What is an unconference?

Yesterday at lunch time we had the opportunity to take part in an unconference (wiki link). A web page was set up where anyone could post a topic. Other viewers could then click it to vote. Just before lunch the sessions with the most votes were allocated to rooms, we then grabbed our lunch and turned up for the discussion.

Some of the unconference sessions:

  • the nuts and bolts of 1:1
  • Facebook in the classroom. Is anyone doing it? Is it blocked at your school? Open discussion.
  • chat about google docs
  • "Birds of a Feather" for technology directors

I suggested the Facebook gathering so naturally I went along. Only one of the attendees was currently using Facebook with her class but she said that it was a great way to keep the information stream running to her students.
The consensus was that we should be using it because that is where the students are but that it would be necessary to make up another account to keep students out of our private lives. Nobody wants students to see them drinking alcohol or having candid conversations with real friends.