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Post e-Fiesta thoughts

Posted on: February 20, 2014

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I am very proud of my CeL team for organizing e-Fiesta 2014 yesterday. The video above reveals a tiny portion of the work that went into planning and implementing the event.

By the way, we will upload to our YouTube channel the opening ceremony, concurrent sessions, and unconference when we have processed all the videos.

The e-Fiesta planning process started about nine months ago and we still have a post-mortem (a group reflection) of the event to get through.

But I can unashamedly agree with people who took the time to tell me that e-Fiesta 2014 was fun, well-organized, informative, and inspiring. People who had been to previous e-Fiestas remarked that it seemed to get better each year.

How do I know the e-Fiesta was superb? It is like the feeling you get when a lesson went well. You do not need to get feedback to verify what you already know. You just know.

And it is not as if you were well-prepared and you think you taught well. It is that the learners responded well to what you planned.

Ever since the CeL first organized the new versions of e-Fiesta in 2011, we have ramped up the depth and complexity of the event.

At its core, it is still a celebration of learning as enabled by good technology-mediated pedagogies. It is not a conference even though we seem to run it like one. We have introduced elements like keynote speakers, unconferences, acknowledgement of champions, and themes (mobile learning in 2012, open learning in 2013, and social learning this year).

The themes are aligned to CeL initiatives which are ground-up efforts. The challenge we set ourselves is to keep spreading the word, providing professional development for staff, and scaling up where appropriate.

But we face constant and changing threats. There is the ever-present threat of apathy and inertia on the part of our stakeholders. There is a new threat of changing leadership that might have different priorities.

But we push on, with or without the blessings of others because we are willing to chart new ground. If we find good places, we celebrate. If we stumble we learn and try again.

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