Tag Archives: Web/Tech

Google Education Roadshow @kingussiehigh #NDLW17 #digitaldifference⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Kingussie Event - OB Keynote

Well it is the end of National Digital Learning Week in Scotland (#NDLW17).

I started the week by hosting and keynoting the Scottish leg of the Google in Education UK Roadshow at Kingussie High School and finished the week by having my latest resource 'Leading a Digital Learning Strategy' published by the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) as part of their Framework for Education Leadership. More about that here.

The Google Event had a real buzz about it on Monday and it was great to have an opportunity to work with the wider roadshow team, who are currently touring the UK as part of the Google in Education Fuel the Future Tour. A special shout out must go to Louise Jones, Oli Trussell, James Leonard and Dean Stokes for their excellent presentations - I certainly learnt a lot and realised that there are lots more features within G-Suite for Education that we could be exploiting at school.

It was also great to have 20 local authorities represented at the event and a good blend between practitioners, local authority advisors and policy makers. I am interested to see what G-Suite looks like within Glow when it becomes available as part of the productivity suite in August this year.

Kingussie Google Event - May 2017

The theme of this years National Digital Learning Week was making a #digitaldifference and for a little school in the middle of the Cairngorm National Park I think we certainly punch well above our weight in terms of making a #digitaldifference. The map below is a nice illustration of just some of our influence in the last week.18527383_10158619884970702_49681753105711023_o

 

Google Education Roadshow @kingussiehigh #NDLW17 #digitaldifference⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Kingussie Event - OB Keynote

Well it is the end of National Digital Learning Week in Scotland (#NDLW17).

I started the week by hosting and keynoting the Scottish leg of the Google in Education UK Roadshow at Kingussie High School and finished the week by having my latest resource 'Leading a Digital Learning Strategy' published by the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) as part of their Framework for Education Leadership. More about that here.

The Google Event had a real buzz about it on Monday and it was great to have an opportunity to work with the wider roadshow team, who are currently touring the UK as part of the Google in Education Fuel the Future Tour. A special shout out must go to Louise Jones, Oli Trussell, James Leonard and Dean Stokes for their excellent presentations - I certainly learnt a lot and realised that there are lots more features within G-Suite for Education that we could be exploiting at school.

It was also great to have 20 local authorities represented at the event and a good blend between practitioners, local authority advisors and policy makers. I am interested to see what G-Suite looks like within Glow when it becomes available as part of the productivity suite in August this year.

Kingussie Google Event - May 2017

The theme of this years National Digital Learning Week was making a #digitaldifference and for a little school in the middle of the Cairngorm National Park I think we certainly punch well above our weight in terms of making a #digitaldifference. The map below is a nice illustration of just some of our influence in the last week.18527383_10158619884970702_49681753105711023_o

 

Aquila: fast, light (& internet.org enabled)⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Aquila-06

Yesterday, I published a post about the internet.org project.

In the post I mentioned the proposed large solar-powered drones that are a key part of the project to distribute the Internet to remote areas via Laser. Although it sounds like a late April Fools Joke - the whole idea and concept is very true. As I also said yesterday, whether you agree with the project or not you just can't fault the original thinking and design that has gone into making this happen.

The drone (code named Aquila after the eagle in Greek mythology who carried Jupiter's thunderbolts) is a very impressive piece of engineering.

The V-shaped, carbon fibre prototype weighs between 880lbs. and 1,000lbs. It has a wingspan bigger than a Boeing 737 and is capable of flying at altitudes between 60,000 feet and 90,000 for three months at a time.

 

According to Mashable.com:

"The Aquila is just one part of Internet.org, the Facebook-backed organization that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched in 2013, aimed at bringing Internet connectivity to the remaining 10% of the world's population who lack access. The service partners with local telecomm companies and developers to offer a free, basic Internet experience with access to things like Facebook, Wikipedia and BBC News."

As I say, very impressive - and also further proof that Facebook is a lot more than we perhaps think it is as well as being led by a truly innovative, very human and forward thinking CEO.  

