April 19, 2013

PEN + PAPER ? Notetaking during conferences

When I started attending conferences years ago, I normally used the notepad provided by publishers to take notes during the sessions I attended. I used my pen to jot down whatever I thought was pertinent to my teaching practice and kept these notes stored for some time before I threw them out. I also kept the various hand-outs given by the presenters.

This year at the IATEFL conference I noticed a big change in the way people are storing information. First, I could see an ocean of mobile devices being held above people's heads taking photos of slides being shown. 

Many people tweeted throughout the conference.

Others used their fast fingers to blog about the sessions and resources being shared. Check GRAHAM STANLEY's blog posts at http://blog-efl.blogspot.co.uk/
Image by Carla Arena

Others like me, used their ipads for taking notes. I had thought of using the EVERNOTE APP but something went wrong and I decided to give another note-taking app a chance. NOTABILITY was the app I used each day to keep notes and pictures taken during the sessions.

Well, it was pretty easy to type the notes, take pictures from within the app to add to the notes, save them and then share them via e-mail with a friend at the end of the day. It's also possible to share your notes via Facebook or Twitter. 

Another great difference which I've been noticing more recently is the way people have been sharing their ppt presentations and resources after the session. In the past, most presenters would share their e-mails with the audience and promise to send the ppt to anyone who wrote them an e-mail. Honestly, I hate this method as some presenters never send you their slides later on. Nowadays, there are SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS. Some people like Vicky Saumell and Carla Arena,  shared cards with the link to a webpage with resources and their own presentations. Vicky created a protopage and Carla wrote a  blog post.

Others, like Gavin Dudeney shared a QRCODE at the end of the slides so that by scanning it you would be taken to their shared presentation. If you don't have a QR reader, I suggest THIS ONE (for iphones or androids ).

Others, like sharing LIVEBINDERS with their links ( I learned this one from Shelly Terrell).

And some others, still use two very powerful technologies: PAPER + PEN.

Now, is there a best way to store information? I don't know, I think the most important thing is to keep some sort of  information so that you can retrieve later for further reflection.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? How do you take notes during presentations and conferences nowadays?

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