Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog

Fall 2008 – Blackboard Usage at GRCC
November 24, 2008, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Work Activities | Tags: , , ,

Every semester, we do our best to track and report usage of the Blackboard system here at GRCC.

The following post highlights some statistics gathered from this Fall.  A course is considered to be “LIVE” and recorded as such if the course has an announcement, content item, gradebook item, quiz, pool, group, or has used the email or other tools.  On the other hand, a course with none of the above is not considered to be used.

I have also included statistics on several Building Blocks that are used in conjunction with our Blackboard environment.

1. Blackboard – Fall 2008

This semester, 64% of GRCC’s sections are using Blackboard as indicated in the following chart:


In addition, this semester there are a total 486 instructors using Blackboard when compared to 183 that are not using the system for teaching and learning.  This means roughly 73% of GRCC faculty are using Blackboard to improve student engagement and success.

instructorusingThe following table highlights additional metrics regarding GRCC’s Blackboard environment.

TOTAL LIVE Sections using Bb
Total Number of Fall 08 Sections
% Sections with Bb Usage
Total Number of Sections not using Bb
Total Unique Students
Total Student Enrollments
Total Unique Instructors
Total Unique Instructor/Faculty
Total Unique TA’s
Out of the 1540 courses that are considered LIVE for this semester, the tools that are most commonly used tools are: content, gradebook, and announcements.  These data are represented in the following chart:
Finally, here is a chart that reflects the trend of the number of live (used) courses over time:
trendsf05082. Wimba Pronto

Pronto is a free instant messaging, audio chat, app sharing, and video conferencing tool that is integrated with Blackboard.

Total Users: 1,411
Total Instructors: 141
Total Number of Pronto-Enabled Courses: 4,806
Total Number of Users who Have Created a Profile: 339

3. Blackboard Sync
Sync™ is a Facebook application that delivers Blackboard course information and updates through the Facebook interface to keep students in touch and engaged with their academic studies.

Total Accounts: 158

4. CourseFeed
CourseFeed™ is a Facebook® application that alerts students when their instructor posts new assignments, announcements, and content in Blackboard®. CourseFeed™ also includes a course wall. Finally, notifications can also be sent to students via email.

Total Accounts: 1,760

5. Rave Wireless
Rave Wireless provides students with the ability to sign up to receive crisis notifications and also provides students with the ability to subscribe to the Blackboard Announcements Channel to receive text messages from Blackboard when their instructors post a new announcement.

Total Users Signed up for Blackboard Channel: 85

Note: We are still testing this service and we have not yet placed the Rave Wireless Building Block in production.


Connecting with Students – Text Messaging, Facebook, and YouTube at GRCC
November 20, 2008, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Articles, Work Activities | Tags: , , ,

With the release of the iPhone as well as the flood of iPhone-like phones from other vendors, it’s all about mobile these days.  In fact, going back a few years, GRCC was one of the first colleges in West Michigan to employ text messaging for crisis situations.  Recently, however, GRCC started using a system called Rave Wireless to send crisis messages to students, and the college will soon begin to offer the ability for students to receive “academic” text messages from GRCC’s Blackboard environment.  While more capabilities are coming from the Rave Wireless service, at this point, Blackboard announcements can be selected to be received by students on their mobile phone via a text message. (Standard text messaging rates apply.) More information about this service will be available on GRCC’s Mobile web site as to when the date to release this functionality is decided.

In preparing for the release of new functionality with the Rave Wireless system, and knowing that nearly all students are carrying a cell phone on campus, we also wanted to know how many students use their mobile device to send and receive text messages.  We recently ran a poll on our GRCC Blackboard portal ( and found that roughly 72% of students say they regularly use text messaging.  While it isn’t a research based inquiry, it still gives us a pulse of what students are saying about this channel of communication.  In addition, this isn’t a small number of student responses as we had over 4500 responses.  Here are the results of the poll:


In addition, Gary Ebels, an instructor here at GRCC recently sent me a report from eMarketer on college students and teen web tastes.  After reviewing these data, it seems as though GRCC students are matching up with national reports where, as the eMarketer reports, the percentage of students that send or receive text messages also fall within the 70% range.   Here is the report from the eMarketer site:

You will also notice in the chart above that instant messaging is also very popular with students and rated as being used by up to 77% of students.  Looking at this through a GRCC lens, we are being deliberate about meeting students where they are and using technologies that they are most comfortable with.  As such, we currently offer instant messaging tools such as Wimba Pronto that GRCC faculty and students can use to increase communication and to encourage more effective collaboration.  Wimba Pronto, with it’s text chat, video conferencing, application sharing, and chat queuing provides faculty and students with an effective and easy-to-use tool that is integrated into GRCC’s Blackboard environment which makes it quick to connect with and communicate with fellow classmates and professors. Currently, more than 1,389 students and 141 instructors have signed up to use Wimba Pronto at GRCC.

