Anna Whitcher Talks about her Image Conference Experience

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Anna Whitcher talks about her experience as a speaker and delegate at The Image Conference.

1. What did you enjoy about The Image Conference?

What I liked most about The Image Conference was the sense of familiarity the group had throughout the day and also the cohesiveness of the program. Coming from so far away, it felt particularly invigorating to spend time with like-minded people in such a beautiful location. Even though our day was packed, there was a peace about the event that made it particularly fulfilling. It met all expectations.

2. How was The Image Conference different from other conferences you’ve been to?

Conferences can sometimes feel a bit impersonal and their objectives are not always clear. With The Image Conference, there was no doubt that we were all there to share our thoughts and ideas about images and their impact on our lives and our teaching. The atmosphere was extremely welcoming, and it was obvious that everyone was there in a supportive capacity. We already shared a common viewpoint, making it even more possible to explore new ideas and build upon current thought.

3. What were the main discussion points to arise in The Image Conference?

The main shift I felt from the day’s discussions is the fact that teachers are starting to view image and video technology as something that can be used positively both inside and outside of the classroom. Instead of fighting it, we’re learning how to incorporate it constructively and with a more critical eye. By inviting it into our lessons with clear objectives, it’s creating a more innovative environment where both teachers and students can interact more completely and make personal connections.

4. Are there any practical activities you saw in The Image Conference which you’re going to use in your classes?

Nina Lauder had some great ideas of how to retain information by using visualization techniques. While her talk was focused on young learners, I could see the tricks being useful in classes with older students and even myself! Paul Dummet’s discussion of the effectiveness of narratives built on images was inspiring as was Paul Braddock’s storytelling with stills from a music video. There was also some great discussion around student-created video based on Jamie Keddie and Ina Gray’s presentations. I just wish we could have attended all of the sessions. So many great ideas!

5. Where would you like The Image Conference to be held in the future?

How about San Francisco? I like the idea of alternating years in Spain with the off year somewhere else.

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