.. and the conference goers said:

As an experiment in using Twitter as a communications backchannel, I encouraged people to share their reactions to the recent meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) as it was happening.

As mentioned in a previous post, I collected and organized this Twittered conversation, as captured and archived in a week long stream of Twitter messages tagged with AERA or #AERA.

Here’s a sampling of the kind of things the (tech savvy) attendees said at this professional education conference. I’m guessing that similar observations are being at any such conference.

The categories include:
The conference overall: ambience, logistics
Quality of panel presentations and poster sessions
Technology concerns

Conference overall: Ambience

AERA is a very large conference. Growing. And becoming more “corporate”. Not in terms of content but feel.

As a first timer the formality of this event is striking. I’m not much into formal stuff.

Shouldn’t every conference be in San Diego http//twurl.nl/koduh2

So many different languages being spoken at this conference . it’s pretty exciting

Coming to the reluctant conclusion that is better for presenting than 4 attending. Found more energy at itSummit and TLt.

Troubled by being seen as last place for innovation. Had high hopes having never been to conf (defending diss. Next year).

Conference overall: Logistics

3000 conversations 3000 exciting ideas yet 2 often the byway 2 the front line is distance; the voices obscured the meaning lost

At the game design panel I’m on. Great people. Tiny room

For a huge conference like AERA I believe San Diego has the best facilities I’ve experienced. I still prefer New York though.

Hmm trying to decide what session to go to next… AERA is too spread out

I’m at the new directions in learning & instruction session (39.025)… looks like it’s gonna be crowded bc room is tinyyyy.

Impressed w/ AERA accessibility resources; lounges & special transport for the mobility impaired. Airports SAN & PHX great too!

It is hard to imagine how truly huge Aera is until you get here. You need a week just to plan your week.

moje gee session is full b/c the room is TINY. Bullocks. AERA needs to get with the program. http

Really questioning the über conference. AERA is it 2 big 2b useful? Or is it the only way to cross-fertilize these days? @AERAtweetup

WAY too big and WAY too many papers crammed into single sessions; needs to embrace newer ways to share knowledge

I’m easy going but the conference materials are really difficult to manage for first timers

Conference overall: Kudos

Learning so much at AERA

Back from AERA it was fabulous!

Been a long time since logged on – back from AERA. Had a great time reconnecting w/ people

great way to wrap up aera thanks to devane @scd @ksquire and @aleciamarie

Honestly the GSC Resource room is one of my favorite camping rooms.

Aera is huge in terms of numbers and importance but if you keep your eyes and ears open

AERA is too big but I am alternating now NECC odd years AERA even. Both big conf but the critical mass is there for any niche

Great time at this year. Heading to VA EARLY tomorrow.

Quality of panel presentations and poster sessions

more brutal slides; you’d think gaming people would know better

PPT could be worse like the pres. @AERA where presenter READ HER PAPER (with no PPT)! I hope you’re giving her good advice.

Presenters need to get to their research questions well before the halfway mark

Virtual learning environments presented over 1.5 hours using straight (mostly bad) PPT + verbal presentation. Shocking/disappointing

New media session (AERA) this morning was a disappointment. Only some presenters showed.

The race is on! How many words can you fit on a slide? GO!

Wondering how this audience (super formal) would react to a more presentation zen visual.

Zup w/ trend of sitting while presenting(humility?) yet staying behind the table? separate but equal?!

I heart a session where all presenters know how to give a good talk

Discussant is ranting about how horrible powerpoints can be at these mtgs. This discussant rocks!!

Cool use of word clouds to depict qualitative research data by A. Daly for presentation.

Kind of scary how a poster about #FB can get so much media attention and keynote presentations by distinguished researchers get none.

Astounded at the lack of quality in poster visuals. Wish more people would find the flickr stream w/ examples

Individual Sessions: Kudos

At a fantastic workshop at AERA on connecting Educational Research with Media – exciting work new trends… love the Twitter focus

Afterschool gaming session went great – hats off to deb vandell for great feedback yesterday.

good tips from panel on communicating ed research.

Great afternoon at critical educators sig. Connecting on things that matter. Heart vision & passion

Agree – James Gee + Idit Harel definitely best session I have been to! #arvelsig

Both ben devane and Alicia magnifico have made some excellent points about design and literacy. Definitely check out their papers

Good faculty mentoring session at AERA – Dillard

Great stuff by kim griffin on “black tax” -cost of student mentoring for minority faculty

Interesting presentation about using social network analysis to examine online discussions to investigate network density & prestige.

Interesting social network analysis talk. They need to merge with online social network people to capitalize their potential.

Last presenter presented research in the context of REAL students and real items. Breath of fresh air!

Technology: Wireless Internet access

Looking for free wifi/power

Bought wifi access grrrr but much better.

BTW for those who’ve asked TetherBerry is working like a charm. At $12/day for Internet here the app. will have paid off by the end

Camping at GSC Resource room. No wifi

Free wifi at It’s a Grind and at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

honestly IMHO wifi is becoming as “infrastructure” as roads and sidewalks. Not an problem. City prob.

how about the conf nixes the printed phone book programs and put the $$ towards wifi access?? …

I’m getting really tired of not having wireless in these conference rooms

poster tho am sad to give up wireless!

spotty tho free/open wireless (linksys) at brickyard cafe near seaport village trolley stop few blks from hyatt

Yeah lack of wifi sucks. But sadly I’ve never been to a conference as big as that could affford to provide it.

how about the conf nixes the printed phone book programs and put the $$ towards wifi access?? not like it’ll happen any time soon…

Technology: general

true but I take it as data of how non digital educational researchers are. is the last place to go for innovation.

Any of these sessions being archived for later access?

What @constances is presenting now abt wowhead just drives the point home of how far behind educ practice is.

In search of the holy trinity table + chair + outlet

is still at AERA without internet connectivity.

Nice to see a quite a few macs among the conference goers.

The clear winner as laptop of choice at ………..MacBook Pro!

just rearranged some deck furniture so that I have a table by an outlet. Working on Prezi for tomorrow

Just roamed around the convention ctr looking for power. What will these places look like in 5 yrs?

Resources:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/03/twittering-live.html

http://blogs.asaecenter.org/Acronym/2009/03/a_twitter_experiment.html

http://www.greatideasconference.org/twitterideas.cfm

http://www.searchengineguide.com/jennifer-laycock/dont-miss-the-post-conference-twitter-ne.php

http://www.theinnovationdiaries.com/2009/03/24/the-hierarchy-of-tweets-analysing-the-psychology-of-twitter/

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One Response to .. and the conference goers said:

  1. ResearchChat says:

    Hi Paul, thanks for the #AERA tweets. Not being able to attend, it was wonderful to still be able to follow some of the topics and network.

    I have a few questions and wanted to share some things that are taking place in the Ontario educational research context. I was wondering if it might be possible to discuss via email?

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