Fiona James Talks about her Image Conference Experience


Teacher, trainer and coach Fiona James answers talks about her experiencec as a delegate at The Image Conference Córdoba. Many thanks to Fiona for her very perseptive comments.

1. What did you enjoy about The Image Conference?

I enjoyed networking with professionals on an international level and sharing ideas and feelings about our role as educators. For me a conference like this always brings a new surge of energy that puts a fresh light on what I do, seeing other perspectives and making connections between the ideas of others to how I can implement them in my own teaching and training.


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

The common denominator of using digital image in learning weaves a common thread throughout the different kinds of talks and workshops, which is something I have never found in other conferences that embrace a much wider focus on educational issues. This specialisation gives anyone who is seriously interested or curious about new ways of using images and technology in education an ample range of very varied ideas, methods, existing resources, projects etc to reflect on. All in all, this unusual degree of focus appears to invite a presence of very like-minded people to share their ideas, talent and creativity, under the same roof for a day.


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

For me the greatest discussion in general is the way images and technology are becoming increasingly greater protagonists in our lives and the lives of those we work with. It is the way forward and we need to embrace all it can do to enrich the learning experience, using the resources available with discretion and sound criteria, but also with creativity and a sense of freedom, especially when we consider the opportunity it offers to create learner-generated learning experiences. For me, it is about handing over responsibility for learning in a way unprecedented before.

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

I particularly liked Ina Gray’s work with how she is using learner-generated film as an alternative in learning and evaluation techniques. Also the Visual Thinking routines described by the inspirational work of Chrysa Papalazarou I think are very powerful to use not only with primary, but with older students and address areas, like emotional intelligence that are often absent from the classroom experience. Also Kieran offered a very comprehensive list of existing technologic resources for the use of film, which I am investigating for possible use in my work.

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

I would love to see it back in Cordoba at some point, but I also think it should travel the globe as much as possible, extending the opportunity to others and refreshing its own format in the process. Like image and technology, it is on the move and this for me should be apparent in where and how it is delivered. Maybe one year in Spain (making it available to the country at large by holding the venue in turn in the north, middle and south) and a year abroad, unless there are 2 venues in a single year, whereby one could be international and the other in its country of origin…Spain!

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