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december 08, 2000
photo here Brisbane. Some call it "Brizzie". photo here Others, blinded by the shining lights, refer to it as "BrizzVegas". Whatever name you come up with, it is quite a city. I arrived Tuesday afternoon, easily managing the bus system from the airport to my hotel in the Southbank area, the south bank of the wide river that swatches through the city.

photo here The afternoon provides some walking time, it is an easy stroll across Victoria Bridge to Queen Street, a road closed off as a pedestrian mall, full of shops and shops and shops. Again, I would be excited to list purchases but security again prevents me from revealing any details.

today's photos
- all photos   o o o o

o o Brisbane

photo here The reason for being here the next three days is the Open Learning 2000 conference, hosted by the Learning Network Queensland, an educational provider via some 90 locations in Queensland. Last May I had the chance to meet the director on her visit to Maricopa, where she told me about this conference.

The night before the conference was a barbecue for the Flexible Learning Leaders at Lyn's home, one of the leaders who is local. I had met a number of this group in Canberra and Adelaide, and was even a guest in their online discussion forum. This program provides a fellowship opportunity for middle managers involved in coordinating online development across Australia. It is a unique program that has a lot to show for its first year.

The Open Learning conference has some 300 attendees from all over Australia plus Singapore, Japan, New Guinea, South Africa, India, the United Kingdom, and even far flung outposts such as the United States.

Like many gatherings of educational professionals, this event tends to suffer a sad, ironic paradox. The topics focus on the radical changes in education, a casting off of old models in light of new technology, yet the primary mode of discourse is a solitary lecture standing in front of a passive audience in a dimly lit room. And the mode of discourse is the recitation of bullet points from PowerPoint slides. Even the keynote speaker read verbatim the 6 page paper published in the proceedings!

photo here My goal was to turn this around as much as possible for photo here my presentation on Writing Stories on the Web with the Hero's Journey (all available online), the storytelling project we did with South Mountain Community College. I skipped the overview and zoomed right to the demonstration. They loved it, or acted like it.

Friday evening was a chance to meet up with a group of local multimedia developers with whom I have known by email for several years, but have only met two in person before. photo here So this was the first local meeting of DXR Brisbane, a chance to sit around some beers, talk shop, computer, music, etc. Afterwards we went for food at "Sushi Train", a Japanese restaurant where you grab your desired dishes from the cars of a model railroad that circles the restaurant. I've never seen anything like it!




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