Friday, November 24, 2006

Last conference of the year - HELTASA 2006

I know it is almost Christmas when the last conference that I will attend this year finally arrives.

Finally I have a moment to write a post. On Sunday we are leaving for the 2006 HELTASA Conference in Pretoria, South Africa. HELTASA is the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa. This is an annual conference and each year it is hosted by one of the tertiary institutions in South Africa. I will post more information about the association later.

Next year we will be hosting the conference and I am the conference convener. The past month setting up the website, printing the promotional material, making the launch video has kept me busy almost 24 hours a day. But now it's done and all I have to still worry about is my presentation.

I bought some great new Olympus stereo mp3 recorders yesterday and I will be recording as many talks as possible at this year's conference. The plan is to make them available on our conference website and then distribute them through a podcast feed. I think this would be of great value.

One of the features of next years conference is that we will be hosting a number of online workshops with some international speakers giving presentations online. There are so many educational specialists around the world and knowing who to ask won't be easy, recommendations are more than welcome. We are still deciding on the platform that we will be using for these online presentations, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

I love al the social networking tools available online today and I am trying to incorporate them into the online portion of the conference. I must admit that there are so many great tools available these days that it really is hard to decide which ones to use and which ones to ignore.

Through these online tools I believe that the conference can be changed into a year long experience and a learning experience for educators and academics that has not really been available before. I will let you know as we add each of these online tools and I would love everybody to join in the discussions, add to the wiki and join in all the other online activities.

Please watch this space as we try to put together a great conference in 2007.

We would love it if there were loads of international delegates who would come and attend and also present papers so please send us your abstracts. Information will be available on the website in the next few days. If you need to know anything that you can't find on the website just send me an email at

(in two weeks you will be able to download and print the 2007 Heltasa conference calendar. I think it came out quite nice and will look great on your office wall)

Hope to hear from you soon!

Nico Baird