23rd November 2020
A year ago, we had our first student conference. To say walking into the lobby of that hotel was terrifying would be a huge understatement.
Yet knowing the new level 4 students would not be getting to experience that was quite saddening. The ‘coronacoaster’ had succeeded in disrupting our face to face gathering and it would now be a virtual one. I was sceptical to say the least, not quite knowing how an online conference would capture the feel of a ‘normal’ conference, but it was fantastic!
The workshops I personally attended were really valuable, I came away with a greater understanding of my future prospects than I arrived with. My personal opinion being when face to face gatherings are allowed to continue these should definitely be incorporated.
However, the one thing that really made the conferences special, to me anyway, was the social element and I was expecting this could not be mirrored online. I was wrong. The staff and students pulled together and exhausted the chat window facility to the max! I got to chat to students I knew, students I did not and catch up with some of the teaching staff I had not seen or spoken to since my days as a new student. I don’t think I’ve ever seen messages in the chat window appear and disappear so quickly as streams of new messages appeared!
I think it’s fair to say that everyone who attended gave it their all in combatting the perceived barriers of an online conference and everyone will have come away with more than they arrived with!
Thank you and well done Team TLI!