Friday, November 20, 2009

Off to my first ever "unconference"

I am off to my first ever 'unconference' on Monday at Otago University - Internet Research Group of Otago. I am chairing a panel entitled "Becoming more collaborative"

I would like to think about how we can become more collaborative and open - between professions, educational and professional institutions and work places so that we reduce all the 'wheel reinvention' that goes on, and work together across settings & contexts.

Panel
Along with me is Dr Wayne Macintosh, founder of Wikieducator, who is going to talk about 'open research'. I am going to describe how the SLENZ project worked in an open, collaborative environment, and Cameron Campbell is going to play devil's advocate and explain why open, collaborative research is a pipe dream in today's competitive research market.

Organisaton

I have never been to an unconference before so it will be interesting to see how everything pans out. The organizers have left the topic choice and panel selection up to the participants. The result should be that the conference more fully suits the needs of the participants compared formally arranged conferences.

Online unconference for health professionals?
I was thinking how I could organise an online unconference for health professionals - is it something you'd be interested in? What topics would you like to see addressed, by whom and by what online tools?

Image: blue rose macro atomicshark
http://www.flickr.com/photos/atomicshark/125773243/

2 comments:

Anne Marie said...

Hello Sarah
Just saw this post. Have you written somewhere about how the unconference went? I've ben to a HealthCamp but am interested in exploring the possibility of a T and L unconference with students and staff.
Thanks
AM

Sarah Stewart said...

I didn't really talk about the unconference itself, just wrote a summary of the panel that I chaired.

I think it is a fabulous concept for teaching students because then it addresses their needs not what you think they are. It still needed a little organization and initially felt like a traditional conference. But once people relaxed and got into the swing of things, it worked really well.

I think people need to be warned before hand that they may come away from an unconference with more questions than answers, which is the way of an unconference.

I would love to organize an online one for midwives/health professionals...what about an online unconference for people who teach in health?