PhD, Reflections

#sxswEDU: Thoughts, Reflections & Then Some…

Time sure flies when you’re conferencing, volunteering and travelling… so my thoughts on South By South West Edu (#sxswEDU), are delayed by exactly 2 weeks. My bad.

Due to my love of Austin and enjoyment of SXSW, I thought SXSW Edu would be a great conference to engage with other educators and expand professionally. There were a number of things I liked – such as being on public transit, new perspectives on learning, and connecting with tweeps (Shout out to: @tjoosten, @gsiemens, @veletsianos@audreywatters & more #iamEDU friends!). I also appreciated the lively banter our Social Media in Higher Ed (#smHE) panel had on the topic, and the great follow up conversations with other instructors, practitioners, and researchers. 

Essentially, I got what I wanted out of the #sxswEDu conference – connect, social, interact and learn. I sort of expected something else from this conference, specifically with regards to the education (K-12 and Higher Ed) involvement. I was a bit disappointed to see that the Panel Picker selected more sessions with industry, rather than any educators. It was odd. I was not alone in noticing the tensions were felt between the industry and educationWhy were the instructors, teachers, principals, faculty, higher education professionals, and educational administrators not sitting in these #sxswEDU seats?

Let's get ready to MOOC-off! Where art thou @gsiemens?

Although the education presence was not the “sage on the stage” approach, I am glad I was present to listen to what industry and technology leaders think the “future of learning” will be. I know that many of these sessions were challenged and talked about outside the formal #sxswEDU program, and I was curious as to how other educators interpreted the conference message(s). 

One thing that was very noticeable = the repetitive rhetoric being shared from room to room. To mix it up I, jokingly, initiated the  #SXSWedu Terms to Know, Use, Love & Hate Google doc to note the key words, terms or phrases I heard at the conference. Some might say I was being jaded (*cough* Siemens *cough*), but really I was just having fun with the common language of the conference. After curating this list, I decided to create a game (…which had multiple players, I might add): 

#sxswEDU BINGO Card #3

Note: Another suggestion was to draft a blog post with the complete list of terms. I decided to respectfully decline said challenge; however I will stay alert to the language and context of these words. It’s not a bad idea to keep your ears open and listen every once in a while… Thanks for reminding me of that #sxswEDU.

EdTech, Higher Education, Social Media, StudentAffairs

#SXSWedu Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going? #smHE

Are you attending the SXSW Edu (#SXSWedu) conference in Austin this week? Why not drop into our panel just after the opening of #SXSWedu? Join our session on Monday, March 4th from 1:30-2:30 pm in the Austin Convention Center Room #15. Here is the skinny on our panel:

Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going?

Social Media Propoganda

Image c/o Justonescarf

100% of Colleges and Universities are now adopting “social media” tools to engage students. While strategies and tactics vary per institution there has been little analysis into the effectiveness of these networks both from the student and institutional perspective. Social Media Managers have been hired, consultants have been giving “best practices” on how to use “free tools” but is all this network chasing really getting us anywhere? In this panel we’ll showcase examples of good and bad social media implementation, and use these as a framework to discuss what a meaningful social media strategy and guidance looks like.

Intended Audience: Higher Education; Student Affairs; Academic Affairs; Faculty; Ed Tech Start Ups

Join the dialogue with Tanya (@tjoosten), Brandon (@bcroke), Brad (@bradpopilolek), and myself (@laurapasquini) as we chat about these three central questions proposed by our panel:


1. What does a failed social media strategy look like?
How do we know social media failed OR was successful? Do we need social media strategy, guidance, or policy on our campus?

2. What does a successful social media strategy look like? What are three pillars every social media initiative should have? What works really well with using social media? What initiatives have you seen?

3. What role should institutions play in engaging students with social media? How should institutions engage  social media? Why should we use social media? How can the different players on campus (faculty, administrators, students, developers, industry, & start ups) work together and collaborate for purposeful social media use?

If you have a question and you want to chime in during the session (near or far), I’ll be tracking the conversation with the hashtag #smHE to collect your questions, thoughts, and contributions before and during our panel session. What questions do you have about social media in higher education? Let me know.

UPDATED: Slide Deck & #smHE Tweets Collected. Enjoy. 

#SXSWed Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going?#smHE (with images, tweets) · laurapasquini · Storify or http://bit.ly/Z422Pw

#phdchat, PhD, Professional Development

Have Conferences, Will Travel

Apparently when it rains, it pours – for conference proposal acceptances, that is. Since this semester is light on course work, heavy on dissertation proposal research, and I have a amazingly supportive supervisor/department, I will be fortunate enough to be able to attend a few conferences this term.