Continuing on further, this eMarketer web site reports that the most popular websites include Facebook and YouTube.  Again, looking at this through a GRCC lens, we are also moving forward with ways for students to be engaged with the college through these channels.  Take Blackboard Sync and CourseFeed, for example.  These Facebook applications provide an easy way for students to keep track and get notified what is happening in their Bb courses, without leaving Facebook.  Currently more than 1,700 students have signed up to use CourseFeed and roughly 150 students have created an account on Blackboard Sync.

Finally, through GRCC’s YouTube site, a rich set of resources are available.   From courses, to lectures, to special events, video is available on-demand for students and the community. Here are some of GRCC’s more popular videos currently playing on YouTube:

Single most watched video in 1 day:

  • Diversity Conversation: Ray Suarez and Rev. Doug VanDoren received 9392 views on Oct 8, 2008 9:40:36 PM

Most watched videos:

  • Hands On Luthier: Galloup Guitars and Brian Morris
  • Historical Overview of Grand Rapids Community College
  • Jim Crow Museum Documentary Ferris State
  • Lost Boys of Sudan Panel Discussion
  • LEED Home Floor Trusses
  • Green Roof installed on GRCC’s Applied Tech Ctr.
  • GRCC Chemistry Lecture Helen Free
  • Association of Builders LEED Test Preparation
  • Colin Campbell speaks at GRCC Wellness Forum
  • Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem: Story

Most Discussed:

  • Child Immunizations
  • Should Intelligent Design be Taught in the Classroom
  • Jim Crow Museum Documentary Ferris
  • Hands On Luthier: Galloup Guitars

It’s an exciting time for students and faculty… there are more academically focused technology tools available now than ever before.  Tools that can provide an outstanding set of resources that enable teaching and learning to be extended beyond the boundaries of a brick and morter campus.  These technology tools can improve student engagement IN and OUT of the classroom.  Something that community colleges can improve on, based on a recent report by CSSE highlighted in a recent Inside Higher Ed edition.  Specifically, the article entitled: “Helping Community Colleges Raise the Bar“, mentioned the following:

“Overall engagement is low for community college students out of the classroom, according to the survey. Only 16 percent reported that they discussed ideas with their professors outside of class, and 21 percent worked with classmates outside of class to prepare assignments.”

By leveraging electronic tools such as Blackboard (discussion boards), Wimba Pronto (instant messaging), CourseFeed & Bb Sync (Facebook applications), and Rave Wireless (text messaging) educators can begin to create inviting and engaging communities of learners.

EDUCAUSE 2008 – Notes and Reflections
November 13, 2008, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Conferences | Tags: , , , ,


Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

October 28 – 31, 2008


This is a premier education technology conference and I am always impressed with the quality of the presentations, vendor hall, and the colleagues and peers I’m fortunate enough to meet with at the event. This year’s “theme” was:

Interaction: The ability to come together with peers, colleagues, and vendors in one venue is worthwhile in and of itself. Furthermore, it is through these interactions with others than can bring about generating ideas, inspiration, and innovation back on your campus.

Ideas: The shear wealth of exhibits, poster sessions, vendors, breakout sessions, and informal meetings and interactions in the hallways and before and after sessions generate an amazing set of ideas that expand your knowledge and enhance your expertise in the field.

Inspiration: The wide array of innovative ideas shared, presented, and discussed at this event are amazing. You simply cannot come away from this conference without being inspired to try something new or to bring back a project that you can work on back on campus.

