Talk:LangCamp 2012

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Feedback[edit source]

John, thanks very much for the opportunity to participate - it was such a coincidental (and super) birthday gift for me. I can hardly imagine a better surprise party!  ;) I sure hope that I can help out in the future, if you desire. Given my ongoing unemployment, it was really super that your team could pick up the tab for my presence.

  • Sorry if I haven't formatted this very well, I really need to learn more about all the formatting features.
  • I was so pleased to meet with such a varied, intelligent, interesting and pleasant group of people! It was really a pleasure, you all, and thanks for putting up with this big-mouthed American! I hope to see you again!
  • You'd mentioned that I could start up a dialog about what was discussed about the OER stream, but I'm afraid my poor memory has lost what you said. Please advise.
  • Does Wikimedia at this time have (or plan to have) an EduWiki that would allow the development of OER outside of the framework of WP? What I mean is, a common resource for teachers to share expertise, resources and how-tos about education that are of high caliber. As Lindy pointed out, there are numerous websites out there that provide questionable/poor materials (eg: lesson plans, curriculums, class/homework sheets), which would need to be avoided at all costs, IMHO. Err..crappy materials need to be avoided, I mean, not the good stuff. :)
  • When I spoke to him Saturday, Doug was still confused about where to place his original ethnic music research. Isn't it Wikiversity that allows OR?
Here I am, about to be so Americanly direct - sorry. Please don't take it personally. Some comments and criticisms:
  1. UI was an interesting venue for me. It's the first time I've seen anything of that venerable institution. The food was pretty enjoyable (although either the hotel or UI gave me the trots) and I got on well with the waitstaff, who actually seemed eager to hear my feedback about their food. The acoustics in the "floating" room were horrible, though.
  2. It's a pity that the WiFi was a shambles; I assume they didn't allocate any/enough bandwidth to the conference, as I couldn't use it at all and Francis only seemed to be able to at a snail's pace.
  3. I thought it was great that so many uni students were involved in the AV part of the conference and I hope that it results in some interesting and useful footage for WM. Not sure why they chose to interview me - a bit of a mystery, that.
  4. I spoke briefly with one of the members of the student team (yellow jackets) and she expressed interest in being involved in WM, so it seems perhaps the conference may have raised awareness - yay!
  5. Did I mention that the food was good (especially the gindara in lemon sauce) and my fellow participants were wicked? ;)
  6. I noticed a lack of participation by the Indonesians in the general parts of the meetings. I can't speak about the incubator group where all the Indonesians were - except Ivan, who was very cheerful and active with us in OER but suffered because of the language gap, and he was unaware of the true purpose of that group so we had to spend quite a while working that out. In my experience, this reticence to participate is typical of Indonesians, especially when they're in a group with expressive foreigners. I won't go into why but they generally need some gentle pressure applied to get them to participate. Unfortunately, aside from the 3 Minang guys and Revo, it turns out that some of the others aren't remotely fluent in English. I spoke to 3 of them (Aris and the other two) on the KRL Friday, and they really couldn't follow what was being said in the meetings as it was way beyond their level of English comprehension. That's not our fault, certainly, just an observation that may be useful for future conferences. My main point is that there were a few times when we were debating questions that could've been answered by the Indonesians, and we didn't avail ourselves of their knowledge (such as when we were talking about the future of high speed Internet access in Indonesia/Bali), and I don't feel that we did much to get them involved in the process. Again, I can't speak of the incubutor stream. Given that this is about their languages and their country (yes, I know, Australia is prominently figured into the gathering), I really think next time should be handled differently, or we might end up being accused of marginalizing the people we're trying to help - j/k.
  7. If I'd known about the IICC in advance, I could've checked with some of my friends and colleagues in schools and unis here for Indonesians who would've been interested in the WM part of it, or even those who might want to speak in the IICC. If, in the future, there is another event, I can try to contact them if that would be of use/desirable. Of course, John only found me 3 days before, so there was no possibility of that this time.
