Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog

Faculty Learning Day 2012 – Keynote Notes
January 12, 2012, 10:16 am
Filed under: Conferences, Work Activities

Grand Rapids Community College has a faculty learning day every year with a keynote and several breakout sessions.

This year, the keynote was delivered by Constance Staley from the University of Colorado who spoke about the topic of “resilience” in faculty and students.

Here are a few of my notes from her presentation:

  • Resilience = Confidence / Character / Connections and it is also related to the themes of the conference which were: Challenge / Control / Commitment
  • When working with students we need to accentuate the positive.
  1. Praise Effort & Motivation – Focus on the effort placed by students.
  2. Emphasize Realistic Optimism – Not blind faith, but help students admit what needs to be changed.  It’s about the intentionality of learning and the students’ responsibility.
  3. Teach Student to Fail Forward – Use experience to gain and “failure is a process not an obstacle”.
  4. Help Students Understand how they contribute to their own learning and resilience.  Do students spend the time and energy required to be able to succeed.  Are they prepared? Do they monitor their own performance?
  5. Build & Model Emotional Intelligence – Are students discouraged? Do they have low motivation? Do they realize it?  Focus and build student intra-personal, inter-personal, stress management, adaptability, etc.
  • Multitasking = Task Switching
  • When students multitask they are breaking a connection and when they get to the next task they need to spend time to rebuild.
  • We need to “Help Students Learn how to Learn”!
  • Many students need help with anti-procrastination management, stress management, and we can do our part to engage multiple learning styles?
  • Fear management is an important part of resiliency and students have a tendency to: 1) Drop out, 2) Scale back, 3) Avoid assessment and assignments, and 4) Redefine what success/failure looks like.  These are indicators.
  • Important too is the student’s mindset – that is – what and how they think about their own intelligence. Here are 2 videos that were shared during the keynote:

In short faculty need to help students with building their resilience and the key areas that instructors can include in their lessons and instructional design include: CHALLENGE | REACTION | INSIGHT | ACTION

What are your thoughts about faculty or student resiliency?


My Book of ELI2010
January 20, 2010, 3:16 am
Filed under: Conferences | Tags:

Day 1 at ELI2010

What follows are my notes (without much editing) from the first day at the ELI 2010 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX:

SESSION: Newcomers’ Orientation

Notes: An overview of ELI, membership, conference highlights, etc.


Diana G. Oblinger

President and CEO of EDUCAUSE

EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges:

  1. Creating Learning Environments – This concept and the theme of the ELI 2010 Annual Meeting, invites us to think of the space in which learning happens, as an ecology of sorts where there is a blend of resources, cultures, practices, and spaces.
  2. Developing 21st-century Literacies
  3. Engaging Today’s Learner
  4. Encouraging Faculty Adoption and Innovation
  5. Advancing Innovation in Teaching and Learning in an Era of Budget Cuts
  • Join the ning site: and the Project Wiki at:
  • This event promises to create an opportunity to experiment, explore, and gain new insights.
  • Uncommon thinking for the common good… a lot of experimentation and trying new things. The common good – doing things to benefit each other.
  • We do what we do for students. Education is an imperative.

Malcom Brown

  • Welcome to Austin and online via SonicFoundry and streaming live these sessions. Thank those too in SecondLife.
  • Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 world. Teaching and learning is complicated enough… we have moved on to the ecology of learning and it is paralleled to a 3D puzzle and the task is to get the pieces to line up!
  • There are 495+ here in Austin in attendance.

Veronica Diaz

  • Theme is social networking. This is as much about catching up with friends and meeting new ones as well as learning how to better connect with each other.
  • google wave
  • Google Moderator Q&A
  • Welcome have fun and enjoy.

Malcolm Brown:

  • How can the ELI community play a role in assisting the re-establishment of education in Haiti – set up a wave for this on Google. Search with:public tag:haiti
  • Expanded the number of sessions that are being streamed in realtime.
  • Thanks to the program committee and the ELI Advisory Board and to the Cooperate partners and to the EDUCAUSE staff and thank you to all of you!

KEYNOTE: Bob Heterick Memorial Lectureship – Digital Histories for the Digital Age: How Do We Teach Writing Now?