Kudos to the EDUCAUSE Program Committee and Planning Teams for another outstanding event.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Afternoon Seminar : Seminar 13P – Podcasting and Digital Media Systems: Leveraging Ad Hoc and Enterprise Solutions

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Room W330F

  • Eric J. Kunnen, Coordinator of Instructional Technologies, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Kevin L. Reeve, Senior Instructional Designer, Utah State University
  • Session convener: Michael DeBlasi, Director of Learning Technology, Seattle University

Abstract: The focus of this seminar will be to provide a look at desktop and enterprise solutions for the creation, management, hosting, and delivery of digital media, including podcasting. We will consider tools that allow the average person to create podcasts and coursecasts on their own. We will then look at enterprise-level systems, including commercial and open source, and discuss their ability to integrate and authenticate with course management systems. Hosting options (iTunes U, YouTube, and will be explored. You will learn about the social, industry, and Internet trends that are defining the standards for digital media. You will leave with a resource guide containing information and links to systems and tools discussed, along with an instrument for determining needs and a guide to evaluating systems.


  • It was a pleasure to work, prepare, and present with Kevin Reeve from Utah State.
  • We had 31 participants that ranged from faculty through CIO level.
  • I would like to thank our participants for the engaging dialogue and I want to say that it was an honor to share and learn with each and every one of you!
  • While everyone received a handout at the session, please check out our website with many of the resources that we covered:
  • Here are the slides from our session:

Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall

Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall

4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Wimba Client Appreciation Party

Wimba is committed to providing the education industry’s most innovative and effective collaboration software but we couldn’t do it without you – our esteemed customers!

When: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where: Margaritaville Orlando, Universal City Walk

Time: 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blackboard Breakfast Session: CEO Roundtable on K-20

After introductions by the CEO, we’ll dive into a panel moderated by Jennifer Dounay of Education Commission of the States. Panelists will include:

Fred Siff, Vice President & CIO, University of Cincinnati

Bob Ervin, Vice President for Learning Technologies, Fayetteville Technical Community College

Donna Harrington, eLearning Technology Director, IDEAL-NM


  • I was somewhat late to this session because of the bus schedule, however, this topic is of great importance to me since I believe that a seamless transition from K-12 to Higher Ed is what we need in this global, flat world that we are living in.
  • The panel did a great job of sharing their thoughts and experiences and directions.
  • I am impressed with how these panelists have been able to leverage the Blackboard Academic Suite to better align the goals from K-20 along with providing an easy transition for students. I would be interested in reviewing the potential capabilities for retention, developmental education, student engagement, examples of early warning and intervention.
  • It seems to me that colleges and universities can do a much better job at communicating outcomes, establishing connections between faculty and teachers, and to provide more effective faculty professional development.
  • A technology like Blackboard can provide the common unifying platform that can enable communication, collaboration, and synergy.
  • I think Michigan can establish themselves as leaders in this area with MVU, dual enrollment, and the new online course requirements for all new graduates. More locally, I believe that GRCC can work more effectively with our local intermediate school district since they also license the Blackboard Academic Suite.
  • Someone also asked about how the “Greening” movement came into play. One of the panelist mentioned huge savings for professional development… cutting down on face to face meetings… not to mention the ability for students to access course content and materials remotely. GRCC can also be a leader in this space our Sustainability Team by entertaining more deliberate projects that leverage Blackboard and Wimba technologies to conduct our core business of teaching and learning.
  • Here are a few real world examples:
    • Sharing learning objects across the K-20 spectrum
    • Online college preparatory classes and dual enrollment
    • Online professional development and certification for K-12 teachers
    • Parent access and notification of college oriented opportunities for students in high school
    • MVU and GRCC online courses
    • Non-traditional high school students such as ESL, special ed, gifted and talented, service learning
    • Better curriculum alignment from Kent ISD to GRCC
    • Internet2 and expanded capabilities for teaching and content rich and interactive technologies
    • College mentorship programs to K-12 students, mediated by technology and social networks
  • Quote: Training faculty is like hearding cats… Bb is like catnip!

General Session : The Unique Human Brain: Clues from Neurology

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

West Hall WE2

V.S. Ramachandran, Professor and Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego

Abstract: Phantom limbs foster understanding of brain function. Far from having fixed connections, even the basic “wiring” of the brain is constantly modified in response to changing sensory inputs. This has theoretical as well as practical implications for recovery of function from stroke phantom pain and RSD, a chronic pain condition, ushering in a new era for treating neurological diseases. Synesthesia, an inherited condition in which sounds and printed numbers are seen as colors, has a neural basis, which might provide clues to understanding high-level brain functions such as metaphor and abstraction that make human brains unique.


