Keynotes Schedule Get Help or
WiAOC 2005

WiAOC 2007: Webheads in Action Online Convergence

May 18-20, 2007

Conversations on Networking, Education,
Communities, and Technology

Keynote Speakers

 Stephen Downes     George Siemens

 Etienne Wenger     Robin Good

Barbara Ganley     Teemu Leinonen     Leigh Blackall

Friday May 18, 00:00 GMT:
Leigh Blackall

Standing on a mountain peak, on a clear day, wearing a rose coloured ski mask:

Abstract: Forthcoming I would like to share my plan for climbing a mountain called Networked learning within an educational institution. It involves the use of wikis, blogs and RSS, but also the library, open educational resources, a new copyright policy, mass digitisation and file serving, and getting the sponsors on board.

Climbing up a mountain is easy when compared to climbing down from a mountain. Climbing down is almost always pressed for time, is fraught with more risk and exposure, dislodges rocks and ice down onto you rather than away from you, and is considerably more of a challenge to find the right way down when the path expands rather than narrows. Such was my experience the other week on the Talbot/McPherson range, and such is my experience in trying to implement the clear and rose coloured view of networked learning into institutionalised and formal learning practices. (Any advice from those who have climbed this puppy before me, or any one who has alternative routes in mind would be greatly appreciated. )

Delivery technology:: Leigh plans to Skypecast supported by slides stored at Flickr
Article in progress: Open educational resources and practices

Friday May 18, 20:00 GMT:
Etienne Wenger
Communities of practice in an interconnected world: New geographies of knowledge and identity

:Abstract: Forthcoming - Etienne will present in conversation with Susanne Nyrop

Delivery technology:: Etienne will teleconference with Susanne Nyrop and broadcast via Skype
With Slides on Flickr:

Saturday May 19, 00:00 GMT:
Barbara Ganley

Border Crossings and Contact Zones: Transformative Learning with Social Software across (Traditional) Educational Settings :

Abstract: Out in the edublogosphere, we hear a good deal about visioning and experimenting with new worlds of education: dynamic, inclusive, connected, networked student-centered learning. But what about the realities facing teachers and students in traditional educational settings? How might we transform our teaching and learning landscapes now even within the rigid requirements of syllabus and standards, helping learners develop as creative, collaborative and critical thinkers as well as attending to a range of literacies both traditional and emerging? How can we erase the participatory gaps within our classrooms? How do we teachers lift our hands and heads from the controls of the classroom? How do we return to a place where learning is about glorious failures, and not every one has to learn every thing? In this talk I will explore ways in which integrating social software deep into the learning landscape can shift the learning and social dynamics, blur the boundaries between classroom and real-world learning, and put learning's responsibility squarely in the hands of the learner--all while making our roles as leader-mentors more rewarding, exciting, and effective.

Delivery technology:: LearningTimes: Elluminate

Saturday May 19, noon GMT:
George Siemens

Connections and Conversations: What happens to content?:

Abstract: Education systems are continually presented with new theories, philosophies, and suggested practices. Many arise for a few moments of fame, and then pass into obscurity – a footnote in the many failed experiments in learning. What are we to make of our current educational climate? Blogs, wikis, podcasts, co-creation, content aggregation, global conversations? These trends – now over five years in development – ride on larger trends evidenced in technology, business, and society. When our teaching and learning shift to connections and conversations, what happens to content? This session will explore the implications of the informalization of learning and education, suggesting approaches to capture the best of emerging trends, while maintaining the best of what currently exists.

Other Links: /

Saturday May 19, 18:00 GMT:
Teemu Leinonen

Beyond blogs and wikis: What about getting together and building some meaning? :

Abstract: Forthcoming

Abstract:When thinking about new technology in teaching and learning we should more often ask the question what is important for most people? According to radical design thinker Victor Papanek, people really need such things as: peace, clear air and water, housing, food, clothing, transport, freedom and equality, dignity, participation of making goals for society and one self, activity with meaning, children and knowledge that the children have everything they really need and will have children of their own. From the Papanek's list we may consider "activity with meaning" as a synonym of good learning and teaching. Brazilian educator Paulo Freire made a difference between "banking education" and "problem- posing education". In the first someone is trying to tell people what they should do and how, when the later one is asking people to define problems in their everyday life and join with other people to solve them. Problem-posing education does not only require dialogue among the people, but teaching of each other, co- investigation and joint responsibility of the process. According to David Bohn dialogue aims to reach a shared meaning, which is the glue that holds people and societies together. In my talk I am asking how well so called Web 2.0 and social software are supporting human activity with meaning, problem-posing education and real dialogue. Can we go beyond blogs, wikis, PLE's and "buddy lists"?

Saturday May 19, 19:00 GMT:
Robin Good

Collaboration Tools for Everyone :

Abstract: As real-time collaboration tools get out of their pioneering phase, they increase and diversify themselves across many different uses and applications, while becoming more accessible and cost-effective. Educators and non-technical users are increasingly interested in weeding out the good from the bad, the accessible from the complex and the highly-cost-effective solutions from the expensive ones. In true "Sharewood" spirit, Robin Good guides you in this session into looking at the state of the art of such real-time collaboration tools with a particular eye towards helping you make more sense of the different categories such tools belong to and identifying those that may best fit your bill.

Delivery technology:: Changed to
Participants also need to go to
Register there and then go to the show URL: (unfortunately there is now a Connection Error: Episode does not exist - too bad, it was classic!)

Sunday May 20, 14:00 GMT:
Stephen Downes

Personal Learning the Web 2.0 Way :

Abstract: Much of the initial development in online learning has been directed toward the idea of intelligent tutoring. The idea was that the computer would teach and the student would learn. This application of artificial intelligence parallels the development of artificial intelligence in the world of computer science. The 'Learning Design' approach used in learning Management Systems emulates in form and in function Newell and Simon's General Problem Solver and other Expert System approaches to AI. But in the 35 year history of Expert Systems we never came close to real artificial intelligence. The real development in computer science was the network, and in particular, people talking to people. That is why the e-learning in what has come to be called Web 2.0 has adopted an approach known generally as the Personal Learning Environment. Rather than attempting to have a computer teach a student, the purpose of the PLE is to connect a student with a network of teachers, other students, and resources. Through a process of discovery and filtering, the combined resources of the web can be brought to bear to provide personalized - and human - support for a student's personal learning.

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January 14, 2007

Last updated:June 8, 2007