A MoodleMoot is a conference for Moodle users, about Moodle.
As much as I love online learning and collaboration, I also love experiencing the same face-to-face.
MoodleMoots are great because you get to:
- meet like-minded people
- meet/see/listen to the people behind the online profiles
- learn something new
- consolidate some things you already know
- share your own knowledge/experiences
- have a say
As an independent Moodle user, i.e. not connected within or to any organisations but my own, I found that sometimes my Moodle experiences could be a little bit lonely. Moodlemoots have been my way of connecting with others who are interested in education, sharing, collaboration, and – of course – Moodle.
Here are my ‘top tips’ for attending a MoodleMoot:
1. Talk to others between sessions
Moodlers are approachable. Get chatting, get talking,
utilise the breaks to chat and ask questions and get to know your fellow
delegates. Ask which sessions they are going to and why they chose those ones. Tag
along if you don’t have any particular preference yourself. Talk to the
stall-holders and promoters too – you might learn something completely
different or from a different perspective.
2. Have a (flexible) plan beforehand
Look at the programme before you go and try to make some decisions then. It’s a good idea to check out the map of the Moot too, so you can get a good idea of where you’re going as well as when. Be open-minded – perhaps the presentation isn’t what you expected, or perhaps the intended presenter was unable to make it. These things happen occasionally; just roll with it. Often I find that at Moots there are several good sessions to choose from running concurrently. My advice is if you’re really stuck, go with what you’re really interested in, be it something new or something familiar, or go with what your new Moot-buddies are interested in. That way you’ll have something to talk about during the breaks.
3. Be cognizant of others and of time
During sessions, take notes, listen and ask questions that are relevant to the presenter’s topic. Refrain from challenging the presenter unless asked to do so; they are there to help you. Take photos (if permitted) and share them on social media. Be mindful of time – particularly if you are presenting.
4. Share your new and existing knowledge and skills
After (or during, if you are skilled enough to listen and compose a message at the same time) share your own experiences related to the session with your co-Mooters in person or online. Get on board with the preferred social media (often Twitter) and use the Moot’s official hashtags to share your views and insights with the rest of the world. Tag in the presenter as well; no doubt they will be interested to know your thoughts and feelings about the subject they presented about.
5. Take part
Contribute your ideas in plenary sessions. Have a say! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make suggestions. Your experience matters, no matter how long or short, or how great or small it is. If you’re not too tired and if you don’t have other commitments, take part in social activities too.
6. Take with you:
- a notebook or preferred note-taking device – I like an exercise/note book with unlined pages
- some pens – although you can almost always pick up some nice freebies
- a charger – put your name on it. A power board is handy too, if you have room
- a printed copy of the basic programme – I always like to print a small paper copy of the programme in case my device runs flat and I’ve forgotten a charger (see above)
- a refillable coffee/tea cup – conference cups are always too small in my opinion
- a refillable water bottle
- business cards
If you have any further tips and ideas for MoodleMoots and conferences in general, please add them to the comments below.