  • Diane Oblinger, President of EDUCAUSE
    • Integration, Ideas, Inspiration
    • Herman Miller furniture provides common areas for informal gathering and networking.
    • Thank you to the program committee.
    • Thank you to Lenovo.
  • V.S. Ramachandran
    • The “Human Brain and it’s Function”
    • The brain is the most complex
    • 100 billion neurons in the human body… each neuron can make up to 10,000 connections… the number of possible brain states exceeds the number of particles in the universe.
    • The brain has targeted areas of certain functions which when injured, there isn’t the over all “blunting” of the brain, rather, that area of the brain’s functions are impaired.
    • Many targeted areas or modules interact a great deal and adjacent parts of the brain can merge into other areas in a dynamic collective way. This was learned from work with people with amputated limbs and phantom pain.
    • Virtual reality was thought to be used as a way to help patients with their phantom pain by having them move a virtual arm… that was going to be very expensive, for $4.00 VS used a mirror to help patients “think” they are moving their phantom by looking at a mirror and moving the non-phantom arm. Using this theory, he has helped many patients with their phantom pain and phantom paralysis, and making it going away.
    • Cross wiring can occur in Sinisthesia which indicates that adjacent areas can be related… say the number 5 is red. This cross wiring is usually pruned away by a “pruning” gene since Sinisthesia runs in families it is genetic.
    • Abstraction is the ability for your brain to take a shape with angles and associating it with a sound… say the “k”sound.
    • VC doesn’t believe in “Intelligent Design” he believes in random chance of evolution.
    • <Side Bar>Not to go into religion here… but since the keynoter put forth his beliefs I also feel the need to share mine!  To me, this lecture really underscores to me the miracle and the complexity of the brain and how it works and functions and to me clearly represents that the brain was created by an intelligent creator… and that creator is God. I simply cannot believe that this level of complexity can come about by random chance or happenstance – it is not logical to believe such a thing. Emotion, abstract thinking, consciousness, etc. cannot be explained by random chance and evolution. To me, this lecture provides direct validation of the Bible… that God created all things! For another view on creation, see this video clip from Mars Hill Church Seattle, “God Creates“.</Side Bar>

Featured Speaker : Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

West Hall WF5

Christine L. Borgman, Professor & Presidential Chair in Information Studies, UCLA

Session convener: Ronald L. Larsen, Dean and Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: Imagine a freshman college student in the year 2015. She has grown up in a world where learning is as accessible through technologies at home as it is in the classroom, and digital content is as real to her as paper, lab equipment, or textbooks. In high school, she and her classmates engaged in creative problem-solving activities by manipulating simulations in a virtual laboratory or by downloading and analyzing visualizations of real-time data from remote sensors. Away from the classroom, she has had seamless access to school materials and homework assignments using inexpensive mobile technologies. She continues to collaborate with her classmates in virtual environments that allow not only social interaction with each other but also rich connections with a wealth of supplementary content. Her teacher has tracked her progress over the course of a lesson plan and compared her performance across a lifelong “digital portfolio,” making note of areas that need additional attention through personalized assignments and alerting parents to specific concerns. What makes this possible is cyberlearning, the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. Cyberlearning has the potential to transform education by enabling customized interaction with diverse learning materials on any topic, from anthropology to zoology. Today’s students already enter the university with high expectations for the use of technology in their learning and for maintaining relationships with their high school classmates, wherever they may have scattered for college or career. The educational system must respond dynamically to prepare our population for the complex, evolving, global challenges of the 21st century. Advances in technology are poised to meet these educational demands. Cyberlearning offers new learning and educational approaches and the possibility of redistributing learning experiences over time and space, beyond the classroom and throughout a lifetime. This talk will present the report of the National Science Foundation Task Force on Cyberlearning and its implications for higher education.


  • The full report is available here [PDF].
  • Seamless access between school and home.
  • Communicate easily and in real time with teachers and other students.
  • Track what students are doing and how they are learning in real time.
  • “Lifelong Digital Portfolio”
  • What is cyberlearning? The scale of interaction that results in a qualitative difference. “K – Gray”. The use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. Interactions across time and space. Custom interactions with diverse materials, on topics that vary, and across age groups.
  • We are ready for another magnitude of change. Cloud computing, mass communication, recommend systems, social networking, sensor networks…
  • Why is this important? Leverages learning through communication technologies, and student’s technology skills.
  • Extends capacity of educational institutions into life-long learning opportunities that increases public understanding of science, prepares citizens for complex evolving global challenges.
  • Why now? NSF has been funding programs for a long time… the kinds of technologies that brought us the Internet… major investments in cyber infrastructure. We have better technologies and a better understanding with how to use them.
  • Themes:
    • Develop and advance technologies
    • Enable students to use data
    • Harness the learning data
    • Support broader audiences
    • Sustain cyberlearning materials
  • Promote cross-discipline communities of researchers and practitioners including: techies, educators, social scientists, and domain scientists
  • Publish best pracitse
  • Recruit diverse talents
  • Platform – shared, interoperable designs of hardware, software, and services.
  • Incorporate and support new technological innovations, fully tested modules for classroom use