 

Understanding Wikipedia: a lesson in digital literacy [@wikimediauk @Wikimedia @Wikipedia]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Wikipedia Banner 

A couple of years ago I wrote a Lesson Plan for the Excellent Teach Primary Magazine. I have copied and pasted the lesson plan into the post below as it is not available on-line. It picks up on many of the points in my recent series of posts on 7 things you didn't know about Wikipedia. But perhaps makes some of the points more accessible for educators who are keen to promote lessons in Digital Literacy using Wikipedia but are less confident in taking the ideas and 'retro-fitting' them in to a normal sized lesson.

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Lesson Objectives
 

Today you will:

  • Find out more about Wikipedia
  • Learn to assess the reliability of Wikipedia
  • Publish to the largest encyclopaedia in the world

 

Starter

Different activities work well as a starter task for this lesson. One of my favourites (if students have access to technology) is for them to use Google to search for the following things ‘Gold’‘Iceland’‘President Obama’‘London Bridge’‘Loch Ness’ and ask them what they notice about the top search returns for each of their searches. Wikipedia should be the common link. This can be followed up with a question on, ‘why do they think it is such a popular search return?’.

Another good starter is to share some facts about Wikipedia with your class. This can be done in a didactic way or you might choose to give your students the questions and see if they can find / research the answers. The table below shows some good Wikipedia starter questions.

Question

Answer (can be shared or researched)

Where does the word Wikipedia come from?

‘Wiki’ is a website that anyone can edit. It derives from the Hawaiian word quick. ‘pedia’ comes from the word encyclopedia.

 

How many languages is Wikipedia published in and how many articles does it contain?

 

Wikipedia has about 4 millions articles published in its all editions in 285 languages.

Who writes and who can edit Wikipedia?

Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia and anyone can edit (most articles) on Wikipedia.

 

When was the 1st and when was the billionth edit made to Wikipedia?

1st edit was made on 16th January 2001 while 1 billionth edit was made on 16th April 2010.

 

How long would it take you to read the whole of Wikipedia?

If you can read 600 words per minute and start reading 24 hours daily, you’ll need seven years to read whole content on Wikipedia but by then most of the content will be updated/changed and you’ll need to read it from the scratch!

Explain to your class that you are going to explore some of the skills that they might need to assess if a Wikipedia page is accurate or not.

 

Main activities

 

Part One: Disclaimers

Unlike normal encyclopaedias Wikipedia openly says that it might not be accurate. Indeed, this is one of the many things that makes Wikipedia more accurate compared to most traditional encyclopaedias. If you look carefully on lots of Wikipedia pages you will see orange disclaimers like the one shown below.

There are lots of other types of disclaimers as well such as ones that say 'This article needs additional citation for verification', 'This article reads like an advertisement’, 'This article contradicts itself’ and ‘The factual accuracy of this article is disputed’.

Wikipedia Teah Primary 1

In this first activity set your class the task of finding as many pages with disclaimers as possible. The purpose of this is to get them noticing the disclaimers in the first place. Research has shown that most people don’t read the disclaimers – they just go straight to the text. But reading the disclaimer can help the reader make a judgement on the accuracy of the article.

The second problem with the disclaimers is understanding what they actually mean. Words like ‘contradicts’, ‘factual’, ‘citation’, and ‘verification’ are difficult words for young people to understand. Take some time to explain these words to your class. Consider using an on-line or a traditional dictionary for your class to explore what some of these meaning might be.

Finally, before moving to the next activity it is important that the young people understand that the reason the disclaimers are in place. This is because the accuracy of the pages have been flagged up by the Wikipedia community.

  

Part Two: The Wikipedia Community

Although you may have already mentioned this in your starter activity it is important to explain to your class again that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. One of the purposes of Wikipedia (like any encyclopaedia) is to be neutral as possible and to put all points of view across.

So a good question to your class might be, “If only one person has written a Wikipedia article, is that likely to be more or less accurate and neutral than if a group of people had written to it?”. The general rule is that the more editors a piece has the more neutral (and therefore accurate) it is likely to be. The question is, how many people have edited each Wikipedia article?

