teaching unplugged – in brief

Blue skies from now on?

Well, that was the week that was – and wasn’t. Flights were grounded, face-to-face conference presenters were at a premium and Scott Thornbury found himself impersonating Jeremy Harmer.

It was an odd time generally: were we experiencing a blip in the steady march of Progress, or a taste of things to come? Blue skies, an eerie hush – and a vision of life without cheap air travel.

It’s an ill wind (or volcano) that blows nobody any good, and Lonely Planet offered its City Guide apps for free. Nice if you were stuck in one of the cities in question, tantalising if you couldn’t get there. Sadly for onefortywords, there was no free guide to neighbouring Croydon.

I hope you enjoy this week’s posts on dogme at Harrogate, urban space, music on Twitter and information overload – look forward to your comments!



  Anthony Gaughan wrote @

The obvious limitation is that Skype at the moment only supports 1:1 video conferencing. However, with options like mebeam ( ) you can go to 16 or so – for free. This is where Scott’s idea of distance synchronous panel discussions etc can be reality at low cost, which would be great for local teacher’s associations anywhere working on a budget.

Haven’t used it myself yet, but it sounds promising!


  lukemeddings wrote @

And I thought you were unplugged Anthony!

Seriously, practical suggestions like this are crucial if we want to promote and facilitate low-cost conferencing. And, dare I say it, more spontaneous conferencing? Perhaps we should set up a dogmebeam session soon. Time for me to pay that electricity bill and investigate (I know, I’m typing this into a PC…).

  AG wrote @

As a Mac user, I can be unplugged for quite a long time (I pause to smile…)

I think that’s the positive aspect to online technologies that Vance Stevens brought up on the Dogme list – that they can eliminate the obstacle that distance poses for participation in communal events like conferences and even (dare I say it?) lessons.

Naturally, other resource costs may counterbalance this, like hardware, bandwidth etc, but where coming together in the flesh is impossible, then it’s good to know there are alternatives.

I think a Dogmebeam conference or powwow would be a fun way to explore how far it can serve unplugged approaches – I’d certainly be up for that!



  Scott Thornbury wrote @

Of course, I didn’t REALLY impersonate JH, but I did pick up the slack his absence left in the plenary programme. More importantly, I witnessed his live video plenary, and also mediated a live video link with Simon Greenall at the Palestinian Schools Conference in Ramallah, which Smon was prohbited from attending for the same reason. Both video plenaries were judged a success and held the attention of two large audiences, despite the less than perfect sound and image quality. While no one would wish a whole conference of skyped plenaries, it does seem a viable option, once in a while, and would certainly help cut costs for eveyone concerned.

  lukemeddings wrote @

Thanks for this,Scott-some valuable context to my somewhat glib headline.

I’m interested in your reflections on participation.Your photos have given us a vivid impression of your trip,and in terms of a shared exchange of experience and expertise I imagine there is no substitute for being there(though it would be interesting to hear from Jeremy and Simon-how was it for you?)In terms of financing a conference-the balance probably
shifts somewhat.

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