Emerging Technologies : Creating Applications for Converged Devices Like the iPhone: Start with a Vision

Creating Applications for Converged Devices Like the iPhone: Start with a Vision

Session Details

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Room W224CD


* Hab Adkins, Manager of Programming and Support, Abilene Christian University

* James Langford, Director of Web Integration and Programming, Abilene Christian University

* Session convener: Michael DeBlasi, Director of Learning Technology, Seattle University

Abstract: In response to the video version of ACU’s vision for converged media devices like the iPhone, we are using building blocks of Google Apps, a Google SketchUp model of campus, Xythos digital locker and custom web apps to create a mobile toolset for faculty and students. This presentation will detail the implementation.


  • This was an impressive session from the standpoint of all the applications that Abilene developed specifically for the iPhone. It did leave me wondering about the proprietary nature of Apple Inc… and the support for other mobile devices…
  • I am looking forward to Blackboard’s iPhone App since GRCC has an AT&T Grant whereby students were equipped with Apple iPod Touch’s.
  • ACU developed a nice Xythos iPhone app which made me wonder about Blackboard’s Content System capabilities on the iPhone.
  • ACU developed a very nice “A day in the life” video that captures nicely the capabilities that they provide to their students.  See:
  • ACU developed a map in Google Sketchup
  • Students can access, RSS, photos, Google calendar, maps, city resources, Xythos files, $ balances, tools, instructor’s contact info, all on their mobile device…
  • Faculty can use the iPhone for the above also, but in addition they have a neat way to pull up student photo roster and use it to take attendance (Present, Tardy, Absent, Excused) right on their phone. There is even a game that was developed that faculty can “play” to learn the student’s names. When a student was marked absent, they are sent an email with this indicator. There is a “red/yellow/green” indicator also by their photo that shows how many classes they have missed.
  • ACU also developed a way to use the iPhone as a clicker, which make a whole lot of sense to me. I’m still on the fence with the value of using clickers in the classroom. See: In addition to polls there are submit a statement “word cloud” feature that allow students to enter a word which would be a neat teaching/polling tool. Reminds me of:

Teaching and Learning : Mashup the Lecture: Allowing Students to Personalize Their Lecture

Mashup the Lecture: Allowing Students to Personalize Their Lecture

Session Details

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2:15 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

Room W315A

Session Type: Teaching and Learning

Content Level: Introductory

Intended Audience(s): Campus administrators, Frontline technology practitioners, IT directors and managers


* Patrick Lyons, Assistant Director, Instructional Technologies, Carleton University

* Session convener: Kari Walters, Director, Instructional Support, College of Business, Louisiana State University

Abstract: Carleton University, in partnership with Gotuit, has implemented a video mashup tool. This online tool allows students to tag, describe, edit, create and share a lecture highlight reel. This presentation will showcase the tool and talk about the benefits, concerns and implications of allowing students to edit an instructor’s lecture.


  • This college moved all of their telecourse types of content to VOD, rather than DVD or VHS.
  • They have 35 courses per term and about 5,500 students.
  • The classrooms are ITV classes that have students in them, but the entire session is recorded and availbable within 24 hours.
  • Video that is mostly lecture get’s a bad rap for not being interactive since most video is traditional lecture. In this model, there is limited student engagment.
  • Many instructors are familiar with lecture but lack awareness and technique of other teaching practice and modalities.
  • Student often say: “I paid for you to teach me, not for me to do group work!”
  • There is a challenge to make things more interactive because of class sizes.
  • The approach as a tool is to allow students to work with the lecture. This allows:
    • Personalized Learning
    • Engagement of Learners
    • Dive Deeper into Learning
    • Build Community

Teaching and Learning : A Campus-Wide Approach for Mobile Learning with iPhones

A Campus-Wide Approach for Mobile Learning with iPhones

Session Details

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

3:50 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.

