Friday, July 10, 2009

What is it with conferences

So here I am sitting in a conference and spending the time updating my blog, my Facebook page, my Twitter, and even re-arranging my hard drive - while up in front a sequence of pretentious people are READING out loud a lot of pompous generalisations that they are presenting as science.
Moreover, not only do they read in boring monotone, they also stumble over their words.
And I could have read it all in about a quarter of the time.
Why do people do this!
How can one revise what happens at conferences that it actually becomes interesting!!!

1 comment:

Steve Foerster said...

I know exactly what you mean! But things can be different. The most interesting conference I ever attended was the 2007 iCommons Summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

It was something of an unconference in that those of us who arrived the afternoon before the first official day got together to put together a list of things that we wanted to cover at the conference, and when all had arrived we more or less stuck to this.

No one made those dreaded boring formal presentations, we had group a variety of group activities instead. We did speed geeking, so that we could quickly exchange information about ourselves and our projects, and we had a lot of sessions where we would break into small groups and then reconvene at the end of the session to present our collective thoughts.

Another important facet was that we had a rule that no laptops were to be used during any session. This made an enormous difference, as no one could hide begind a screen.

It was a fascinating and energizing experience. I wish every education conference were organized like that!