Laura Pasquini Where is Shee

Here is the rundown for my tentative CONFERENCE travel schedule:

Dalton Institute 2013 http://studentvalues.fsu.edu/2013-Dalton-Institute
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL  January 30-February 2nd   Follow: #dalton13 Invited Keynote: Student Development 2.0: Optimizing Social Media to Connect Your Campus

AHRD Conference http://www.ahrd.org/ 
Washington, DC   Feb 13-17, 2013
Abstract paper: “A Review of Theoretical Frameworks Explaining Formal Mentoring Relationships”; Thanks to my co-author Mariya Gavrilova-Aguilar who will be presenting

iConference 2013  http://www.iconference.ischools.org/iConference13/2013index/
@iSchools & UNT Host, Fort Worth, TX   February 12-15, 2013  Follow:#iconf13   Our #UNT Social Media Expo team (Andrew Miller, Leila Mills, Mark Evans & I) qualified for the grant from Microsoft Research FUSE Labs on our paper: “Towards a Methodology of Virtually Augmenting a Knowledge Sharing Community of Practice: A Case Study of the Local Food System of Denton, Texas”


South by Southwest (SXSW) Education Conference & Festival http://sxswedu.com/
Panel Discussion: Social Media in Higher Ed – where are we going? with @Bcroke, @tjoosten, & @bradpopiolek
Austin, TX  March 4-7, 2013  Follow: #sxswEDU

Emerging Technologies for Online Learning – Sloan C http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2013/et4online/welcome
Las Vegas, NV   April 9-11, 2013   Follow: #et4online                               @et4online Conference Planning committee; graduate student instigator/encourager

 

Futures of Academic Publishing: UNT’s 4th Symposium on Open Access https://openaccess.unt.edu/symposium/2013

May 30-31, 2013   Dallas, TX


NACADA 2013 International Conference http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Events-Programs/Events/International-Conference.aspx
Maastricht, Netherlands   June 5-7, 2013
Workshop: Communication 2.0 Plans: Effectively Engaging Students Online
*Possible poster and panel session involving the #AdvTech survey and Social Media in Higher Education research.*

10th Annual Sloan Consortium – Blended Learning Conference & Workshop http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2013/blended/welcome 

Milwaukee, WI    July 8-9, 2013

Invited Workshop: Supporting Blended Learners’ Need to Develop Social and Connected Skills Through Digital Pedagogy

Let me know if you will be attending, presenting, or frequenting any of the above conferences. I expect to meet up with the usual [professional/scholarly] suspects I collaborate with, and I look forward to new colleague connections and learning during this conference season.

Learning Community, PLN

Building Communities of Practice in Higher Ed

A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Milton Cox from Miami University, met with a group of students, staff and faculty to share ideas on how to build effective communities of practice at UNT known as Collaborative Learning Communities (CLC).  In his lecture and our discussion, Dr. Cox shared suggestions on how to “mind the gap(s)” in higher education and consider the broken spaces between our current disciplines, departments and silos on campus.  The process of connecting to establish a community of practice (in his example, faculty learning communities) it is to connect faculty and their institutions to think beyond their department, discipline and separate goals for the campus.
Image c/o Dr. Milton Cox
It is all to common to see department loyalty being rewarded and interdisciplinary activity questioned in higher education. There are also disconnects between student development and academic affairs priorities. For higher education to move forward it will be critical for faculty and staff to engage students in new ways of learning and scholarly activity. Although many students want to see the sage on the stage, to just consume information, it will be increasingly critical for our learning institutions to encourage inquiry-based learning and promote self-regulated scholarship.
One way to close the education gap and challenges in higher education, is to consider forming communities of practice (CoP) that work together. There are a number of students, staff and faculty need to collaborate to discuss civic engagement, learning communities, and pedagogical shifts to our higher education curriculum. Dr. Cox introduced the concept of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), which tend to be more structured than the organic CoP, and they are voluntary, structured, and at least a yearlong commitment from the members. Here are some other suggested practices for setting up FLCs:
  • size: 8-12 faculty, professionals, Administrators, TAs, students
  • voluntary membership by application
  • Affiliate patterns: consultants, mentors, student associates
  • multidisciplinary and from different departments
  • encourage participant curiosity
  • allow for richness of innovations
  • permitted relief from dysfunctional units
As we connected and discussed ideas around our own Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs), we found sharing ideas could help work towards resolving institutional challenges and support the strategic goals for our campus. As our CLCs gather and collaborate, I am looking forward to connecting, brainstorming, and creating initiatives that will enhance what we do on campus.
Along with this idea for collaborative learning communities, Sue Beckingham, Jeff Jackson, Eric Stoller and I hope to discuss this topic as a #sxswEDU panel in 2013 => Communities of Practice in Higher Education as we hope to answer the following questions:
  1. How can communities of practice and learning networks play a critical role in meeting the challenges of higher education across the globe?
  2. As professional and personal learning networks (PLNs) develop, how can these informal entities support and contribute to the future of higher education?
  3. What are some actionable items and issues that higher education communities of practice can take on both at the local and global level?
Sign in and CAST YOUR VOTE HERE.

References:

Cox, M. & Richlin, L.  (2004). New Directions for Teaching and Learning:  Building Faculty Learning Communities.  Vol. 97.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wenger, E. (2002) Communities of practice. Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Volume 1.5, Article 5. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam.