It's funny the way things can happen and the circumstances in which you can met people. I'm currently in Australia as a result of one of those funny happenings that occured at BETT in London earlier this year. I delivered a seminar about the work that I have been doing in schools and at the seminar was a chap called Phil Callil from the Victorian ICT Teachers Association (VITTA). He introduced himself to me, said he was very interested in what I was doing and asked if I'd like to come out to deliver a keynote at the VITTA conference later that year. The proposed invite did duly arrive and eleven months later I found myself on a plane heading to Australia for the first time in my life...
This is the end of the second day of the conference and up until now I have been so very impressed with the standard of seminars in the programme, the keynote speakers and the organisation of the event. I have also been taken with the enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for teaching that seems to emanate from everyone that I meet. I can't remember meeting so many teachers who are interested in and working with games design in their schools!
Twitter also appears to be a huge hit here and the twittering that was going on in my keynote (live feed by ICT Guy here VITTA Day 2) showed just how this tool can be used to enable teachers to share ideas, perceptions and resources instantaneously.
It was really pleasing and also a great relief to see that my keynote was well received today. You can get a feel for how things are going when you present because you can tell from the members of the audience's faces, their body language and how they react to your attempts at humour if things are going well. All of these seemed to be at a good level today so that really just sealed an otherwise superb trip.
If you ever get the chance to come to Australia then I would say that Melbourne is a must see. The city itself is huge but so relaxed and welcoming. There are great things to see in the city, (including a pair of crested cockatoos that lived outside my hotel room) such as
Queen Victoria Market, the Eureka Tower, St Kilda Beach, numerous alleyways such as Desgraves Street. But not far from the city you have the Yarra Valley, the Dandenongs, Philip Island and Great Ocean Road. This place is spectacular, beautiful and welcoming and I would recommend it to anyone.
Countdown to return to Scotland now and to more bearable weather. Thanks to all at VITTA and evryone I met during my stay here for making this such a worthwhile and memorable experience.