Students from the MBA in Educational Leadership take part in the world’s longest running online conference

Six surf boards leaning against the wall with a text Aloha.
The TCC Worldwide Online Conference was organised by the University of Hawaii.

Back in 1996, a fledgling online bookstore called Amazon was giving traditional bookstores cause for concern and the term social media was used to describe a long-forgotten platform called Six Degrees. In those days of modem dialups, the World Wide Web was a very different landscape. This was the background to the inaugural TCC Worldwide Online Conference, organised by the University of Hawaii and designed to connect those involved in higher education through discussions around “innovations and practices that accompany the use of technology in teaching and learning.”

Fast forward to spring 2023 and the 28th edition of the conference, an impressive haul of nine Master’s Degree Programme in Educational Leadership (MEL) students passed peer review to present at the conference. Alongside Senior Lecturer in Business and Media Mark Curcher and MEL alumni Julia Briggs, eight participants from MEL’s Postdigital Media for Educational Leaders elective taught by Chris Smith, successfully submitted work created as part of the course under such titles as Confessions of a Laggard in the Postdigital Age, and Teaching in Complex Emergencies (Pandemics, Climate Disasters and War Zones).

A hearty congratulations to MEL students Claire O’Brien, Cristina Moran-Vergara, Claire Phillips, Caroline Varin, Cristina Obae, Dirk Visscher, Jennifer Rowland and Oscar Boije!

“I believe there is a real benefit for students having the opportunity to present their work in a peer reviewed international setting, this makes for an authentic assessment. I am delighted that Chris encouraged the students to take up this opportunity,” said MEL Coordinator Mark Curcher.

Cristina Obae concurred: “The Postdigital Media course final task gave me the courage to put on paper the research on Language Learning Pedagogical Affordances of the Metaverse I did together with a fellow from Columbia University and not just limit myself to an oral presentation. The whole experience was extremely rewarding and will surely contribute to my future development as a researcher.”

“The postdigital course and TCC experience was way more that researching, collaborating and thinking critically about the use of technologies in education. It encouraged creating ideas, presenting an opinion and in the end elevating self-esteem by presenting in front of experts in the digital field. Often the importance of being connected with one another in a human-digital way seems to be forgotten. It should not be forgotten,” said Dirk Visscher.

Cristina Moran-Vergara underlined the steep educational value of such an experience: “This was my first time presenting at an online conference and the team made it very enjoyable during the whole process. It gave me an opportunity to meet like-minded people and to learn from them.”

It is hoped that we can give the next cohort of MEL students the opportunity to present at the 29th TCC conference in 2024.

Read more about TCC worldwide online conference.


Text: Christopher Smith

Picture: Unsplash

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