Technology

Learning Technologies – A week later

It seems impossible that seven days have gone by since I was getting packed for Learning Technologies. It’s been something of a whirlwind. As always, I came away exhausted and with a head full of ideas. It was great to catch up with people I hadn’t seen for a while, and to meet a whole raft of interesting new ones.

Here are the highlights of the event for me.

Tony Buzan – This isn’t the first time I’ve seen him speak, and in all honesty there wasn’t much in the content of his keynote that I hadn’t already heard. But, he is an inspiring speaker with a true passion for his subject that rubs off on everyone.

Seb Schmoller – Introducing himself as someone more normally focused on the learning than the technology, Seb went on to deliver what for me was one of the highlights of the two days. The falling cost of technology, the ubiquity of tools and connections and the increasing prevalence of open source and open content, will continue to change the way people learn. We fail to keep up with this at our peril.

Jane Hart – As always with Jane, there were new tools to share, but I was more interested in the work she is doing with the University of East London. They are building a social learning platform, based on the open source Elgg. The project is still in it’s early stages and I hope Jane will be able to share more when the project is live.

Andy Tedd – This was a very entertaining and informative insight into some of the activity taking place at the BBC’s College of Journalism. Anyone wondering about what it is that makes Web 2.0/Learning 2.0 work, would have found their answer in one of Andy’s slides;

Peer Recommendation

Peer Recommendation

Peer Recommendation

Finally, I’m not suggesting that my own session was a highlight from the audience perspective, although I do hope it was useful, but I can say that it was a highlight for me. It was one of the new format sessions, with three speakers each presenting for 8 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of questions from the floor. Although we were close to the end of the event, and fatigue was taking hold, there were some great questions from the audience. I plan on expanding on my answers to those questions here on the blog.

Twitter and RSS

twitter and rss logos

Twitter has had a great deal of media coverage this month, from worldwide news stories like the Hudson River crash and Obama’s inauguration through to its discussion by Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross (@stephenfry and @wossy respectively) on the latter’s Friday night talk show.

I wanted to share a handy way of using RSS feeds to keep on top of specific Twitter topics of interest.

For example, during the build up to this week’s Learning Technologies conference, there’s been a lot of related activity on Twitter, and to make it easier to find those Tweets, they’ve been tagged as #LT09UK. There are various ways that you can find all Tweets with that tag, such as using the #Hashtags search,  but one of the simplest is to head over to http://search.twitter.com and use the familiar search interface.

That’s okay if you just want to do the search once, but what if you want regular updates? Well, you could simply come back and run the search again, or bookmark the url to make it a one click process. Or you could save time, and use RSS.

Once you’ve run your Twitter search, click on the RSS icon on the left of the page, and add the feed to your reader.

twitter search and rss feed

Now each time you check your feed reader, any new items matching the search criteria will be displayed. You can set up as many searches as you like and subscribe to them all.