A recap of previous Variety in Chem Ed conferences. #vicephec15

I was contemplating a tweet from Simon Lancaster the other day where he asks how many people can lay their hands on their conference notes from a conference they attended a couple of years ago. I have blog posts! I also have written notes and various notes made on various computers. I’m grateful for the people who Storify the conference though! So here are my blog posts:

Loughborough ViCE 2010: http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2010/09/vice-2010-talk/ I attended the first day only because I was heading off (at some hideously early hour) to London for Science online 2010). I mainly remember there being lots of new people, lots of interesting ideas and generally being a bit overwhelmed. And doing an oral byte was seriously scary. Edit to add: Planet Chemistry has a great summary of the conference: https://planetchemistry.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/variety-living-up-to-its-name/ 

York ViCE 2011: http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2011/09/variety-in-chemistry-vce11/ This was the start of the social media side of Variety…early on Day 1, Simon Lancaster presented an oral byte on using twitter and bravely put up some ‘live tweets’ of the morning so far. By the end of the day there were a lot more folk on Twitter.  Edit to add: I also storified it: https://storify.com/kjhaxton/variety-in-chemistry-education-2011-day-1 and http://storify.com/kjhaxton/vce11 which is possibly the only time I’ve ever used Storify.  Aslo http://wp.me/p3BLsC-eb

Edinburgh ViCE 2012: http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2012/09/variety-in-chemistry-education-2012/ Main memories are Bob Worley’s microscale, drinking whisky, trying to give a talk the next day (probably on screencasting stuff) and going on holiday straight afterwards.

Liverpool ViCEPHEC 2013: http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2013/09/variety-in-chemistry-education-conference-2013-vicephec13/  and http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2013/09/the-chemical-concept-inventory-thing-vicephec13/ This was the one with the workshops – chemical concept inventories, and Jane Essex and I did one on the Victorian Pharmacy. I also recall Michael Seery’s lecture quite clearly. And the conference dinner was cracking!

Durham ViCEPHEC 2014: http://www.possibilitiesendless.com/2014/08/summers-end/ Nearly missed my train because the taxi didn’t show up at the end of the conference and was going on holiday again. Some very thought provoking talks (Simon Lancaster) and workshops (Kristy Turner). Talked about using TESTA for evaluating a course review which was an interesting talk to write.

Nottingham ViCEPHEC 2015: wait and see!

So what do I do now that I do because I saw it at Variety first?  I’ve used microscale techniques in 1st year labs and more recently for outreach (must blog about that). I’ve started using what I now understand to be Peer Instruction (damn terminology confusion!) with plans to do more of it this coming year. I’ve become significantly more interested in fundamental chemical concepts and they strike me as the underpinning of many popular teaching methods including flipping, screencast pre-lectures, Peer Instruction and others. They sometimes seem to go unacknowledged but these methods seem to enable teachers to draw them out, sometimes without being aware that is what they are doing.  I still use social media and the chemed community is one major reason I’m still on twitter – I started out using it for a 30 day trial! And I also know several things that I probably wont try!  Anyway, I’m looking forward to this year. Edit to add: my guess (from the tweets Planet Chemistry has posted) is that Variety 2010 was when I decided to start recording lectures. And how could I have forgotten Nigel Young’s Molecular Disco Jukebox in 2011 (which I’ve used for 1st year spectroscopy ever since): http://www.hull.ac.uk/chemistry/Molecular_Disco/ or Michael Seery’s Audacity workshop?

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