The presentation at the European Conference on E-Learning ECEL 2007 of Jon Dron and my paper – on Groups, Network and Collectives had some exciting moments. It was scheduled in the first slot of concurrent talks after the opening keynote. I scurried to the lecture theatre, loaded my memory stick of 50 or slides and began 15 minutes of playing with the control system at the speaker’s counsel. Sadly, the projector refused to project from any of a number of input devices and machines. Fearing loss of audience, the chair suggested that I plunge ahead. After so many years of Powerpoint dependence, I wasn’t sure I even remembered how to speak in public without bulleted prompts!. Anyways, the audience was spared most of the cartoons and jokes, and fortunately, the room was equipped with a blackboard and at least 20 stubs of white chalk. I did manage to create one of my ubiquitous Venn diagrams and made it current and topical by adding ‘2.0’ to the term “social living” which I placed at the intersection of the three overlapping aggregations of the Many.

I’ve placed the slides that never played on Slideshare .

The paper Jon and I did rehashed our distinction among groups, networks and collectives but we refined the distinction and added policy suggestions for dealing with each level in formal education contexts. I led off the track titled blogs and wikis and the subsequent papers showed interesting applications of blogs in UK and German universities. Most noted the tensions of using network tools like blogs in group based contexts and the issues of access and ownership that arise behind any garden walls.

A s usual, the networking at small multinational conferences is great and it is enlightening to compare life in the e-academy from multinational perspectives.