  8. I really appreciated knowing about WikiNews; I had no idea it was an apolitical news platform. I doubt I'll be able to contribute to it, but I know some people who might want to.
  9. Might not the presentation by Chris have been better off given to the incubator stream instead of everyone?
  10. The keynote speeches probably had relevance for many of the attendees of the IICC, but they had little to do with us. Krishna's speech was well done and a bit amusing; I wish I could say the same of the other two. And, of course, all the obligatory speeches prior to the three ladies really made things drag on. I was bored out of my mind, mostly. I think I don't speak for just myself when I say that our presence was not necessary during the beginning or end (the keynotes) and took away a sizable part of the event that could've been used much more constructively. I, personally, had really hoped that the second day would be used to hash out some more details of things we'd come up with in the first day, as I felt really enthusiastic about being involved and helping out. I noticed that some WM people had the good sense to duck out of the opening and closing. ;)
  11. John, hold the microphone closer to your mouth. ;) Your bass voice doesn't carry well and I had a hard time with your accent. ;) At least the technology liked us better than Krishna! ;)
  12. A different hotel might be considered.
Although I felt that the hotel was acceptable, there was some grumbling amongst us about the quality of the service (most especially in the American Grill, but also some noted problems with staff elsewhere) - nothing tremendously horrid, mind you. I DID notice that the manager's treatment of the staff is probably WHY there are problems there - when I ran into issues (like when checking in) he had a tendency to embarrass them in front of guests, which is a big no-no here. He was quick to respond to my comments and get help.
Also, I believe Francis or Walter mentioned that the network there is really screwed up, but when it worked it was blazing fast. I experienced problems with it, as did Sonny.
The AG was, for me, the only real sticking point.
1) Breakfast only started at 7, so we effectively had to scarf down our food in order to meet you at 7:30 and I, for one, am a proponent of a large breakfast as the keystone of the first half of the day.
2) While the waitstaff was nice, they seemed to lack a commitment to keeping the buffet stocked. I realize they may have been trying to minimize waste, however it went well beyond that to the point that we repeatedly had to request the staff to refill things. Saturday morning, for example, at one point the water, tea, creamer, spaghetti noodles, coffee mugs, forks, spoons and a few other things were all gone and only replenished after I went into the kitchen and told them - the waitstaff was back there instead of out front.
3) Walter was dodging water dripping from an AC vent above him, and most of the ceiling showed water damage.
I don't mean to whine, and I certainly am grateful to have had a room at the hotel.
I had some other problems, as well, such as the AC turning itself off repeatedly during the night.
On the other hand, the proximity to the KRL station and Grand Indonesia were nice and I liked the hotel well enough.
As someone concerned about the environment, I liked the pragmatism of the soap and shampoo dispensers, despite not being able to take any home. ;)
The lobby staff were confused about the rooms and, more than once, I had to point out to them what was already written on the list for the "Vandenberg team": "If you have any questions or problems, call John."
It is NOT a bad hotel by any means - they just have some problems, most of which I told them about verbally or via the feedback card. Trust me when I say I've been at far worse hotels and eaten far worse breakfasts, but that was the worst care-taking of a buffet I've ever seen. Not sure if the prices were reasonable as I forgot to look.
  1. I found myself confused at times as to what was going on, so a bit more attention to making sure everyone is aware of plans and schedules would be nice. Fortunately, I took the initiative to ask others and was usually able to find out from them what was going on, but not always. This is not to discredit John in any way - I know you were incredibly busy!
Thanks again for the amazing opportunity! ReveurGAM (talk) 16:58, 9 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Great feedback! :) SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 06:27, 23 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • For the paper, I'll think about it next time. Sounds like a good idea. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into either... I was expecting a more academic setting, like the UI stream (which, what I attended, was awesome).
As for the hotel... well, it's worse than I remember it. I remember getting 1mb/s, rather than being forced to use my modem.Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:38, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]