  • William G. Thomas, III, John and Catherine Angle Professor in the Humanities, Department of History, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Abstract: The digital environment has had an immense effect on American society, learning, and education: we have more sources available at our fingertips than any previous generation. Teaching and learning with these new sources, however, has been a challenging transition. Students are confronted with an ocean of digital objects and need skills to navigate the World Wide Web and numerous proprietary databases. Writing and disciplinary habits of mind are more important than ever in this environment, so how do we teach these in the digital age? This presentation looks at the current digital environment that humanities faculty face in their teaching and explores new tools that might support collaborative writing and digital skills development for students. In particular, Thomas will showcase a multi-agent wiki system for writing called POND (Participating Online In-Depth) that is currently being used in a large lecture and intensive writing classes at the University of Nebraska and developed as a collaborative project between History, English, and Computer Science.


  • Goal is to inspire you and to talk about use of teaching and technology.
  • Hasn’t solve the “teaching rubrics cube”… but it’s a good analogy.
  • Huge scale of students take History Survey Courses at the U of Nebraska. What kind of writing are they doing? Found that they needed to improve literary skills in general. An interdisciplinary team enabled an amazing and innovative and unexpected set of collaboration.
  • Problem – How do we take novices with us re: technology? WHAT are our primary sources on the web? WHERE are the primary sources and there are all sorts of interfaces and connection points – is there one catalog?
  • Strategy: Pilot with Bb in Fall 2008 with a wiki. Run course in Spring 2009 in Bb. Evaluate the process with ClassroomWiki in Spring 2009 course to get close tracking and analysis beyond Blackboard. What should we do with the 3 hour lecture, should we teach writing? What is the value of content coverage with digital information all over? Can we reverse classroom time from lecture to opportunities to collaborate? Place lectures online with Camtasia Relay or other capture tools? No textbook was used in the course. 3 hours of class time would focus on explanation, significance, and not worry about content, instead to model the historical thinking that the students would bring to the course and to the wiki. Midterm and final would ask students to deploy their skills. Encourage students to be their own historian through inspiring speeches rather than lectures focused only on delivery pieces of content. The content coverage issue did cause some anxiety.
  • The approach was to emphasize writing as a process of learning and disc thinking, used digital sources to expose students to the complexity of the past, requires collaboration in digital formats to formulate interpretation about sources.
  • Highlights with Bb: Students had trouble with library databases, despite our howtos, most groups of students spent time face to face instead of using technology. There was no record of that process, however in the system. Bb needs to track this social stuff. “Blackboard had buckled”.
  • Highlights with ClassroomWiki: There was a new interface and separate login. We gave clear directions and purpose and gave them more often and consistently, we told them the more they participated the higher grades, the new system would track their activity. This caused a lot of discussion in the forums. There was a higher performance overall. We could then track individual work – collaborative assignments but individually assessed. We found that students did slightly but statistically significant better with the groups and wikis which resulted in better final grades. The wiki system was developed at the U of Nebraska at Lincoln. This allowed greater data compared Bb such as: view topics, view surveys, view messages, work count, revisions, view assignment.
  • Student activity counts over time, and interactions can be tracked over time as well. Days to assignment deadline was on the x axis.
  • Students said – it’s one thing to read a history book, it’s quite another to play the part of the historian and to develop… – the wikis were a different kind of analysis than I was used to… – I feel like a better student… – this course wasn’t expected I was used to get information, receive it, and then spit it back.
  • Where or not a textbook was not as important as people think. More crucial is the handson experience that student get. Digital literary skills are so important and students need help. We learned that we can adjust what we do in the classroom (instead of lecture).
  • Faculty are looking for guidance they know that teaching is changing… the change in the last 5 years is massive. But they want to do so in ways that bring about critical thinking, etc.

SESSION: The Future of Mobile Learning

  • Kyle Dickson, Director, Digital Media Center, Abilene Christian University
  • Dwayne Harapnuik, Director of Faculty Enrichment, Abilene Christian University
  • Session convener: Veronica Diaz, Associate Director, ELI, EDUCAUSE

Abstract: What is the potential of mobile learning? What opportunities and challenges exist in your context? How do we move from seeing these devices as passive receivers of content to embracing their place in more engaged learning environments? This session will ask participants to construct a vision for mobile devices in education as they gain firsthand experience with tools currently deployed at Abilene Christian University. Together, we will identify key issues educators and technologists must address to build the future of mobile learning. An iPod touch will be available to anyone without a device for the duration of the session.



