Professional Development, Training & Development

Are you going to #blend14? Join the Unconference session (#unblend14) & More in the Rocky Mountains!

The @SloanConsortium 2014 Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (a.k.a. #blend14) is less than a month away! I am excited to be attending and facilitating a workshop in the rocky mountains (Denver, CO) this July.  As blended learning models for curriculum and program development increase in post-secondary education, learners and instructors are being more invested in different mode and models for education. Last year, I found the mix of programs, discussions, and people at #blend13 very refreshing.  If you have interests in design, development, or research in hybrid and blending learning environments than this might just be the conference and workshop for you!

blend14 banner

For those you who ARE attending #blend14, let me entice you to join in the UN-conference session.  This year, I will be helping to host the Blended Unconference (#unblend14) with Jessica Knott (@jlknott) and Patrice T (@Profpatrice). Unconferences are great opportunities to interact, discussion, and dig into topics that YOU are most interested in. As an a-typical session, the unconference is guided by participants who attend, and are flexible to the needs and wants of the group. It will be YOU who takes control of the agenda, content, and conversation. We will help by providing a basic infrastructure to keep things organized and moving, but this is the opportunity to really make the conference YOUR OWN. Typically unconference sessions introduce a topic or issue, and discussion, debate and ideas ensue.

Should I Attend the Unconference?

Yes!  Well, we think so. If you answer yes to any of the following, the unconference session is JUST for you:

  • Do you sometimes find yourself thinking “I wish they had covered X,Y, Z more deeply” in regular conference sessions?
  • Do you wish you had the chance to ask further questions or expand upon session content?
  • Are you looking for ways to get involved & meet others at #blend14?
  • Did someone ask the perfect question during your presentation & now you want to talk to them further?
  • Do you like interacting with colleagues to expand on ideas, share techniques, debate current trends, or collaborate on research?

Come to the Unconference Sessions on July 9:

  • 1:30 PM – Gather in the Unconference room and review the topics and votes; select top topics
  • 1:45 – 2:45 PM- Break into groups and discuss the top three topics.
  • 2:45 – 3:00 PM – Short break
  • 3:00 – 3:15 PM – Reconvene and revisit the topics and votes
  • 3:15 to 4:15 PM – Break into groups and discuss the next three highest voted topics. (Again, the individuals who submitted the topics will facilitate each of these three groups, with a scribe assigned for note-taking and organizational purposes.)

SIGN UP and submit YOUR UNCONFERENCE TOPIC for #unblend14:

Check out and VOTE ON the current Unconference Topics on Ideascale:

About the Sloan Community on IdeascaleA few ideas to vote onIn other #blend14 news, I will be a “Chef” in the “Technology Test Kitchen.” This NEW addition to the conference will provide participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with different tools and technologies they want to use back on campus. Bring your own device (BYOD), and let’s getting developing with audio and/or video, collaborative platforms, communication tools, or presentation resources that YOU want to learn more about.

Are you planning to be in Denver for #blend14? Want to learn more about the #unblend14 Unconference or Test Kitchen? Drop me a line. 🙂

MOOC

#EDUsprint 2 – How Technology Can Change Pedagogy

The EDUCAUSE EDU Sprints continues, so why not share what I gleaned from today’s session. With a lot of information being shared, it actually feels like more of a marathon, so here’s the breakdown from the #EDUsprint 2:  How Technology Can Change Pedagogy webinar.

How Tech Can Change Pedagogy

The session was lead by the following panelists who shared their thoughts about gong “Beyond MOOCs”:

  • Hank Lucas, Professor of Information Systems, University of Maryland College Park
  • W. Eric L. Grimson, Chancellor, MIT
  • Susan Grajek, Vice President, Data, Research, and Analytics, EDUCAUSE

Hank Lucas sees great challenges and opportunities with blended learning, online learning, and MOOCs; however he wants to charge institutions with more than the technological trends. Due to these emerging technologies and social platforms, there are many different ways to connect with our students; however we have to be purposeful and think critically about our instructional design.  

