November 12, 2009
World Usability Day 2009 - Afternoon Session Reflections
The afternoon of World Usability Day (WUD) 2009 [http://usability.msu.edu/conf/2009/Default.aspx] focussed on larger infrastructural, community and sustainability issues. Almost all speakers were excellent, spare one who performed the good old, 'death by powerpoint'. He shall remain unnamed for the rest of this blog post.
I liked Kirk Riley's presentation on how ITEC, a local Lansing org is working to bridge the digital divide that exists due to class, race or gender, working with a local faith based organization. They recognize the lack of hard skills and subsequent low enrollment in computer science degrees. So they are using Randy Pausch's head fakes (Riley's own words, not mine) to entice students to learn math and programming skills through 3D worlds (Kodu on XBox) and other programming languages like Alice. They think they are doing cool stuff but actually learning hard stuff. Way to go.
Sharron Rush spoke on the need for accessibility. She is a "well decorated veteran" of the IT world and she proved it with an engaging presentation. It was impressive how she illustrated population percentage statistics by making all audiences stand, to begin with (100%). Then having portions sit down and make a statement about the rest. Do another chop, have more people sit down and make a statistical statement. I would love to use this audience engagement tool, if I ever got a large audience like this. (World Youth Congress, Turkey 2010, application submitted, fingers crossed). Sharon runs Knowbility.org.
It's a pity, I did not find a way to follow either Sharon or Knowbility.org via RSS.
Conferences are my favorite use-scenarios for twitter. Even passively following one. By not providing a twitter tag, WUD caused tweeters to use a wide and wild variety of hashtags: #wud09, #wud2009, #wud, #inwud etc… I think we missed out on some great microlearning there. Nevertheless, a good 1-day learning event to go to. Thanks to all MSU folks for hosting the event.
Posted by rdivecha at November 12, 2009 11:17 PM