SESSION: A Successful and Reproducible Model for High-Impact Educational Media Services (Innovative Practice)

  • Hannah Inzko, Multimedia Specialist, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Justin Miller, Multimedia Specialist, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Chris Millet, Manager of Advanced Learning Projects, The Pennsylvania State University

Abstract: In this presentation, a team from Digital Commons, a university-wide initiative to support the educational use of digital media, will share best practices developed over three years. They’ll discuss strategies on how to integrate simple tools like Flip Video cameras and blogs into effective educational activities. Detailed case studies will be presented, including samples of student work, syllabi, project outlines, and assessment instruments. Examples include a student video assignment in a microeconomics class with over 1,200 students. The presentation will also outline our efforts to improve digital literacy including strategies for researching for a media-based project.


  • 24 imacs
  • green screens
  • pro lighting
  • hd video cameras
  • flip video cameras
  • high capacity storage
  • sound booths
  • podcasting equipment
  • elements of digital commons = services, facilities, support
  • goals: 1 improve teaching and learning by the pedagogically sound integrations of digital media, 2 raise level of digital literacy among students (and faculty), creating sustainable applications.
  • Kaltura at Penn State – allows import, record, upload of video/still images and the editing and publishing.

KEYNOTE: 2010 Horizon Report and Lightning Rounds

Abstract: For nearly eight years, the annual Horizon Report (a joint publication of the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative) has tracked new technologies for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. This session will highlight some of the major technological trends discovered over that time and use them as context for the official release of the 2010 Horizon Report and the current year’s findings.

Immediately following the release of the 2010 Horizon Report, you’ll hear from five institutions that have already adopted and implemented Year One teaching and learning innovations. Following their lightning round presentations, you’ll have some time to speak with these presenters individually to learn more about how they’ve done so and what impact the innovation has had on learners’ experiences.


  • Horizon Report is available now –
  • Horizon Report 2004-2010
  • Intent is a resource for the teaching and learning community, for institutional leadership, and as a means of promoting local discussion and planning
  • Attempt to contextualize the technology rather than just a report of technology.
  • Evolution — Key Trends & Critical Challenges ’06, Metatrends ’08, Horizon Project community (wikis/tags)
  • Key Trends
    • Abundance of resources and relationships challenges our roles as educators.
    • Expectation to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to. (BOTH faculty and students)
    • Technologies are increasingly cloud based and decentralized
    • The amount of collaboration continues to expand.
  • Key Challenges
    • Role of the academy is changing
    • New forms of scholarship challenge old standards
    • Digital media literacy is a new key skill
    • Fiscal resource shrink as challenges grow
  • NMC – Sparking Innovative Learning and Creativity
  • Laurence Johnson – The official release of the report, but it’s actually a transparent process (
  • Bryan Alexander Video Clip
  • How we do it: 1) Advisory Board, 2) Wiki is used
  • Technologies to Watch – Alan Levine & Rachel Smith
  • Within 12 Months
    • Mobile Computing
    • Open Content
  • Two to Three Years
    • eBooks
    • Simple Augmented Reality
  • Four to Five Years
    • Gesture Based Computing
    • Visual Data Analysis
  • Brand new project: “Horizon Project Navigator” – expose the data set to the community for access to reports.
  • Comment on the Horizon Report on

Lighting Round – How campuses are integrating technologies mentioned in the report.

  • Visualization – Shannan Butler (St. Edwards University)
  • Open Content – Holly Willis (USC)
    • Critical Commons for fair and critical participation in media culture.
    • Creative Commons
    • The problem: fear confusion, lack of support for using multimedia… solution is to get informed and get connected.
    • Clip library:
  • Mobile – Daniel Bracken and Michael Reuter (CMU iPod touch Program)
    • Turning Technologies – Chipcast@CMU – used as a classroom response system and for mobile content delivery
    • iPod touch devices rented to students who do not currently own one for $35/semester through bookstore.
    • FaCIT, CEHS, and the CMU Bookstore
  • Mobile – Hans Aagard (Purdue) Hotseat
    • Powering the backchannel – or the frontchannel.
    • Web device can connect to Hotseat (Twitter or Facebook) – students are thinking what… – instructor station.
    • Students seemed to be more engaged
  • Augmented – (U of Illinois) TEEVE Project
    • TEEVE – Teleimmersive Environment for Everyone
    • Increasing the applicability of multimedia and networking tech to areas like the humanities, etc.
    • TEEVE is a cross layer control and streaming framework
    • Applications – wheel chair physical therapy, dance, etc.
    • TEEVE@Illinois video clip.

ELI 2010 Annual Meeting
January 17, 2010, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Conferences | Tags:

I have the very fortunate opportunity to attend the 2010 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting next week.  The theme of this event is on “Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 World”, and I will be presenting with Kimberly Arnold (Purdue University), and John Fritz (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) on the topic: “Using Analytics to Intervene with Underperforming College Students”.

