This week I participated Interactive Technology in Education 2007 conference in Hämeenlinna. This is the largest conference in Finland about information and communication technology in educational use.
The first day of the conference was reserved for various workshops. I helped Teemu Arina and Teemu Leinonen to organize a workshop on social software. We had 11 participants and we were introducing the most widely used social software applications.
The conference sessions took place on Thursday and Friday. I really enjoyed presentations by Barbara Dieu and Teppo Turkki. Barbara Dieu described how she is using social software for learning and pointed out a few new environments. Teppo Turki was describing the youth culture and increasing virtualization of life in Japan. I think that for designing successul learning environments it is very important to understand the way how young people use digital media. Sometimes I feel that at the age of 27 I’m already starting to loose this understanding.
On Thursday morning I had a presentation about LeMill. Actually I agreed to give this presentation on last minute to replace another doctoral student from UIAH Media Lab. I decided to keep her title “Learning 2.0” because LeMill fit easily under that title. My presentation slides can be found from Slideshare and from my presentations page.
Besides the normal conference sessions there was also unconference track. All the participants were able to propose topics for unconference sessions. For me the most interesting topic was about motivational factors of open content creation. The outcomes of our discussion are in Flickr. I proposed Powerpoint karaoke session with presentations slides from LeMill, but we did not find a good time slot and decided to cancel it.
During the ITK conference I finally felt that I am able to follow presentations and discussions in Finnish. I also realized that I am starting to establish a network of Finnish contacts outside Media Lab. This conference also helped me to connect several names and faces. I have heard people talking about Tapio Varis and now I was listening for his talk. It all feels really good. I am definitely planning to come to ITK conference again next year.