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Philosophy of Education – According to KiwiBelma


Conferences, Workshops and Deliberations

It’s certainly been a busy week or two! During the panic, I managed to lose the menu items from my blog site but I’m working on it 😉

A huge part of being a researcher involves conferences. Both attending them regularly to keep up to date with the current research in your field, and being scrutinised by others in your field, to make sure your research is up to date. So, as I love both of these activities 🙂 I was busy attending or getting ready to attend a several conferences. As a result I lost my menu bar….

SLanguages 2011

This was quite something! Yes, missed out on some sleep, but it was worth it! Attended a few workshops, presentations and tours by some of the leading and certainly most passionate educators, language educators, in Second Life. This was my second SLanguages event, as a result, I decided to make a brief presentation as well :-). Share and share alike me thinks. I hope it was useful for the participants! I certainly enjoyed talking about Koru and Kiwi English Sessions. All is work in progress, and I think this is well recognised, maybe even expected when it comes to teaching in Second Life. As a follow-up to the conference, I also read up about research publications from the presenters. Where else can you find the authors of research articles/papers/books etc and actually ask them in ‘avatar’ about their research? (That’s a rhetorical question to show my bias about virtual worlds :-))


Another conference that’s on the horizon is the National Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference, to be held in Nelson (the sunniest city in New Zealand). Preparations are underway…Getting rather nervous…But definitely looking forward to it! I’m fortunate and humbled by the opportunity to co-present with my colleague from Victoria University of Wellington, Edith Paillat, and another colleague and my current tutor from NMIT, Clare Atkins.

Yes, we’ll be sharing our passion and experience of what virtual worlds can offer educators and how the students can benefit from the interaction.


International Conference on e-Learning Futures will be held in Auckland, which cannot compete with Nelson in terms of the sunshine hours. But the event will be a very informative one indeed. Yes, I’ll be open to scrutiny by experts in the field, but I’ll be guided by Clare (and hopefully won’t ruin her reputation in the process!)


Virtual Life Education in New Zealand has also been very active recently, with increasing number of members from all over the world, not just NZ. Watch this space, many good things are about to come out of this group.

So, what does it all mean for a budding researcher like me? I see it as an opportunity to meet and mingle with the established researchers, and consequently learn from them, in person. It’s also what I call ‘Put your money where your mouth is’ philosophy, which is to say that, if you believe in something, put it to public debate, discuss it, argue it and most importantly reference it. It certainly makes your cause more ‘credible’ and authentic. Conferences are where academic debates take place. Just like philosophy (love of knowledge), carpe diem (seize the day) and make the most of it!

Now, where did I place my presentation notes….?

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