Campfire sessions are gaining popularity at many events and conferences as a format that provides better learning opportunities. If you haven’t been in a campfire session yet, the name pretty much gives it away. Campfire sessions are smaller and more intimate than typical conference presentations and focus on fostering interaction and peer-to-peer learning. During the campfire sessions at the seventh edition of the Media & Learning Conference (Leuven, Belgium), crowdbeamer was used to help with that.
No more limits on visibility.
The seventh edition of Media & Learning has been entirely dedicated to Video in Higher Education, highlighting the latest pedagogical and technical developments in this field through an interactive agenda packed with inspiring talks, demos, campfire sessions, best practice showcases and hands-on workshops.
The conference’s campfire sessions provided a mix of presentation and discussion opportunities for audiences of up to 40 participants. While a central setup of 4 flat panel displays enabled everybody to watch presentations and video, the visibility was somewhat limited due to the distance between the participants and this campfire display unit. But thanks to the crowdbeamer app installed on their laptop, tablet or smartphone, all participants were able to watch presentations and video directly on their device and take notes alongside.
All the information you need, in one place.
Alessia Evi-Colombo, a Researcher at SFIVET (the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training) and a Ph.D. Student at the University of Geneva, joined several campfire sessions. “Using crowdbeamer during these campfire sessions has been a great experience,” Alessia confirms. “Many presentations had a lot of information to share. But given the distance to the campfire display unit, it was hard to read some of the presentation slides. With crowdbeamer, however, I could view them directly on my tablet and zoom in to get an even better view.
What I loved most about crowdbeamer is that I could take notes precisely at the place where I needed these notes to be. The app gave me the flexibility to screenshot any presentation slides I wanted to take with me and to add notes to those screenshots. Taking notes during presentations can be a big challenge, at least if you want to have your notes next to the presentation slides. With the crowdbeamer app, it’s different as you get everything in one place without any effort.
We all know that advanced technology can sometimes be a bit hard to use in the beginning, but that’s not the case with crowdbeamer. In fact, I found the crowdbeamer app to be self-explaining and intuitive to use. Even if I had no prior experience with crowdbeamer, the app let me create a set of handouts in a very smooth way. I can now take these handouts back home with me, ready to use them at work.”
What I loved most about crowdbeamer is that I could take notes precisely at the place where I needed them to be: alongside the screenshots of the presentation slides.
Write less and think more.
Rebekka Schmidt, an Art Didactics professor at the University of Paderborn, was impressed with crowdbeamer during the campfire sessions because “crowdbeamer makes it easy to listen to the presenter and interact with peers actively. Since you can decide for yourself when to capture presentation slides or video fragments, you don’t have to worry about missing important information. You can also add notes at the same time, without having to write down everything that is already being presented.
Honestly, I’ve come to realize during these campfire sessions that it would be perfect for my students to use crowdbeamer during my Art Didactics classes. Just like all of us write down far too much information whenever we join a presentation, students spend too much time scribbling details during classes. I’d rather have them write less and think more about what I’m teaching. That’s precisely what crowdbeamer makes possible.
Because mobile devices are a fast-growing part of our future, there is a strong need to integrate them tightly into how we work and teach. As a tool that enriches presentations and classes, crowdbeamer is an excellent example of how mobile devices can bring substantial benefits to our professional lives.”
I can certainly see the value of crowdbeamer at the type of conferences we organize as it really makes it easy for everyone, and not just speakers, to share interesting resources and materials without any fuss.
About the Media & Learning Conference
The annual Media and Learning Conference has been organized since 2010 by ATiT, host of the Media & Learning Association’s secretariat. The main objective of this association is to promote and stimulate the use of media as a way to enhance innovation and creativity in teaching and learning across all levels of education in Europe.