The Survivor Model via Hank Lucas

Lucas shares his concept of ‘The Survivor Model’ (screen shot of slide), that outlines how disruptive technologies will impact higher education and learning. [Side note: You will find “disrupt” on the #sxswEDU 2013 bingo card I made back in March.} The language always seems so doom and gloom, especially when asked what the “threat” for learning technology is on our campus i.e. students, adminstration or faculty. Roll the cliche…

Lucas thinks more institutions need to question where they stand with online learning, blended learning, and MOOCs, as “The schools that compete vigorously with faculty who figure out how to add value to their courses will survive and flourish.” And I would agree with one of the final points he shared:

Eric Grimson gave his 2 cents of higher education and learning technology change, which included ideas around learning techniques, active engagement, suggestions for assessment, and a “new” accronym to add to our campus alphabet soup: SPOC (small private online course)

The second segment seemed to dive into ideas and themes being played out in our schema of learning in higher education. Grimson shared ideas and suggestions to help support online learning, which included:

A number of articles were shared in the streams, so here are a selection reads from today’s webinar:

More resources for online learning, instructional design, flipping, MOOC-ing, and then some:

Unfortunately I had to dip out of this session early and I will have to catch the rest of the webinar via the recording – but here are some interesting takeaways I found on the #EDUSprint Twitter backchannel that should be noted:

Learning Technologies, Professional Development, Reflections, Uncategorized

What Was In The Mix for #Blend13

Last week seems so far away, but not forgotten. Much of my time and social streams had a great mix of conversation in and around around #blend13 – The Sloan C Blended Learning Conference & Workshop. Thanks to the fabulous #blend Conference Chair, Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten), I was fortunate to be invited to present a workshop (or two) and get acquainted with the fine city of Milwaukee over the Summerfest weekend. #MKEwhawhat. Here’s my blogged mix tape of highlights and happenings from #blend13.mixtape

Not only did I fall in love with the city life in MKE, but I was alsoable to attend the 10th annual conference on the topic of blended learning to gain some insight to the history and impact as to where we are going in the field. As educational demands and challenges increase, there has been a great shift to personalized, digital pedagogy. Blended learning has helped to reshape roles for both the instructor and learner to create opportunities for deeper learning and sharing.

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During my workshop, I asked participants to share what blended learning meant in ONE WORD. A challenging task, as this learning pedagogy and model means so much to so many people. Here are the responses from my session. I learned how blended learning appears to have a number of similarities and differences depending on the academic institution, and the type of characteristics most suited for instructors and our students in blended learning environments.
Untitled#Blend13 connected me to a number of educators,  in both K-12 and higher education, who were using blending learning for curriculum engagement. Blended Learning has encouraged more collaboration and connection to open, shared learning resources. A number of faculty and instructors are finding value in enhancing their subject matter, and the student data on learning acquisition is proving its value. A number of instructors are finding opportunities to mentor and learn in their own personal learning networks, which are strengthening the profession and allowing for growth in education.

#BlendedLearning Word Cloud

Beyond interpreting the blended learning, seeing other models, and discussing effective practices for blending – a larger conversation and discussion thread that was prevalent was around MOOCs. Although I feel as this “hot topic” is appearing in most educational conferences, it was interesting to understand how MOOCs impact blended learning environments, and if they are distinguished from the blend pedagogy.

During the Using MOOCs for Blended Learning panel (#BLmooc), the discussion evolved around the impact (or lack there of) massively open online courses (MOOCs) have within higher education. The debate focused on how campuses should consider wider, strategic solutions for blended learning and the challenges/opportunities MOOCs provide for the learning process, students, open content, and various learning methods.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on #BlendedLearning  and #MOOCs  at #Blend13  Karen, Shari, Amy & Tanya. 

There was talk about openness, content, delivery, and more. What struck me was the continued debate or talk about dualism between closed and open methods for delivery and content, which I think was shared in Andy’s tweet/blog post:

The last session I attended was the Unconference Session Around Researching MOOCs with George @Veletsianoshttp://tinyurl.com/moocresearch

There is a number of interesting research questions, methods and more included in the Google Doc — and if you want to connect with any researcher, their contact information is also included. One article I found interesting from Mike Caufield (@holden ) was the x-MOOC  vs. c-MOOC debate shared via his Educause article. I wonder how many institutions consider the space or place their move to MOOC is going, and what sort of learning framework (if any) they place these models.

xmooc is a chewy center

Image c/o @holden in this article 


Last, but certainly not least, I was grateful for connecting with my #PLN of amazing colleagues that I am able to share with on a daily basis on different social media spaces. Who would have thought that this was my first time meeting Dr. Alec Couros (@courosa) in person — it feels like we go back for ages.  With a jam-packed, engaging keynote – I am glad that Alec and others took “notes” on Twitter. We also learned that when you let two Canadians loose in Milwaukee, there is bound to be some havoc. Highlights of our fun with the #blend13 crew (in no particular order) results in collaborative marketing campaigns for MKE, free-style karaoke, BACON love, killer dance moves, great conversations, photo-bombing, and general good times.

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Name the trouble makers who photo-bombed my #selfie.

Until we meet again #blend13 friends… keep it smooth.