Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World

Follow the Sun 2012 Schedule now online

Last year I was asked to do a keynote talk for the FollowtheSun conference that had been founded three years ago by Prof. Gilly Salmon, then at the University of Leicester in the UK. The idea was to be a part of  an online conference that mirrored a typical academic/professional conference with keynotes, trade show, demos, poster sessions etc. My presentation went OK, but I wasn’t sitting up and participating for 48 hours!

I’ve been interested in online conference for many years (insert plug for 2011 book by Lynne Anderson and myself Online Conferences: Professional Development for a Networked Era), but the idea of 48 hours, continuous seemed a bit much, even for a conference junky like myself.

However this year, George Siemens and I were asked to gather a team and host the North American section of the conference from Athabasca University.  As many of you know, George is not very good at saying ‘no’ and I’m not much better, so together with colleagues Marti Cleveland-Innes and Bob Heller and other staff at Athabasca, we have organized two 8 hours sessions of the conference. We managed to persuade the other sponsoring teams (from University of Leicester, UK and the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, to make this an open conference, thus allowing free registration for all. Ironically the largest expense during the first two Followthe Sun conferences was the administrative cost of collecting the registration fees from delegates!

Thus, on March 28 and March 29 between 9:00 and 5:00 PM Mountain time (check out other times from other continents here or local times here), we have lined up two full days of really top quality speakers, demonstrations and expert panels. You can check out the schedule and most importantly Register at tinyurl.com/followthesun

If you haven’t had enough “conference’ from the North American sessions, well, you can begin 16 hours earlier  from Australia and the UK, and just keep right on conferencing for 48 hours straight!!  The sessions will be delivered via Blackboard Collaborate (the old Elluminate platform) and hosted by some well known figures in the elearning world, including  George Siemens, Grainne Canole, Gilly Salmon, myself  and others.

The theme of this year’s conference is Knowledge Futures, and we have tried to keep away from having keynotes be the usual ed tech evangelists. Rather we have selected disciplinary experts who will present, and our discussants will further elaborate, the ways in which knowledge, and thus teaching and learning, is changing across multiple disciplines.

Please check out the full schedule to make sure you hear a keynote in a discipline with which you are interested. These keynotes come from Psychology, Law, Communicatiuons, Ethnomusicology, English Language, Nursing and Midwifery, Sports Psychology, International Relations, Engineering, Computer Science and GeoScience.

I was really pleased to be able to have my friend Erran Cramel from American University in Washington volunteer to windup the conference by reflecting on this type of global event in light of his new book” I’m Working While You’re Sleeping, which as the title suggests, focuses on global business and organizations that “never sleep”.

Please check  out the full program and more importantly – REGISTER at tinyurl.com/followthesun

Similar posts
  • New Book from AUPress – An Onli... I was pleased to receive in the post a hard copy of a new book in the Issues in Distance Education book series, for which I continue to serve as the series editor. Now of course you can read all of the books in this series as they are available for download  under Creative Commons [...]
  • Qualitative Research Rebooted 2018 For the past two months, I’ve been occupied with a qualitative study of teachers’ use of digital technology in Alberta Schools. The study is sponsored by the Alberta Teachers’ Association.  It has been very useful for me to get down to actually doing a full scale qualitative study after years of teaching grad students research [...]
  • More on Distance Education Journal Ra... Both academics and administrators love to argue about the value (impact) of their academic work.  The old adage of “Publish or Perish” still has currency. Despite the many distribution opportunities besides and beyond publishing in scholarly journals, the bean counters (myself included) love citation indexes. The basic idea is that the more your work is [...]
  • Teaching at Jiangnan University, Wuxi... My 4 week trip to China is a week done, and I thought I would document the trip to date (you know us old guys have trouble remembering the details!). Four years I received a request to host and sponsor a PhD student from Bejing Normal School. Zhijun Wang soon worked her way into our [...]
  • What the FOLC is new in this article? Sorry, but I couldn’t resist spoofing, in the post title,  the unfortunate sound of the acronym for the “new” model proposed in this article. Now,  I’ve got it out of the way and can only suggest that if this “divergent fork of the Community of Inquiry model” is to survive, it needs a new English [...]

1 Comment

  1. Sheri Oberman Sheri Oberman
    March 13, 2012    

    Mucho gracias senor for publisizing, organizing, and co-ordinating this tri-continental event.

No Pings Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Virtual Canuck via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 332 other subscribers

My posts by Category

My Blog Archives


  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • SlideShare
  • RSS Feed for Posts
  • Email

Follow me on Twitter