Room W224GH

Session Type: Teaching and Learning

Content Level: Introductory

Intended Audience(s): Campus executives, Chief information/technology officers, IT directors and managers


* Kyle Dickson, Associate professor, Abilene Christian University

* William Rankin, Associate Professor / Director of Mobile Learning Research, Abilene Christian University

* George Saltsman, Executive Director, Adams Center for Teaching and Learning, Abilene Christian University

* Session convener: Cynthia E. Rolfe, Vice President for Information Technology, University of Central Oklahoma

Abstract: Ninety-seven percent of students enter college with cell phones, yet few universities leverage this ubiquity for teaching and university life. Colleges have two choices: continue to treat mobile devices as a nuisance, or embrace them by leveraging their mobile learning capabilities. ACU’s expanded view connects academic, social, and infrastructural m-learning applications.

Wimba Booth – GRCC Wimba Pronto Presentation

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

3:10 – 3:25 pm

Discussion on the application and leverage on the use of Wimba Pronto for extending

  • campus community,
  • making connections,
  • keeping in touch with other students and instructors
  • extending informal communication 24×7,
  • integrating instant messaging and the value to GRCC
Wimba GRCC Presentation

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: instant pronto)

Blackboard Client Appreciation Party

We look forward to seeing you at the Blackboard Invitation-Only Client Appreciation Party on Wednesday, October 29 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at BB King’s Orlando. Please print this email or your confirmation page and bring it with you to the Information Counter at the Blackboard Booth (#921) in exchange for a wristband that will allow your entry to the party.

BB King’s Orlando (at the Pointe Orlando)

9101 International Drive

Suite 2230

Orlando, FL 32819

(407) 345-4930

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Featured Speaker : Social Media and Education: The Conflict Between Technology and Institutional Education, and the Future

Session Details

Thursday, October 30, 2008

8:10 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

West Hall WF5

Session Type: Featured Speaker


* Sarah Robbins-Bell, PhD Candidate, Ball State University

* Session convener: Lawrence C. Ragan, Director, Faculty Development, The Pennsylvania State University

Abstract:  Today’s technology enables users to form and join communities of common interest to learn and share information. In opposition to the privileged learning spaces of higher education, social media encourage learners to seek out their own answers and construct knowledge as a community rather than as individuals. Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and Second Life offer new learning spaces, but how do they fit into the learning expectations of institutions?


  • All communication is educational.
  • Allows for more community, exchange of ideas – web 2.0. It’s not flat… unidirectional – it is interactive.
  • Social media creates new ways to learn without the communities and structures created by institutions.
  • TED talks… connect with leading experts in various fields – easily.
  • Flickr… become aware, share, and interact with others around tools.
  • Learn… how to web sites and sharing allows learning outside of the classroom and in informal ad hoc ways.
  • What is the educator’s role in a world like this?
    • Information is Democratic… Wikipedia
    • Information is Amateur… YouTube
    • Information is Distributed…, Bb Scholar, Diigo
    • This is a different model than the “sage on the stage”. We don’t need barriers!
    • Embrace the change…
    • Educators are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge. We have to know that.
    • The role of educators has changed.
  • We need to focus on:
    • Teaching students how to learn in an information economy. This is your right and responsibility and a necessary skill.
    • Teaching students the importance of contributing to a community. (Mike Wesch, Netibes start page.)
    • Relating as more experienced co-creators rather than employers. Students “Be Kind to Your Erasers” – YouTube clip. Students created something that gives back, entertains, informs… Engage them as peers in learning…
    • Serving as guides as students shape their own paths.
    • In a world of social media, educators are more important than ever… Educators need to encourage active, engaging the learner, etc. Students shouldn’t have time to “distract themselves” with Facebook, etc. If they are doing that in class… they are not engaged in learning or the instructions.
    • We need to create critical thinking and literacy interchanges.
    • Sarah “intellagirl” Robbins =

General Session : The Facts of Life in the High-Tech Age

Session Materials

Thursday, October 30, 2008

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

West Hall WE2

Session Type: General Session


* Moira Gunn, Host of Tech Nation and BioTech Nation, National Public Radio

Abstract:  Moira Gunn provides a unique perspective into the wide field of technology by integrating her background as a software engineer, her early career at NASA, her current work at the University of San Francisco heading the information systems programs for working adults, and her many in-depth interviews on NPR Talk with the leading figures in technology. In addition, Gunn’s experience integrating podcasting, wikis, and more into the adult curriculum gives her insight into the nature of technology and what we can expect from it.


