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Prague Conference – day 1 June 24, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
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Our hotel is a short 400m walk from the University and over breakfast it was obvious, because of the conversations we heard, that many of the guests would turn out to be our fellow delegates.  After a short walk on cobbled streets, past one onion domed church in blistering heat at 8:00 am, we arrived at the university. The university is celebrating its 660th birthday, but the faculty of education is only 70 years old and this particular faculty building’s architecture proudly flaunted its stolid early C20th architectural style.  Registration was a quick affair and all at once we were in the lecture theatre armed with the usual booty of conference registrations!

A quick scan down the list of presenters revealed that I was the only representative from New Zealand and to my increasing alarm that Helen and I were the only practicing teachers.  All the others who were to speak are all University lecturers with PhD’s.  As the day wore on it became abundantly clear that the vast majority of the papers being discussed had already been published and peer reviewed in academic journals.  Helen and I started to feel like minnows swimming in a tank of sharks!   However as the day wore on this welling sense of dread was abated somewhat when the organising president of the World Computer Congress 2009 specifically mentioned our presentation stating that he was particularly looking forward to hearing how we had built and sustained our ‘vibrant online learning community.’  After that we started to begin to feel a little better, even privilleged to be the only representatives of the real world reality of classroom teaching that our fellow delegates theorise about at this conference.

There is no doubt that we are presenting at an important organisation.  IFIP is an organisation that was set up by UNESCO and has 14 organising committees.  The age of the committe is denoted by the number and the education one, at which we are speaking is 3, which indicates that it was set up at the start of the organisation.  The AGM is tomorrow.  By the way, the organising president of WCC2009 asked me in one of he breaks whether i would be presenting at WCC2009.  I knew about the conference from earlier net searches, it is in Brasil…. I wonder if I could get funding?

So as I write this we are due to do our presentation in just a few hours.  Last night, we wandered around the old part of the city to clear our heads.  Prague is truly wonderful, well the old bits that we have seen are.  We had dinner in a fantastic restaurant and then got back to the hotel to work on our presentation for the final time.  Today’s the day.



1. Douglas Harre - June 25, 2008

All the best David for your talk!!……I know you’ll knock ’em dead!!……and dont let the responsibility of representing all NZ teachers get you down..:-)

2. davidit - June 26, 2008

Douglas, thank you for this. My head was held high representing New Zealand teachers and as you will see from the next post, your confidence was well founded.

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