Backchannel Boogie, CNIE2010

Material for presentation at The Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Conference,
May 16th to 19th 2010.  In St. John, New Brunswick.

Conference Description
From blackboards to smartboards…and beyond – improved access to and delivery of educational curricula is often achieved through the use of technology.  But what impact do those technological tools (whether we’re talking about a stick of chalk or a digital stylus) have on the audience’s ability to receive and process content? How does it alter the manner in which curriculum is crafted? How has this process been managed over time? How can we anticipate it, and benefit from it, in the future?

Harbourside Hangouts are designed for small communities of conference delegates who are interested in deeply engaging conversations and debates with experts in the topic at hand.  Harbourside Hangouts will be set up in various social private locations in Saint John that are close to the conference hotel and locations will be announced as they are confirmed.

Session Description
First growing in popularity at technology conferences, the backchannel is increasingly a factor in education where WiFi connections and portable web-enabled devices allow students to use ordinary chat tools, like IRC or AIM to actively communicate during class.  Similarly, social networking tools such as Flickr, Delicious, Google Wave, and Twitter allow for a robust public back-channel conversation.

Backchannel is very much a discipline-in-progress. Many lament the diverted attention spans of learners on laptops and cell phones; they are disrespectful, distracted, and lacking academic civility in the classroom; as such the backchannel is labeled harmful and dangerously distracting to academia as we know it. Conversely, a number of people believe that backchannel can provide a valuable collaborative learning environment.

This habourfront hangout presentation will provide audience with some backchannel basics and considerations.  The presenters will debate, along with the audience whether the backchannel is nefarious or necessary for learning in the 21st century. Please come prepared to use the hashtag of #bcboogie to contribute to this session in real time. 

Time: Tuesday, May 18th.  15:40 - 17:10                      

Topic: Backchannel Boogie
Presenters: Kyle Mackie & Giulia Forsythe
Venue: Happinez Wine Bar

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