This is a good opportunity to introduce your class to the ‘Tabs’ that you see along the top of each Wikipedia page. Most people spend most of their time on the ‘Article’ tab. But the ‘Talk’ and ‘View history’ tabs are also very important. 

Wikipedia Teach Primary 2

The ‘View history’ Tab shows how many times, when and by who (as long as they are logged in) a page has been edited. Remember the general rule is the more edits a page has the more accurate it is likely to be. The ‘Talk’ tabs make fascinating articles in themselves and contain the discussion and arguments of a group of editors trying to agree on the text that should go into the main article. Anyone who edits a page or contributes to its development is part of the Wikipedia Community.

Spend some time with your class exploring the different tabs on a number of different articles. Make a judgement as to how actuate you think they are try to find out some of the things that people are discussion or arguing about.

A nice follow up activity at this stage if to ask your class to go away and research a Wikipedia page (your local town works well – as it links to the next activity). Then they need to use what they have learned during the first two activities (disclaimers and tabs) to write a short paragraph as to why they think the page is accurate or not and how they think the accuracy of the page could be improved.

For younger children or for children who struggle with English consider using the simple version of Wikipedia for this activity www.simple.wikipedia.org (this is also a resource worth checking out of you haven’t seen it before).

 

Part Three: Editing Wikipedia

Remember anyone can edit Wikipedia and that what your going to have a go at doing next.

This activity has two purposes. Firstly, you will be demonstrating to your class how easy it is to edit Wikipedia and therefore getting across the message that this can also be used to abuse the accuracy of Wikipedia. Secondly, most importantly, that it is easy for anyone to improve the accuracy of Wikipedia particularly around local and niche articles.

Using the Wikipedia page of your local town or area. See if you can decide as a class how the accuracy of the page could be improved. For example, in an article about your town you might want to include a line about your local primary school or expand on an existing line by mentioning the name of the head teacher and when they took up post?

You can edit most Wikipedia articles by clicking on the ‘Edit’ tab and then just editing and saving the comment like you might up-date and email or blog post.

Once you have done this make sure you congratulate your class on contributing to the largest encyclopaedia in the world.

 


Follow Up and Assess

  • Get your class to research and find other Wikipedia pages that could be up-dated or improved.
  • If you have speakers of other languages in your class (eg: Polish). Get them to start to translating your local pages into their first language on the country version of Wikipedia. In Polish this would be www.pl.wikipedia.org
  • Does your school have a Wikipedia page? If not, what a great cross-curricular project and challenge for a class or group of children!


Useful questions

  • What is Wikipedia?
  • Why is Wikipedia so popular?
  • Who writes Wikipedia?
  • What is a Wiki?
  • Is Wikipedia accurate?
  • What do the words ‘tab’, ‘disclaimer’, ‘neutral’ and ‘community’ mean?
  • What advice might you give to someone younger than you about how to use Wikipedia?

 

About the author

Ollie Bray is Headteacher at Kingussie High School in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland and is Senior Associate of the-Learning-Crowd (www.the-learning-crowd.com). He regularly speaks to audiences about technology in learning, outdoor learning, school design, self evaluation and lots of other things. He blogs at www.olliebray.com

 

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I write another article for Teach Secondary Magazine titled, 'The Wiki Man' - you can read an electronic copy of that here.

Wikipedia Belongs to education

 

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (7 of 7) – It has many sisters [@wikimediauk @Wikimedia @Wikipedia]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Wikipedia Banner 

Love it or hate it Wikipedia is a big part of our lives and its certainly a big part of our online browsing experience. Whether we admit to it or not many people consult Wikipedia on a regular basis to answer their questions. A large part of this is due to the fact that Google loves Wikipedia more than any other site on the Internet. In fact it gets presented as the top search result to more search queries than anything else, even Google itself.

Anyway, one of the challenges for educators using Wikipedia is trying to get students to use it appropriately and really to understand what it is and what it can do.

This series of posts should give you a few ideas.

_______________________________________________

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (7 of 7) – It has many sisters

Wikipedia is just one of a number of projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is their most successful project to date – but in addition to Wikipedia, the foundation operates other wikis that follow the free content model with their main goal being the dissemination of knowledge.

