In the first 30 minutes of the conference the tool, deployed on Apple iPads, captured responses from all 80 attendees at the conference. The tool then facilitated a process through which 8 of the responses were selected to be presented verbally on stage during the first session of the conference.
The process worked well on the day, providing a fast-paced activity to kick off the event, and create the first outcome of the conference after the papers themselves. The activity started in small groups gathered around tablet devices; conference attendees helped one another articulate their individual perspectives on the conference theme. These groups of 3 or 4 then selected which response to nominate for presentation to everyone, adding an image to the response courtesy of Google Image Search. Next groups ranked the responses other groups had created, resulting in a top 8 responses to be presented on the spot to conference attendees for 90 seconds each.
By using digital technologies in the session it was possible to quickly collate and visualise the responses of the group. The results of the ranking process were instantly available on all devices, allowing us to move quickly on to the presentations that concluded the session. The digital medium also allowed us to display the outcomes of the process on large touchscreens in the foyer of the venue throughout the remainder of the conference, providing access to all the responses captured for conference attendees to peruse.
The digital tools used for this event were developed on top of the New IDEAS digital tools platform. The platform provides a number of mechanisms to capture and visualise data across many devices, making it ideal for this application. The platform has been developed to handle many devices and a large number of users, storing all the information it captures for display and further analysis.
We are currently working on offering this digital tool and others as an online service. We are also working to make our platform available to developers to create their own digital tools. For more information, please contact Roger Whitham.