IT NORMALLY TAKES ME a week to distill significant moments arising from industry events so my writing about EdTech 09 when it's still underway in Dublin is not going to be as important as reflecting on the event a week from now. However, one thing needs to be underscored at the end of the first day: EdTech 09 marked the unexpected arrival of a vibrant online back channel during the event. I knew two people (Heather @hjames James and Kevin @kcor1964 O'Rourke) before the event began. As the first day of EdTech 09 unfolded, I discovered five more people in the venue who were tweeting. You can see this cross-talk by viewing a search screen on Twitter. I tried to meet all of the tweeple who were attending and wished there was a spontaneous tweet-up where we could shake hands and exchange 140 character pleasantries in person.
What was more interesting was the cross-talk on Twitter from people who did not attend EdTech 09. I counted 15 people who were using the #edtech09 tag while talking about delivering education more effectively. I'm going to make a journal entry on my edublog that reflects on the value of this cross-talk and on the necessity to accommodate the back channel during the next running of EdTech, tentatively set for May 2010 in Athlone.
Here are the tweeple I believe were in the house during EdTech 09:
hjames Heather James from IT Sligo.
ILTA tweets Irish Learning Technology Association group account.
kcor1964 Kevin O'Rourke from Dublin Institute of Technology.
NCIRL Emma Kytzia at the National College of Ireland.
sclater Niall Sclater from Open University.
sharonlflynn Sharon Flynn from National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).
smithtk Terry Smith from somewhere online.
topgold Bernie Goldbach from Tipperary Institute.
Besides those who were registered for Edtech 09, a few more people eavesdropped on conversations. Some came because they were monitoring Twitter for key phrases and others were friends of friends already on Twitter. I listened to cross-talk from these tweeple and I believe they were following on Twitter but not inside the house:
eam0 Eamon Costello from Dublin City University.
eingang Michelle Hoyle from London.
eirepreneur James Corbett from Limerick, Ireland.
fredherrera Fred Herrera from IADT Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
gconole Grainne Conole from Open University.
h1moodle Heinz Krettek from Germany.
higgsy1980 Andy Higgs from Reading, England.
iaianmacl Iain MacLaren from NUIG.
jdrumgoole Joe Drumgoole from Dublin.
keithdkennedy Keith Kennedy from Newcastlewest, County Limerick.
OEGCONFERENCES Serge Buttman from Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
marloft Mary Loftus from NUIG.
mattlingard Matt Lingard from London.
qhussain Qamir Hussain from Dublin.
regisbarondeau Régis Barondeau from Montreal.
The listing directly above is a direct reflection of internet social networking complementing a live event. It's important to know that the circle of readers is much broader than a mere 15 people who used the #edtech09 tag on Twitter today. In my case, more than 1800 people saw my tweets about the conference. Some sent me direct messages about the event, asking questions that I took to vendors. This is an important finding in the ten year history of the Irish Learning Technology Association.
I'm sure the list of followers will expand on the second day of EdTech 09 and that should mean at least 20 tweeple will attend EdTech 10 in the Athlone Institute of Technology next year. In the meantime, if you tweeted about #edtech09 and aren't on this post, please comment below.
Bonus Link: "Crossing Sean O'Casey's Bridge" at the end of the first day of EdTech09.