Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Morning has broken...

I'm writing this in bed as Wednesday of Conference week dawns. Already I've caught up with emails and this morning's press coverage of the Leader's speech. Later today he will be back in the conference hall for a Question and Answer session. Then it will all be over - and delegates and other attendees will say their farewells, with promises to meet up in a year's time in Manchester.

Last night I went to a single fringe meeting. It was put on by the Open University, and considered the future of Higher Education. I found it incredibly stimulating. The advances in technology give an opportunity to use incredible new ways of learning. MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) are not just about delivering "lectures" via video across the world, but allow collaborative learning and a host of effective new means for individuals to learn. I recommend looking at the website "FutureLearn" - www.futurelearn.com for more details.

I find Party Conference to be one of the most stimulating weeks of the year. Perhaps that doesn't come across in the TV coverage - which focuses on the floor speeches. The real value to me comes from the fringe meetings and the stalls in the exhibition hall. It's here is a wonderful opportunity to come across; think about and discuss new ideas and to explore knotty problems of policy and potential opportunities. The French Parti Socialiste has an annual "universite d'Ete" (summer university) - and party conference has that element. I'll be returning home with lots of reading material - but also with ideas to reflect upon and develop further.

My next post will be from Milton Keynes. There I will be able to return to inserting photos ; links and labels to posts. I'll also be uploading the many videos I took and incorporating them in future posts.

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