Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Twelve tech triumphs of 2009....

tools, conferences, connections.... what have been my virtual highlights of 2009? I have decided to make awards in my own very special categories. Many of these are Twitter related as it remains up there as my number one social networking and informal learning tool. End of.

So here's an award for each of the 12 days of Christmas

1. Best online conference: Digifolios - a Ning based community looking at digital identity and the development of e-portfolios

2. Best real life conference: ALT-C 2009 Manchester especially @jamesclay

3. Best Tweet-up opportunity: again - ALT-C 2009 Manchester - met LOADS of Twitter friends in real life for the first time (@sarahhorrigan, @adamread to name but two)

4. Best International Tweet-up (on home ground): @torresk (BCN) Flores restaurant, Leicester - a friendship that continues through Blip FM, Ning, blogs, facebook and of course tweets: can't have too much of a good thing!

5. Best International Tweet-up in a foreign language : @felipemorales (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) Cafe Mozart on the Paseo Canteras. Actually this was far more than a tweet up. In response to a DM asking for help on finding salsa venues in the City, Felipe (who I had never really "spoken to" before - only followed on Twitter) went out of his way to provide the information I needed . Both he and his family turned out to be funny, charming and generous people who I hope will continue to be friends! I also hope to return the favour some day!

6. The Tweet-up that didn't quite happen : @psweetman and I were metres away from each other at Holyrood in Sept - @Markhawker was trying to direct us towards each other but I didn't get the message until too late. Doh!

7. And the Tweet-up I had looked forward to longest: @cristinacost - Exchange Theatre, ALT-C 2009 Fringe meeting

8. Last of the Tweet-up related awards - to all the lovely Leicester people I finally got to meet for real in 2009: @ajcann, @lizzielib, @3quarks, @jobadge, @craig52uk and @caffeinebomb. (In 2010 WLTM @ffolliet and @mitchley....)

8. Most hyped damp squib of the year - Googlewave. I think it has amazing potential but I have yet to unlock it and am frustrated by the lack of interaction. Or is every one else having fun at the party and I am still in the kitchen, or in a different house maybe?

9. Most really useful asynchronous collaboration tool - I have been seduced away from Wetpaint into the arms of Googledocs this year and have managed to persuade our office staff to use it too. Recently I used Google spreadsheet to create an online survey and collaborated with a colleague on a presentation. I am also looking carefully at Huddle - especially as an application in Ning: potential for a great community collaboration tool here.

10. Best synchronous collaboration, learning and communication tool - has to be Skype: the latest version has screen sharing. It has become the tool of preference for me and my daughter to chat and share work/photos etc whilst she is away at University, and has thus made the pain of separation bearable! I have also used it for my own learning (Spanish conversation practice), for discussions with work colleagues when one or more of us is out of the office and of course for tutorials with my students.

11. Flip camera+ Camstudio + Moviemaker and Youtube ; Jing or Screenr - altogether a great set of free tools (except the Flipcamera which set me back a modest £60) for making short videos or screencasts - for friends and family, for learning, for recreation. I have filmed salsa classes, created holiday movies, made short welcome videos for distance learning students and provided instructional screencasts on using web 2.0 tools.

12. Best present I ever bought myself: my i-phone! Apps too numerous to mention but three I use constantly are: Collins Spanish dictionary - worth every penny, Tweetie is of course essential for a Twitter addict and Evernote provides me with my virtual memory!

Phew - that's it, my review of 2009. Can't wait to see what 2010 has to offer.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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