These projects include:

 

WikibooksName: Wikibooks

Description: collection of textbooks

Website: www.wikibooks.org

 

 

WikinewsName: Wikinews

Description: online newspaper

Website: www.wikinews.org

 

WikispeciesName: Wikispecies

Description: taxonomic catalogue of species

Website: species.wikimedia.org 

 

 

 

Wiki-commonsName: Wikimedia Commons

Description: repository of images, sounds, videos, and general media.

Website: commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

WikiquoteName: Wikiquote

Description: collection of quotations

Website: www.wikiquote.org

 

 

WiktionaryName: Wiktionary

Description: online dictionary and thesaurus

Website: www.wiktionary.org

 

 

WikiiversityName: Wikiversity

Description: collection of tutorials and courses, while also serving as a hosting point to coordinate research.

Website: www.wikiversity.org

 

WikivoyageName: Wikivoyage

Description: travel guide

Website: www.wikivoyage.org

 

 

Wikisource

Name: Wikisource

Name: Description: digital library

Website: www.wikisource.org

 

 

Just like Wikipedia many of these other Wikimedia project have got great potential in Education. Perhaps the most useful is Wikimedia Commons which at the time of writing is a database of 23,736,813 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute under an Open Content License.

Content under open content licenses may be reused without any need to contact the licensor(s), but you still need to keep in mind that:

  • some licenses require that the original creator be attributed;
  • some licenses require that the specific license be identified when reusing (including, in some cases, stating or linking to the terms of the license);
  • some licenses require that if you modify the work, your modifications must also be similarly freely licensed.

Now you might be thinking that a lot of the content on Commons might not be particularly high quality. But then you would be absolutely wrong. Just about all of the content is of massive historical and cultural importance. Not to mention that many of the images, sounds, illustrations and memories within Commons are quite simply breathtaking. Take a look at this presentation from  on SlideShare titled "Ten extraordinary images from the Wikimedia commons" - simply outstanding (and free to use!).

 

 

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Key Message: Educators should consider using other great Wikimedia projects (and not just Wikipedia). Think about encouraging your students to search for images using Wikimedia Commons, write travel guides for Wikivoyage and check out what is going on in the world using Wikinews
 
 
Wikipedia Belongs to education

 

Airbase: The directory of educational resources from the folks at Airhead [airhead_edu]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

I like the guys at Airhead and not just because their company mission statement is "Harness the power of the Cloud to provide more learning for less money." Their flightdeck product is best of breed and well worth considering if you use Google Apps for Education or Microsoft 365 for Education in your establishment.

However, another great service that they offer is Airbase and I am really not sure how I missed this as it was being developed. In a nut-shell Airbase is a simple free to use directory of education resources. What is nice about it is that you can search by subject area (eg: Geography) and / or by age group.

Chack it out and try a few searches for resources at: http;//airbase.airhead.io 

 

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (5 of 7) – It is easy to reference [@wikimediauk @Wikimedia @Wikipedia]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Wikipedia Banner

Love it or hate it Wikipedia is a big part of our lives and its certainly a big part of our online browsing experience. Whether we admit to it or not many people consult Wikipedia on a regular basis to answer their questions. A large part of this is due to the fact that Google loves Wikipedia more than any other site on the Internet. In fact it gets presented as the top search result to more search queries than anything else, even Google itself. 

Anyway, one of the challenges for educators using Wikipedia is trying to get students to use it appropriately and really to understand what it is and what it can do.

This series of posts should give you a few ideas.

_______________________________________________

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (5 of 7) – It is easy to reference

Wikipedia is surprisingly easy to reference.

But a bigger and more important question from a teaching and learning point of view is, 

“Is it appropriate to use tertiary sources such as encyclopaedias as a sole source for any information?”.

The answer is of course that it is ‘probably not’ appropriate – but how many of our students really understand this and why? Do they also understand that tertiary sources (such as Wikipedia) can be used as a springboard to other secondary and primary sources of information?

Indeed when working with students to assess the reliability of a Wikipedia article as well as exploring the various tabs they should also make sure they have explored the references at the end of each article.

