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Josie Fraser :: Blog :: Emerge Online Conference April 2008: Digital Communities & Digital Identities

March 19, 2008

Registration is now open for our free, three day conference: Digital Communities and Digital Identities. Click through & take your project members with you! 

I’m delighted to announce the Emerge project’s next community event – a three day online conference looking at cutting edge developments and practice under the banner of ‘Digital Communities & Digital Identities’, taking place on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of April.

We have an exciting line up of planned activities and sessions, and online registration will open shortly. For now, please make sure that you have the dates marked in your calendar for what promises to be one of the most exciting educational technology conferences of 2008!

Each day will be opened with a project element focus – Appreciative Inquiry, Benefits Realisation, and User Engagement. Running across the whole event we have additional themes, mapped to community activity and interest areas. These are:

•    Social networking and collaborative learning practices
•    Multimedia, story telling and narrative  
•    Community building and network development
•    Web 2.0 for learning, creating and discovering

We have also scheduled flexible community slots to make sure the amazing projects and ideas that you are all involved in are featured during the three days. Scheduled across the event are opportunities for you to showcase your work and set the agenda for our community. These are:

•    1-2pm Wednesday 23 April (Appreciative Inquiry focus day)
•    3.30-4.30pm Wednesday 23 April
•    1-2pm Thursday 24 April (Benefits Realisation focus day)
•    11-12pm Friday 25 April (User Engagement focus day)

The Emerge events team will be on hand to support project members get the most out of this opportunity to run informative and creative synchronous sessions using an Elluminate platform. During the York event projects were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and to begin to make connections across the community, using the Wall of Fame exercise to think through the connections they currently had, and those they needed or wanted to develop. The community slots are designed to take this to the next stage and provide projects with a supported opportunity to work with each other to contribute to the online activities and produce appropriate resources.

What are the community slots for?

The community slots are for small teams made up of cross project and community members. There should be between two – four projects/groups/individuals participating in planning and delivering each one-hour slot.  This is to ensure that the sessions are collaborative, and cut across specific projects. 

Teams may wish to share their experiences and concerns about how they are engaging with their users or customizing the User Engagement approach. Concerns may exist at a number of levels. At the highest level, is the scope of User Engagement about right or is it, for example, too software development orientated? If you are a practice change project, how are you going about modifying it? How are you using the guide, for example as something to follow closely, or as a handbook of possible methods?  Other levels could address more strategic issues around the agile or co-design approach, or at even finer level, the experiences of using particular techniques suggested in the guide (e.g. using scenarios to define user needs).

How can teams most effectively use their time?

Projects and all members of the community are invited to contribute to the benefits realisation of the whole U&I Programme. Benefits realisation will support “project anchored, community led” activities that will synthesis new outputs, capacity build the community and promote take-up of project outputs. As well as the official launch of the Emerge Bazaar, we will be running a Dragon’s Den, which will be open from Monday 21 April to Friday 2 May. Following the community invitation for small benefits realisation projects members will be able to submit draft ideas to a Dragon’s Den and receive feedback and comments from the resident Dragons. Members may also arrange times to discuss project ideas with members of the Emerge Team – contact Paul Bailey at p dot bailey at btinternet dot com to arrange a time for discussion.

You might also want to consider using one of the Community Session slots to bring together a small group to discuss an idea for a small benefits realisation project.

However – this is community space and it’s really up to teams how to best make use of the time. It may be that teams just want to outline your current project, and share with the community where your aims and interests overlap with or feed into other project groups. Or teams may have a particular topic they want to raise for debate within the community, and know of other projects that share an interest.  The event themes focus on a range of technologies and practices – teams might want to use one of the themes as an anchor for their session.

How can people find out what other projects/community members are doing?

Check out the community list with links to the projects’ home pages on Emerge. If your team or project doesn’t have a home page yet, check out this worksheet on using the groups’ function to set out your stall.

How do I register for a community slot?

Contact me ASAP at josephine dot fraser at gmail dot com. Let me know:

•    who your team members are, their projects & institutions
•    title and brief description of your session including focus/theme fit 
•    Preferred slot/s, if any

You can also talk to me about how best to use the Elluminate platform and what additional support, if any, you might need.

Posted by Josie Fraser

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