ADMIN: Wrap-up of Sessions 1 and 2

Terry Anderson (Terry.Anderson%UALBERTA.CA@vm.ucs.UAlberta.CA)
Sat, 10 Jun 1995 14:29:25 -0500


Well session 1 and 2 of ICDE95 On-line has nearly come and gone, and what
can I say except a big thankyou!!!

A thanks, first, to our two teams of First Speakers.

Lani Gunawardena did an excellent job of designing the exersize, leading the
affirmative side and attracting a team of worthy opponents led by Greg
Kearsley.  I really appreciated the summary statements by Connie Lowe and
Mauri Collins.  They helped me make linkages between ideas, which often
seemed to get lost in the midst of my busy mailbox. I realize that tomorrow,
is left for summary and judging the winners, but I think it is obvious that
we are all winners for having participated in this session. I'll also be
circulating an evaluation survey of the conference, where you can indicate
your own selection of debate winner.

Session 2, was also "a winner" in my mind. I especially liked the way that
David Woolley outlined the strengths and the weaknesses of the WWW.  After
at least 12 months of hype in the mass media, I was glad to see an honest
appraisal of the current state of the art.  Evans Craig opened my eyes to
virtual reality applications on the WWW, which I confess I have never even
heard of prior to the conference. I also enjoyed the comments and sharing of
experiences from many of our participants. Great stuff!!

The quality of input, questions, comments and examples from practice have
more than exceeded my expectations. It is a thrill to have so many world
class scholars and researchers appear in my mailbox every day. The
interaction (whether NECESSARY or not!!) has helped us bridge theory and
practice and reminded me of the complexities of the education and learning
processes - F2F or at a distance. Thank you.

Second, a thanks to each of our participants, both those actively
contributing and those "lurking".  I think we have succeeded in establishing
an effective learning community, even though most of the now 537, gathered
virtually during the past week have never met and many of us are new to
virtual conferences. I've been thrilled by the positive comments I've seen
on the list and those mailed privately to myself. Throughout this week, I
can recall only one empty message and no messages intended for private
consumption, or directed to the listserv machine itself, having been
distributed across the list.  This is quite extraordinary as an
"unmoderated" list such as ICDE95-l can easily be filled with garbage by any
of the 500+ members. But we didn't screw up and I think we should all give
ourselves a virtual "pat on the back".

Third, a thanks to Kannan Thiruvengadam who at the VERY last moment got a
HyperMail program up and running and has established a feed of icde95-l to
it at:
        http://web.cs.ualberta.ca/~kannan/icde95/
This site archives the messages and allows searching and organization by
date, topic or author. It's really nice for reviewing and retrieving some of
the very thoughtful comments we've seen over the past week.

Let's save further reflection until session 6 and move "ever onward".
The show goes on, and starting Monday we move two new topics, two new
learning activities, and two new sets of dynamic first speakers.

Please, after Sunday let's give our full attention to Sessions 3 and 4, and
move further deliberations on Interaction and the WWW to private email, one
of the permanent distance education discussion lists or Usenet -
alt.education.distance.

Cheers
Terry

Terry Anderson, PhD
Director, Alternative Delivery Initiative
University of Alberta                   Phone:            (403) 492-1183
Edmonton, AB. Canada            Fax:         (403) 492-1857
T6G 2T4                                       Internet:
 terry.anderson@ualberta.ca
                                                       WWW:
 http://www.ualberta.ca/~tanderso/adi/terry.htm