First, let me say that CNIE was a great conference for me - with it's focus on innovations in education it was right where I wanted to be, talking to a lot of like-minded people doing some amazing things with education, teaching and learning, and learning technology. Along with my collegue and friend Carolyn (Randommind), we gave our first presentation at a national conference and it went extremely well - I will be presenting at conferences again (in fact I cannot see myself going to a conference in teh future without presenting - it just adds so much richness to the experience. I plan on attending future CNIE conferences - CNIE 2010 is in St. John NB, a car drive away for me.
I plan on talking to the leadership at NSCC about becoming a member of CNIE - I think it is an organization that is in line with a lot of the things we are trying to do, particularly with blended and online delivery of learning.
The other major activity I engaged in at CNIE 2009 was tweeting the conference. The sense of immediacy and community that I got from twittering "live and in real-time" added so much to the conference plus I got to meet some amazing people who were doing exactly the same. I am truly and completely sold on Twitter now as a teaching and learning tool and I see all sorts of application for it in both face to face classroom and alternate deliveries (I think it would be very cool to add a Twitter stream to an online course - I feel another post coming on...). I certainlly plan on continuing to Twitter at future conferences and events...
Ottawa is a great city for a conference, and the Chateau Laurier is an amazing and elegant hotel, but holding CNIE 2009 in a hotel that basically had no wireless network and inconsistent Internet connectivity was a mistake. I can't remember the last time I used a network cable in a hotel room - it's been a while. If the Chateau Laurier is going to continue to host tech conferences, it needs a reliable wireless network throughout the hotel. I know this might not be that easy in such and old and well-built edifice, but at $13.95 a night for Internet service, cost should not be a factor (hint - join the Fairmont President's Club like I did and the Internet is free).
For me the following were the highlights of CNIE 2009:
- Presenting at the conference
- Twittering the conference
- George Siemen's keynote
- The Westminster College presentation on project based learning and competency-based assessment
- My NSCC Colleague's presentation on the Chemo Prep programme
- The Red Deer College Presentation on redesigning computer learning
- being there with my NSCC colleagues and meeting a lot of mazing educators doing some very innovative stuff (and stuff is a technical term)