References

Exploring the references at the bottom of an article with students is an important exercise in digital literacy in itself. It is particularly useful to help students understand how digital sources should be referenced. Most importantly by emphasising that the date the digital source was retrieved (viewed) should be cited. 

References small

As the title of the post indicates it is very easy to reference a specific Wikipedia Page. In fact Wikipedia will do this automatically for you in a number to styles. You can find the citation tool in the ‘tools’ menu. The tools menu is displayed on the left hand side of most Wikipedia pages.

  Cite this page

To cite / reference a page click on the ‘Cite this page’ text in the tools menu and you will be taken to a citation page for the article that you are viewing.

  Tools menu

From here you will see that Wikipedia automatically generates a number of citation styles for your chosen page. The advantage of each citation style should be discussed with your students. There is also a useful note about the accuracy of Wikipedia and a warming about citing tertiary sources.

  Citation page

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Key Message: Educators should work with students so that they understand that it is not really appropriate to use tertiary sources such as encyclopaedias as a sole source for any information. But tertiary sources (such as Wikipedia) can be used as a springboard to other secondary and primary sources of information.

Wikipedia Belongs to education

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (3 of 7) – It has ‘tabs’ [@wikimediauk @Wikimedia @Wikipedia]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Wikipedia Banner

Love it or hate it Wikipedia is a big part of our lives and its certainly a big part of our online browsing experience. Whether we admit to it or not many people consult Wikipedia on a regular basis to answer their questions. A large part of this is due to the fact that Google loves Wikipedia more than any other site on the Internet. In fact it gets presented as the top search result to more search queries than anything else, even Google itself.

Anyway, one of the challenges for educators using Wikipedia is trying to get students to use it appropriately and really to understand what it is and what it can do.

This series of posts should give you a few ideas.

_______________________________________________ 

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (3 of 7) – It has ‘tabs’

When you land on a Wikipedia Page for you land on the ‘Article’ page (or tab). The ‘Read’ tab (page) is also highlighted.

Wikipedia tabs

Most people think that this is Wikipedia. But that is because most people think that Wikipedia is a project about consumption. Its real purpose (which has become lost over the years) is that of creation. If fact, it is arguably, the worlds most ambitious, collaborative and successful digital creation project of all time. It is unlikely that something on its scale will ever be replicated again.

For those that need a reminder the word ‘wiki’ comes from the Hawaiian word meaning ‘quick’. In terms of the Internet a Wiki is a quick to edit web page and it is important to remember that anyone can edit Wikipedia.

The ability for anyone to be able to edit Wikipedia and to share their knowledge within its pages is one of the core philosophies of Wikipedia. It’s other core philosophy (like any encyclopaedia) is to remain as neutral as possible and represent a balanced view.

This leads me on nicely to the other Wikipedia tabs. The ‘View history’ Tab shows how many times, when and by who (as long as they are logged in) a page has been edited.

Wikipedia Revision History

Remember the general rule is the more edits a page has the more accurate it is likely to be. If there were only one editor then the article would be pretty bias from only one point of view… wouldn’t it?

The ‘Talk’ tabs make fascinating articles in themselves and contain the discussion and arguments of a group of editors trying to agree on the text that should go into the main article. It is these discussions that help Wikipedia remain transparent and neutral.

Wikipedia Talk Kingussie

Then there is the ‘edit’ tab - your chance to contribute to the largest encyclopaedia in the world (an empowering concept in itself). You might think that you have nothing to say or contribute. But the reality is Wikipedia is great at supporting niche and local articles that many traditional encyclopaedias just don’t have time to research or print. Anyone who edits a page or contributes to its development is part of the Wikipedia Community (and becomes a Wikipedian).

Wikipedia Editing

As an educator it is also worth considering using Wikipedia as a tool to develop Higher Order Thinking and Booms Taxonomy.

For example, you could use the ‘Read’ tab to help students remember and then with support understand key concepts and facts. You could use the ‘Talk’ tab to help students analyse to information. The ‘View History’ tab is a good tool to evaluate. Finally, ‘Edit’ tab supports the creation of content.

