Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Two Days in Adelaide
There is something about Adelaide that is echos of places I've been, but I can't quite place it. The architecture is a mix of the lovely porch wrapped Australian style, slightly Victorian decoration, but a feeling like some towns in the rural west of the US. Towns that sprung up as the western states became more populous. I can't quite put my finger on it. Adelaide apparently is also the twenty minute town - it takes no more than 20 minutes to get from anywhere to anywhere in town. Quite friendly.
This morning I did some online catch up with email and such, then ventured out for a quick peek at the Adelaide Central Market – I was lucky to be here on one of it’s 3 open days a week. One end also was the city’s Chinatown where my first stop was a couple’s booth who made these yummy coconut things. Mama mia. They were good.
There I met up with Mike Seyfang (http://mseyfang.edublogs.org/ and http://learndog.typepad.com/learndogpup/) there. I “met” Mike online through Beth Kanter and a shared interest in the application of technology for public good, non profits, etc. He shared a virtual chocolate with me a while back, so I had to meet him. Of course, we met in front of the booth where he took the picture he shared with me, so I had to document that as well!
Mike then took me to meet his pal David Wallace of LifeKludger (http://lifekludger.net/ and http://www.dnwallace.com/blob ). David is a passionate advocate in the disabilities sector and it was my impression in our short time together a very creative and inventive way of looking at how technology (among other things it seems) can open doors for those with disabilities. He is a living example of inventiveness. We had a grand time making a short podcast, discussing all sorts of things including how we were all connected and through whom online. I love connection! The both posted before the end of the day. I had to play catch up! See them
here and here.
Mike then took me around the town a bit, and I especially enjoyed seeing his personal learning space – a bike circuit he makes from home to the beach where he scans scads of podcasts. It is interesting to compare our stories of practice that reflect our preferred modalities.
In the afternoon, Annie and Craig Fergusson took me up to Mt. Loftey for an amazing view of Adelaide, seeing the sweep of the land and the sea and gaining an even stronger appreciation for the interplay of heat, drought and fire in these hills. Then we scuttled over to the Nepenthe winery, though gorgeous vineyards to sip and buy a bottle of great white wine.
Finally, capping this day of spending time with great folk, I had dinner with Marie Jasinski where we talked about all sorts of things. What was particularly helpful was having time to talk and reflect with Marie about my experiences on this trip, what I have learned so far, what I would do differently or the same next time.
· Mold more what I’d want to do. Offering options is not the same thing as discovering together what might be useful. This requires more work on all sides, but I suspect the payoff would be great.
· Make more time for seeing the land. I have been moving too fast this year to think thoughtfully about opportunities. I loved what I have seen, but I’m a silly goose for not taking better advantage.
· Collaborate more with my friends in each city. Why I did not think of this, I don’t know, but only in one place did we negotiate to do. Again, taking time to be thoughtful.
· Build in more reflective moments and ways to evaluate if what we are doing is making a difference. Today in Adelaide we finished with a question that started to do this, but I could have done a lot more.
These reflections are not criticisms of myself or the tour. Just learnings for the future. If I didn’t learn anything, I’d be sorely disappointed with myself! In the coming days as we wrap up the tour, I will also post the highlights!
Wednesday – 2 Adelaide Presentations/workshops
Today we had two 90 minute sessions separated by a 30 minute tea time. First, the CEO of the North Adelaide Tafe introduced me with the funniest intro yet. I apologize, but for the moment I can only remember his first name, Adrian!
The first presentation was framed around the online competencies but cast a bit more about elearning à e living. I must thank Robyn in Sydney for helping me see this thread that emerged. We had quite a few remote sites looped in via videoconference, and a good crowd in the room. The discussion breaks were quite animated, which always tickles me. I have been trying to frame my talks more about ideas as language to design, do, learn rather than simply ideas. Language as a bridge from ideas to practice. Ask someone who was present about my mistake with time!!
Anyway, the second one was on the “Group/Individual/Web 2.0” stuff. Still trying to weave all the ideas together.
Afterwards Annie and Margaret (did I get that right?) took me to lunch, then back into the airport groove to Perth. (I’m typing this on the plane – we have about another 45 minutes.)
Edited Postscript - great notes in a blog from Kerry!