  • Joel Hartman from the University of Central Florida has won the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award – Congrats Joel!
  • Catalyst Award is Regional Networks.
  • These are roller coaster times… we are being asked to slash the budgets…
  • Everyone wants to talk about trends… but in actuality technologies have “arcs”… there are ups and downs.
  • Exciting about the next big thing… but it quickly becomes last year’s blog.
  • The Arc of Technology as it reflects the Arc of IT Management…
  • Traditionally, IT management has followed the hardware… mainframes, personal computers, laptops, moved to embedded computers and cell phones. Now we have the “cloud”.
  • Every time there was a new rise in technology… IT often would manage it based on a previous technology.
  • Mainframes… the role was “we manage the iron”. We buy large software packages, we pay companies for changes, it is about centralized control. We control everything, the idea that we need to control all factors from lines of code to the hardware.
  • Minicomputers… suddenly departments and labs could buy their own computers… this didn’t set well with central IT who were used to controlling everything. The beginning of decentralized. Smaller community colleges handled this much better than larger universities because community colleges didn’t have to deal with large grants and research projects.
  • PC… individuals had computers. IT didn’t know what to do, because they were not connected and IT needed to make office visits. Struggle between centralized / distributed control.
  • We are starting to try to figure out how to manage servers and PC’s. Push technologies are the “devils work”… that philosophy is that things can’t change! Central IT needs to control everything… If it’s working, why change it? Buy a system and let it sit there… only update it if you have to. Computers “out there” are all at different levels. We are not used to letting go of control.
  • The “server farm” big software vendors, large software packages, localized control. Most times IT departments didn’t try to control departments and research etc. Now it is about integration of existing devices that are coming to campuses.
  • Cloud computing… Web services allow distributed network. Don’t have to support the big system as a single entity… rather, use what is available.
  • How do we make it all work? The fact is “the iron age” is over… it’s in the clouds. Historically IT departments manage the “trust” of making the systems work… but this is now that is a challenge and isn’t possible since everything is decentralized.
  • The Arc of Information – Information has lived through all of the various technologies.
  • The Arc of the Wiki – Howard Cunningham invented the Wiki. Those who build technology can never predict how it will it be used. Innovation occurs everytime you put technology into someone’s hands.
  • The next step is the cloud… applications and data are not having to do with hardware and centralized servers. If everything is in the cloud… then all we need is access. Data doesn’t reside on centralized servers or laptops… it’s in the cloud.
  • Opensource – Does everything we use need to be purchased? We need to understand that the technology itself isn’t the focus, it’s the changing of the model of the licensing and how innovation happens.
  • Faculty – Not all faculty are “ready”. We need to learn that learning is about sharing… we do this institutionally… sharing slides, etc. We also need to do this in the classroom. With Wikis… students can self organize. We have legacy IT we have legacy Faculty… but it’s not about the age of a person.
  • Publishing – Students are publishing on Facebook, things that they want.

Featured Speaker : Confessions of a Digital Immigrant

Confessions of a Digital Immigrant

Session Details

Thursday, October 30, 2008

11:45 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

West Hall WF5

Session Type: Featured Speaker


* Joel L. Hartman, Vice Provost, Information Technologies and Resources, University of Central Florida

* Session convener: John H. Gregory, Executive Director, Information Technologies, University of Maine

Abstract:  Most of us have come to our positions in information technology as what Marc Prensky would call “digital immigrants.” We descended from, and spend most of our time in, a primarily analog world, yet we have the responsibility to create and lead a primarily digital world. What resources can we consult to find a sense of direction and meaning as we navigate this strange new world?

WINNER: 2008 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award. Award sponsored by SunGard Higher Education, An EDUCAUSE Platinum Partner.

Teaching and Learning : The EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009

The EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009

Session Details

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2:20 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Room W224EF

Session Type: Teaching and Learning

Content Level: Intermediate

Intended Audience(s): Chief information/technology officers, Frontline technology practitioners, IT directors and managers


* Julie K. Little, Interim Director, ELI, EDUCAUSE

* Carie Lee Page, ELI Program Coordinator, EDUCAUSE

* Session convener: Joyce A. Aarsvold, Area Coordinator for Technology, Gustavus Adolphus College

Abstract:  This fall, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative invites you to embark on a journey to map the top challenges in teaching and learning with technology. Attend this interactive session to learn from a panel of community experts about some of the top challenges on their campuses. Then, weigh in on the discussion, joining your peers in a high-energy brainstorming session to help develop a community inventory. You’ll also have an opportunity to explore how you can contribute as we inaugurate this project centered on community engagement and sharing.


