy's afternoon workshop, “Designing for Online Communities: Thinking about the Social and Technical Design” had as much of her wit and energy as her keynote, with an additional bonus of a munch or few of chocolate on the side. Simply delicious if not ubiquitous, Nancy kept a low profile in between her talks, photographing and sketching her art while listening to other workshops and keynotes.

She reappeared in virtual disguise during Clare Atkins’ session about Koru,
and Second Life online 3D virtual world, on Wednesday morning.

Myths and reality

Michael Barbour, originally from Newfoundland, handed on to us, among many things, the revealing evidence that was not exactly in support of the debatable digital native - digital immigrant theory. His keynote on Today's Student and Virtual Schooling: The Reality, The Challenges, The Promise . . . illuminated what is real and what are myths created by the media.

Lifting the lid on achievement

A young and scintillating
Marcus Akuhata-Brown closed the conference with an almost tear-jerking keynote on lifting the glass barriers to achievement. His speech, based entirely on his life history, from childhood to meeting His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, was nothing short of a masterpiece of wit blended with the heart-rending reality of the life and needs of youth at risk.

Ka kite anō - Catch ya later

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