Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1st OPAL meeting for 2011 & the power of Web 2.0 tools

I was relaxing at home, browsing the news through internet channels and watching TV at the same time. While checking my Facebook account, I saw a post from EFQUEL about the 1st OPAL Consultative Group Meeting for 2011 (OPAL stands for Open Educational Quality Initiative) and since I am actively involved (even a little bit) in OER, I was immediately drawn to it.

The meeting was held online using the Adobe Presenter platform, and the participants had the chance to see live video, watch the presentation slides, chat by typing messages as well as use their webcams and microphones and participate in the discussion.

A Twitter backchannel (#opal-oer) was setup by the organizers for the communication of the event and I managed to see a couple of tweets during the meeting.

It was the first time I watched Ulf Ehlers making a presentation (ok, I have watched a couple of his recorded presentations which he prepared for the CerOrganic Training of OA Trainers Summer School in Chania, Crete a week ago) and I was really amazed this time, too. Interesting presentation, fluency in English and straight to the point notes. It is really strange that we have worked for the same EU projects twice (Organic.Edunet & CerOrganic) but we never had the chance to meet. Among others, I was excited to listen to Wayne Macintosh, for whom I have heard a lot and read some more, about his contribution to the OER initiative. His contribution was really substantial, too and he was really into it.

This thing tonight reminded me of some last-minute meetings with friends, to which at first you are reluctant to participate but in the end you feel so glad that you followed the stream and had such a good time! That's what happened tonight, this event really dragged me out of my couch and let me stand in front of my laptop, excited by this unexpected night event.