Wikipedia and Blooms
 

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Key Message: Educators should encourage students to use the ‘tabs’ on Wikipedia pages as a way of helping students critically evaluate them as a source. The tabs can also be used to support and the various stages of Blooms Taxonomy from remembering through to creating.

Wikipedia Belongs to education

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (2 of 7) – It is pretty up to date [@wikimediauk @Wikimedia @Wikipedia]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Wikipedia Banner

Love it or hate it Wikipedia is a big part of our lives and its certainly a big part of our online browsing experience. Whether we admit to it or not many people consult Wikipedia on a regular basis to answer their questions. A large part of this is due to the fact that Google loves Wikipedia more than any other site on the Internet. In fact it gets presented as the top search result to more search queries than anything else, even Google itself.

Anyway, one of the challenges for educators using Wikipedia is trying to get students to use it appropriately and really to understand what it is and what it can do.

This series of posts should give you a few ideas.

_______________________________________________

7 things you didn’t know about Wikipedia (2 of 7) – It is pretty up to date

If you went to your school library and looked at the date your last set of encyclopedias were purchased – would they be in the last decade? What about the last five years? One year? Yesterday?

Across the world investment in books in libraries is on the decrease. Although this might be wrong, it is an unfortunate reality. When I taught at Musselburgh Grammar School I once challenged students to find the out-of-date articles in traditional print encyclopedias.

Moving on, there is no doubt about it that Wikipedia is more up to date in terms of real time events than traditional encyclopedias. One of my favorite days ever in the classroom was back in 2005 when when Pluto was declassified as a planet (I can’t quite believe that was almost ten years ago). Wikipedia was (and always has been) up-dated almost straight away.

Obviously, this is an example that sticks with me. But, when you think about other global events in recent times such as Ebola, The October 2014 crash of Virgin Atlantic or Tim Cook (from Apple) becoming the first openly gay CEO on the Fortune 500 list. 

While traditional encyclopedias and sources have to wait for a re-print (or a re-purchase) Wikipedia relies on the power of the crowd to keep it as accurate and as natural as possible. There is of course difference between up-to-date and accuracy.

So, are your paper based Encyclopedias really as up to date and accurate as Wikipedia? What about the accuracy of your staff, support staff and parent knowledge?

Food-for-thought?

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Key Message: Educators should encourage students to look at when Wikipedia articles were last up-dated. You can see this by clicking on the ‘view history’ tab in the top right hand corner of each Wikipedia Page. 

 

Wikipedia Belongs to education

When is a Barcamp not a Barcamp?⤴

from @ Digitalkatie's blog

I went to Barcamp Glasgow this evening with DigitalSean. It was hosted in the very lovely venue of STV's Pacific Quay building and featured lots of interesting 20 minute talks largely on media and new media. We were given a list of sessions, most of which ran twice (in fact I ended up attending the Scottish Government session twice!) The sessions were by big name organisations: STV, BBC, Scottish Government, The Scotsman, Realtime Worlds

...but it was not a BarCamp.

The sessions were planned in advance. The programme was printed beforehand and given to attendees as they entered.

You could come and go in a limited way, unless you were in a room where you had to go through another session to get to the main area and the stairs.

The audience were just the audience though. After the end keynote session they had an attempt to have a more interactive session (difficult in a room with a couple of hundred people) but they asked all the speakers to put their hands up, again defining the audience as separate.

This is not the ethos of BarCamp or Unconference. It should be planned on the day on big sheets of paper, with the audience as the speakers, volunteering by writing their name on the big sheets of paper. It should be flexible, evolving as the day progresses depending on the interests of the participants and the themes that arise.

It was also sad to see so little Twitter backchannel, to the extent that the #barcamp hashtag was being used more frequently by people in Equador planning heir next Barcamp! This was an event about media: traditional, digital and social. There should have been a much greater electronic involvement.

I did very much enjoy the event. I came away enthused and inspired with ideas I want to put into practice. I would certainly be very keen to attend another media BarCamp, although next time I hope we all get to participate, to broadcast rather than just receive.


When is a Barcamp not a Barcamp?