I HAD A PARENT'S VIEW ON SATURDAY, May 15, 2021, watching the virtual ICT in Education Conference unfold. I spotted three things as a parent, an educator, and an organiser.
The Student Voice Was First
As in previous ICT in Education Conferences, voices of students were given centre stage. I watched 13yo Mia (below at our kitchen table) present her perspective of how virtual teaching and learning worked for her during the 2020-2021 COVID lockdown. Mia offered her secondary school viewpoint along with Sam who explained how things were for a primary school student.
Two of Mia's observations reverberated in the Twitterverse.
- "The timetable was shortened online".
- It's easier to listen to live sessions instead of pre-recorded ones because you can put off watching the videos and then you have to try to catch up later.
Teachers Kept Things Simple
Many of the talks were easy for Dylan (9) to follow. He unexpectedly watched more than six hours of the 2021 ICT in Education Conference. During the morning panel discussion, he decided he wanted to interview one of the teachers. When Ailbhe Forde agreed to meet up with Dylan in a side conversation, he jumped right in with questions and proved his motivation as a Youth Media Team cub reporter.
Dylan wanted to know how Ailbhe got interested in ICT, whether she prefers Zoom or Teams, and he wanted to know how she uses some Microsoft software to teach reading to her third class students.
Easy Hyperlinks to Schedule Helps
The virtual conference moved between a panel discussion, break-out sessions, casual chats, and guest speeches. Having a schedule with hyperlinks helped keep people in the correct place throughout the day.
The conference was hosted inside Microsoft Teams. It appears that some people who wanted to attend but who did not register ahead of time couldn't tap into the events on their phones. We're looking at how to overcome that snag when running future events.
I believe the 2022 ICT in Education Conference will offer a hybrid experience for people because in May 2022, the First Communion Weekends will return and that will affect the ability of some teachers to travel to Thurles for a traditional conference away. If you watched the virtual ICT in Education Conference and want to leave your feedback, watch your email for a short survey that asks your opinion on the structure and content of the event.