I’ll be presenting Project ASTRO which was $25,000 Blackboard Greenhouse Grant that GRCC received back in 2006, along with Seneca College in Toronto. I also plan to present GRCC’s plans to use Starfish Retention Solutions to help provide an early alert system that is also integrated with Blackboard.  Kim Arnold will be presenting their custom Signals application for early alert which was recently featured on NBC news, and John Fritz will be presenting data on Blackboard use as it correlates to student success.

I’m anxious to attend this conference and to return to GRCC with fresh innovative ideas, resources, and useful information that will contribute to the growth and enhancement of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies. I am also looking forward to continue to build rapport and to network with peers and colleagues in the field.

ELI 2010 Annual Meeting:

  • “Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 World”
  • January 19–21, 2010
  • Hilton Austin, Austin, Texas
  • Conference Web Site

Conference Notes:

About ELI:

  • Learning is at the center of higher education. It is an essential part of the mission of all colleges and universities. The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) is a community of higher education institutions and organizations committed to advancing learning through IT innovation. View the ELI Mission.

About ELI 2010 and Learning Environment for a Web 2.0 World:

  • Join us at the 2010 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting, “Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 World,” where we’ll explore models for the future of learning that fuse emerging technologies and learner-centered strategies to yield new learning environments designed for student success.Today’s technologies have fundamentally altered the very lenses we use to examine the world around us. Smartphones, PDAs, and MP3 players have granted instant access to information irrespective of location, creating ubiquitous, mobile access to entertainment and information. The rise of social networks and virtual communities like Flickr, YouTube, and Ustream has transformed the web from a place to seek information into a gateway to share, build, and interact with content and communities. High-performance networks and collaborative tools like wikis and videoconferencing also allow us to reach across hallways and beyond oceans to share interests, work with colleagues, and seek advice from peers.But how have these new tools and our emergent participatory culture changed the way we imagine learning environments on campus? Or, perhaps the more pertinent question is, How should our perspectives be changing? And how can we begin to move past an educational model that is tethered to time and place and move closer to learning that is immersive, mobile, collaborative, and social?
  • Sessions will highlight:
    • The ways that technology-enhanced environments can open up learning, thereby dissolving traditional boundaries of space and time
    • The value of cross-campus collaboration in the creation of new learning environments
    • Strategies to develop campus environments built on engagement, collaboration, authenticity, and co-creation
    • Opportunities to leverage shared networks and Web 2.0 tools to construct truly global learning environments, where students interact and collaborate with peers across geographic boundaries
    • New learning environments that elevate the importance of participation and social interaction as a way to empower both instructors and students

How to connect on Twitter:

Who is here at the conference?

  • Currently 460 people are registered for the full conference with about 93% are from the United States. Also registered are participants from Canada, Egypt, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. There is representation from 7 countries and 39 states. And attendees come from every type of institution from the very large public research universities to small private colleges.
      • 40 % are faculty.
      • 15% are senior IT
      • 12% are support IT staff from front line help desk to systems administrators
      • 8% are CIOs, deans, or academic officers
      • 5% are librarians
      • 1.5% students
      • Others include administrators, vendors, etc.

I’ll continue to post daily updates on this blog… stay tuned for more information!

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

See Facebook Album

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.

Fall 2008 and the start-of-the-semester approaches…
August 1, 2008, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Conferences, Work Activities | Tags: , ,

It’s almost that time again, where summer break is over and everyone heads back to school… and the start-of-the-semester approaches…

The students coming through our doors were born in 1990 and will be graduating in 2012.  Beloit College has published an incoming profile of freshman “mindset list” since 2002.  They haven’t yet updated their list for this year, but here is a link to the 2011 list.  Highlighted in this list are things like:

  • They’re always texting 1 n other.
  • Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
  • Fox has always been a major network.

The reason I thought I would bring this up is because I believe it’s important to know, connect with, and understand the students that are coming to our institutions.

While listening to a keynote from New Media Consortium by Diana Oblinger, the president of EDUCAUSE.  It occurred to me, that it is becoming increasingly important to take a step back and place ourselves in our student’s shoes.  It’s time for educators to dive into the technology realm to better understand our students.

Attention faculty… if you haven’t yet, it’s time to create an account for yourself on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, at the bare minimum.

Here are a few notes I took while listening to Diana Obliger’s opening keynote “Technology and the Global Commons” at NMC:

  • Context in which we teach has changed drastically.
  • Contextual constructivism learning is intertwined within the context in which we learn.
  • Community. We know our students are social learners.
  • We cannot overlook the fundamental differences we have between them (students) and us (faculty).
  • Today’s students are experiential learners, however, they are often not world-wise…
  • Assumptions can get you in trouble.

Are students learning in class?  How much time do they spend in class?

  • ONLY 7.7% of students time is spent in formal learning environments.
  • So who are the teachers?  And where are they?
  • If you look at the behavior of students most of them are learning through their social networks.  They are using MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, etc.
  • Students are learning in these environments, so as we look forward we need to look at these Web 2.0 spaces for awareness, examples, and ideas.


  • Games offer an opportunity to be part of the learning.
  • By college 100% of students have experience some type of electronic games.
  • There are over 710 million game players worldwide.
  • 5 hours is the amount of time an 8th grader plays video games per week.


  • YouTube
  • Finding things, creating things, mashups,
  • 57% of teens are media creators (blog, web, art, photos)
  • 33% share what they create online
  • 22% have their own web site
  • 19% have their own blog


  • Everyone contributes their expertise!


  • We don’t just receive information we learn by contributing.
  • Collective intelligence: everyone has something to contribute.
  • Knowledge is created not possessed.
  • Shift in emphasis that knowledge is a process not a product.
  • Social connections are important.
  • Needs include “skills for participation” not just individual skills.
  • “How does this relate back to how we design our learning experiences and structures for our students?”
  • Keep this new way of learning and participation in mind.  Focus on context.


  • Broadband is required…
  • The US is behind on broadband speed which negatively impacts education, health, economy.
  • The US doesn’t have a broadband policy/fund.
  • The environment is much more than databases and archives.
  • We have a participatory web culture.
  • Data deluge: data is doubling every year.
  • Open education resources are becoming more available.
  • Ubiquitous computing is a given.
  • We can use collections of information that allow us capabilities we have never had before.
  • Put learning first and infrastructure second.  Learning is based on students interactions with data and systems.
  • Learning is influenced by context.
  • The physical environment and space defines the context (lecture hall, movable furniture, group spaces, problem solving and team spaces).
  • We have a spectrum of experiences from formal to informal.


  • Experiences such as learning-by-doing may be more important than information.
  • Knowledge is distributed across a community rather than held by an individual.
  • Assessment through reputation, experiences, and accomplishments rather than tests.
  • Self-direct, informal, web based environments are important.


  • It is not possible to separate learning from context.
  • Context is an interaction between the learner and the surroundings.
  • Students build an understanding of context in context.
  • Context is both embedded and interactive.
  • Learning and context shape each other.


  • World to the desktop provide anytime/anywhere access to information.
  • Multi-user virtual environments allow interaction.
  • Ubiquitous computing provides wireless devices in the real world.


  • Professors are the orchestrators of collaborative knowledge creation.
  • Learning activities are flexible and focused on creating room for student creativity, social networking outside of traditional boundaries.
  • Loose institutional affiliation and relations; regional and institutional boundaries breakdown.
  • Students have a strong sense of ownership of education, co-creation of resources.

Here is a screenshot from the recorded keynote:

How can we better know our students and better design our learning environments, instruction, courses, services, and activities?

Dr. Wesch – A Portal to Media Literacy Keynote – Through a GRCC Lens
August 1, 2008, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Conferences, Work Activities | Tags: , ,

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the BbWorld’08 Developers Conference keynote. Luckily the Mike Wesch’s keynote was captured on video!

Here are my notes after watching the keynote:

Presentation: A Portal to Media Literacy
– Delivered at the Blackboard Developers Conference, Las Vegas, NV
– 7/14/2008
– Dr. Michael Wesch

Dr. Wesch became known with the YouTube video: “A Vision of Students Today” (See below.)

On the first day of class he asks of his students… “How many do not actually like school?” Over half of students said they didn’t like it.

Then he asks “How many do not like learning?” No one raised their hands.

Dr. Wesch also conducted an “open activity” whereby students could send message around the question “What is it like to be a student today?” Students ended up saying many interesting things: students use Facebook during class, neighbor paid for class and doesn’t come, students purchase textbooks they never read, etc. This turned into the popular video on YouTube:

He often hears some faculty say “Some students are just not cut out for school.” Really? That is a ridiculous statement because that is like saying that students are not cut out for learning…!

“Students learn what they do…” – Dewey

Mike then asked… what if these classroom walls could talk, what would they say: (These would end up being the great myths of education.)
1) To learn is to acquire information, room is setup for an information dump. – No
2) Information is scarce and hard to find… that is why you have to come to class. – No
3) Trust authority for good info from professors. – No
4) Authorized information is beyond discussion… isn’t needed. – No
5) Obey the authority. – No
6) Follow along. – No

Student expectations end up being the same as the above. Students wait to be fed the info. That is what they are “used” to…

What students say in these walls:
1) How many points is this worth?
2) What do we need to know for this test?
3) How long is the paper need to be?
There is the crisis of significance… What does education really mean to students?

Well… there is now something in the air! Most classrooms have wifi access. Most of the information is at hand, with a click.

Is information is scarce? No. There are 70 exabytes this year will be created this year (70 billion gigabytes) = 350 feet of a stack of books.

With education, we generaly look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future. “Marshall McLuhan” Ask the question, is tagging better than organizing via folders… most likely but we are stuck in the old metaphors.

On paper, we thought of information as a thing… with a material form, you could point to it, had it’s own logical place in a hierarchy. Early web sites replicated this with Yahoo categories and disciplines.

Enter hyperlinking, and now information can be in more than 1 place at a time! For example, Google harnesses links and shows us we might night not need the hierarchies.

Blogging teachings us that anybody can be a creator of information. 112.8 million blogs… they aren’t even counting anymore.

TV is a form of information. In 1948 ABC started broadcasting after NBC and CBS. 60 years ago… they would have produced 1.5 million hours of programming. YouTube however has produced this much in 6 months. There are over 9000 hours per day are uploaded to YouTube. There are over 200,000 3 minute vidoes… 88% is new and original.

So information is NOT scarce.

The idea of follow along… is going away. We can work together on the web through Wikis such as wikipedia that would rival even the best resources and experts through collaborative and community efforts.

The idea of obeying the author is on the way out… you can have discussions and transparent comments on the materials. Go beyond the front page, look at the debates and so on. The expert and author is breaking down in favor of a wide array of resources, commentary, and discussions.

Information is not hard to find… in many ways we have information overload. Students can mark up information and provide context for other students. Tags can also help organize the web without folders.

Personal Netvibes framework and be public and recieve fresh updates from Flickr and blogs by tags or keyword… information can find us… it can be delivered to us!

Testing students based on bubble sheets and scantrons is bizzarre. To learn is to acquire and discuss information. We are not teaching students how to discuss, challenge information, critique information, share information, create information, making connections, and making significance within the context of what they are learning.

How can we create signifcance, and meaningful connections, how can we create students who can create meaningful connections? What is out there?

The Web2.0 landscape…YouTube, digg, Facebook, Blogger, MySpace, Google… the challenge is to start creating learning environments that support these with a platform of participation. And leverage this new media environment we have. Students need help using these resources in their learning.

We need:

  • A platform for participation that allows students to realize and leverage this emerging media environment.
  • To begin moving toward ubiquitous networks where computing, information, speed, is available everywhere and accessible from anywhere. Have we prepared our students for this world? We live in a download and upload world. We need to move toward a participation paradigm. From closed… to an open… from knowledgeable to knowledge-able (critique and create information).

It’s time for educators to push the envelope. To enabling students “outside of the classroom” that will enhance in the classroom application. It’s time to meet students where they are and add Facebook because they are there… meanwhile they can also view course related info. How about creating a course wiki so students can upload their notes, videos, links along side course content. Students will mark in bold things that are important to them, each page has a discussion component updates. Insert a Twitter stream for an informal thread of thoughts. Use tools like Diigo to highlight pieces of a website and allow comments. How about provide students with collaborative video projects that can be placed on YouTube? Students can find the latest research, share discoveries, study together, talk back, share notes, collaborate, assess each other, research together, share with each other, be creative with each other, co-create content for the course in this new Web2.0 environment.

What is it like being a student today?

What is it like being a faculty member today?

The GRCC Lens: How can we move together to transform learning at GRCC? Could we, for example, make better use and leverage Blackboard for:

  • Engaging students outside of the classroom using the vast array of communication (Blackboard Connect, Discussion Boards, Wimba Pronto) tools for discussion, instant messaging, text messaging, etc. in Blackboard?
  • Bringing in resources and engaging students with tagging content with Blackboard Scholar?
  • Allowing students to create content within the course through Blackboard Wikis and Blogs?
  • Extending Blackboard updates into the Facebook environment with applications like Blackboard Sync or CourseFeed?

What are other ways we can leverage technology for teaching and learning?