On May 1, 2009, the mini conference Walls Optional took place at Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia. Alec Couros was invited to give the keynote, A Tweet and a Poke, How Educators Can Harness the Power of Social Networks, at this one-day event. Luckily for everybody who could not make it to Canada, the keynote was streamed live. Unfortunately for me, I could not watch it because the stream would not want to come through without huge buffering problems.
Thus, I looked forward to the recording, but that also had problems. The only hope I had left was to contact tech support. Clint Lalonde, Distributed Education Web Specialist at the college, was incredibly kind and quickly replied that they worked on a solution to make the stream available somewhere else. Within a few days after the keynote, I received the link to the recording on blip.tv and could watch Alec’s presentation which was great. I had already downloaded the presentation file, read the notes, and knew what I was getting myself into watching the recording.
However, seeing the tour de force on video was something else. Time flew by quickly with the many examples of social networking and how we can benefit from it that Alec showed. He also dared to do a live presentation of Omegle, the chat-with-a-stranger, with which you never know what the stranger on the other end may say. The stranger Alec and the 120 people in the room chatted with was a good sport and actually wanted to get to know all the participants. 😉 He received the link to the stream, but it was never found out whether he watched it or not.
Alec made his point clear that building up a personal learning network is important and also very beneficial for learning and in particular for professional development.
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