Sunday, May 17, 2009

CNIE 2009 Ottawa - Some Final Thoughts...

Well, CNIE 2009 in Ottawa has been over for a few days now and I'm home and back to work in Halifax. This post is just a few final thoughts on the conference and my experiences there, and some lessons learned and thoughts for the future.

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)
All in all a great week in the Nation's Capital - even had time to meet up with old friends - thanks again for supper Jason! Check him out, he's brilliant...


Choffman said...


My name is Chris Hoffman and I work with Westminster College's Bachelor of Business Administration. I just read that you saw a presentation about our competency-based program and I was hoping to get your thoughts.

BBA Westminster College

Ian H. MacLeod said...

Chris, I'm a huge believer in competency-based, project-based learning and am very impressed with your programme. I am a firm believer that it is the best way to deliver adult education - focussing on applied learning and evidence of what you can do...

You have a great programme at Westminster College