Monday, March 28, 2016

Moving out of the comfort zone


Katie Day & I are organising a small conference in Beijing to be held in April at Keystone Academy. We have done something similar in Hong Kong in 2014, however this location being China definitely has its challenges as many digital apps are not able to be accessed there without a VPN - VPN's are currently illegal to be used in China.

Some of the apps we tend to use and take for granted including the Google Suite - Google forms, sites, blogger, youtube, gmail are all closed off in China, as is Facebook, Slideshare, Trello and a few others. This has become a challenge as we needed to have a website, a booking platform and place to collaboratively host presentations along with survey software.

We worked around the Google site issues by using Weebly to create our website, for our surveys we used Typeform. Our booking platform is Eventbrite. The one place we had trouble finding was the collaborative sharing of files, Google drive does this so good we knew it was going to be a tough one.

After identifying someone with knowledge on the subject who is an Ed tech educator living in Nanjing. (@brianlockwood How, What, Why?)  I contacted him via twitter and we bounced off a quick conversation about apps that might be used for collaborative sharing. He suggested we used Microsoft's OneDrive as that will probably fit our needs. So I am now working on learning how to use this platform so I can help others.

So you see, just when you think you have it all figured out ... along comes another curveball to challenge and move you out of your comfort zone. The upside is that I have been able to learn about some new applications and platforms I may never have got to learn about.

If you are interested in the conference, visit the website School Librarian Connection. We will be tweeting and hopefully streaming some of the conversations through Meerkat or Periscope, (whichever works) follow @schlibcon on twitter for updates closer to April 22-23.

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