  • From creating and assessing learning spaces on campus…
  • …to innovating and assessing learning spaces in virtual environments.
  • Introducing new and emerging technology to the faculty: 64% identified emerging tech as top T&L area, identifications of technologies, pros and cons of emerging technologies, supporting students and faculty.
  • Innovation happens upon the exposure of tools by faculty and students.
  • Assessing student learning, classroom performance system/clickers, check level of understanding of key concepts prior to moving forward.
  • Integrating technology, laptop pc loan program, tablet laptops,, blackboard site allows discussion board to exchange ideas and develop community, access to required forms and helpful resources, experience and knowledge for future online resources.
  • Evidence for success – what is it? Need to view emerging technologies in light of instructional goals.

Emerging Technologies : Moving Video Beyond Content Delivery: A Tool for Annotating Online Video

Moving Video Beyond Content Delivery: A Tool for Annotating Online Video

Session Details

Thursday, October 30, 2008

3:55 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Room W312C

Session Type: Emerging Technologies

Content Level: Intermediate

Intended Audience(s): Chief information/technology officers, Frontline technology practitioners


* David Ernst, Director of Academic and Info Tech., College of Education & Human Development, University of Minnesota

* Session convener: Will Monroe, Head of Instructional Technology, Louisiana State University


Instructors are increasingly using web-delivered video to capture performances in courses. To facilitate assessment of recorded performances, Academic Technology Services at the University of Minnesota developed VideoANT, a video annotation tool that offers the ability to annotate detailed information to specific points along the timeline of an online movie clip.


  • This tool takes a video that is already on the web in flv format and wraps some text annotation on it.
  • See:

Feel the Spirit!

Session Details

Thursday, October 30, 2008

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Abstract: Party with the paranormal at Feel the Spirit!, where you’ll mix and mingle with dead ringers of your favorite musical stars at the Universal CityWalk® special Halloween fête. Rock ’til you drop with the likenesses of musical legends Elvis, John Lennon, and Janis Joplin, who will conjure up music so good, it’s scary. Sample devilishly delicious All Hallows fare with your fellow boys and ghouls, and dance the night away to some seriously spooky serenades. A special thanks to our sponsors, Lenovo and Zimbra.

Photos from EDUCAUSE

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Lecture Capture as easy as 1 – 2 – 3 !
November 10, 2008, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Articles, Conferences, Work Activities | Tags: , ,

I’m always on the lookout for any technology that does the work for faculty… rather than the other way around.  Enter Camtasia Relay for lecture capture.  Like many products from Techsmith Inc., Relay is effective, easy, and simple!

First, a little background.  Here at GRCC, we have been looking for solutions in the “lecture capture” space for quite some time.  The most well known vendors in this space are Echo360 (formerly Apreso Anystream), Tegrity, and Mediasite by SonicFoundry.   All of them have great products and solutions.  Unfortunately, the cost of these systems is often prohibitive.

Over the past year, GRCC has been involved in beta testing and piloting a new lecture capture solution from Techsmith Inc., called Camtasia Relay. GRCC has captured some of this work in a case study and I’m very happy to report that GRCC was referenced in a  recent newletter article entitled: “TechSmith News You Can Use” (October 2008 | Issue 58).

What is Relay?  Well, Camtasia Relay includes a small footprint client recorder (mac and pc) and a server software application that work together to provide an easy way for faculty to capture their lecture.  All the instructor has to do is launch the client, choose a profile, click the “big red record button”, and stop the recording when they are finished.  The server handles all the rest, including publishing the recording to a wide array of destinations including: iTunes U,, Blackboard, and campus streaming servers such as a Flash Media Server, etc.

Camtasia Relay allows institutions to take advantage of existing streaming servers and technologies that are already in place.  The cost of the system is also very reasonable and provides institutions with the ability to “grow into the application”.  As we continue to evaluate solutions and products in this space, we have been very happy with the Camtasia Relay solution.

More information about GRCC’s case study is located on this GRCC’s Camtasia Relay Pilot page.  More information about how Relay works can be reviewed at the Camtasia Relay Product Tour page.