Conference, EdTech

This Is My Recap of #et4online

Another year at the #et4online conference brings various researchers, educators, practitioners, and then some to talk about the online learning landscape. I presented a session, attended a few workshops & sessions, learned a great deal (see my notes taken on Twitter), and connected to some new ideas and people. Each time I attend #et4online I find myself surrounded by some of the usual #edtech suspects who banter about pedagogy and talk about learning — rather than just the technology… and this is refreshing.

et4online montage

A few of my own #et4online highlights include:

 

Other reflections and thoughts about #et4online have been shared by George and Jim (#JimOfThings)…and I suspect a few others to follow.

 

Key takeaways I am still chewing on…

 

 

Special shout out to @jlknott for a stellar conference week as my roommate &  partner-in-crime. Here’s to our combined forces (support) to crush (or defend) our dissertations this summer! Go team!

Excited

Until then, I think #et4online should dance it out… Because I’m happy

Happy

FashioningCircuits

#FashioningCircuits Takes On Design Your World STEM Conference

Last weekend, I volunteered at the Design Your World – North Texas STEM Conference for Girls. This is the second year running for this conference, which was created to introduce and engage young girls to the STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) fields. I spent last Saturday on campus at SMU working with girls (ages 9-11) and sharing how coding, electronic circuits, and fashion intertwine with our fearless workshop creator/leader, Dr. Kim Knight (@purplekimchi). Girl power!

Design Your World fun with the #fashioningcircuits

Initially I joined in the Design Your World fun to document and take notes about the  #FashioningCircuits workshop, course, and research — but really how could I resist crafting my very own LED circuit headband with moustaches. REALLY?!?! This workshop introduced girls to the wearable Arduino Lillypad, and how to include this technological hardware in your fashion design.
Getting directionals from  @purplekimchi for my #fashioncircuit

It was a fun and productive day. I really enjoyed working with the Girl Scout Troupe from Denton (Holla!) who wanted to learn how fashion connects to technology design, historically and in application. Not only did I earn my “Product Designer” badge (YES!), I also learned what these young ladies thought about working with technology, circuits, coding, and more:

My product designers from Denton Bella, Leah & Lilly. #fashioningcircuits #stem #girlpower

After getting to the end product — the blinking LED lights on the headband — all the girls felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for the day. It was a pretty cool project, after all. For me, I had a few personal takeaways from the workshop experience, and interacting with the participants:

  • Sometimes when you learn and try new things — you will not succeed. We all had a number of mistakes, but we learned from them and fixed errors to get to the end product.
  • Get a strategy and tip from those around you. Whether it’s how to thread the electric thread chord or stitching, you can learn from all levels.
  • These girls were not aware the barriers or even the lower number of females in the STEM fields. That being said, this might be the first time they learned about the fields of computer science, engineering, and more.
  • At this age, most girls believe that anything is possible.
  • “Girls work better together” (said my group) specifically with regards to collaboration, listening, and helping each other problem-solve.
  • My ladies thought that it was “much quieter without boys” and the said boys are more competitive.
  • Many of the girls were interested in learning more about computers, coding, circuits, electricity, and how things work in general as a direct result of interacting and designing in this workshop.
  • While completing the conference evaluation, my  group had to ask a parent what “box to check” for ethnicity. I liked this. It reminded me that institutions and educators put labels on things they don’t need to.
  • Keep exploring. Keep learning. Even this workshop schooled this ME… a self-acclaimed creative, smart kid. It reminded me to always keep the challenges coming.

Are you interested in learning more about this cool workshop? Want to connect to Fashion Circuits to learn about technology & design? Check out the Fashioning Circuits course taught by Dr. Knight at UT Dallas, follow @FashionCircuits on Twitter or track on the hashtag #FashioningCircuits for different happenings. I will continue to play with fashioning circuits every now and then to collaborate and contribute to Kim’s upcoming book, Fashioning Makers and Counterpublics: Critical Making and Public Humanities. Stay tuned for more maker and fashionista magic.

EdTech, Professional Development, Social Media

My #edu13 Sampling Tour at @EDUCAUSE

With limited time in my October schedule, I was only able to drop into the 2013 EDUCAUSE annual conference (#edu13) in Anaheim, CA for a couple of days. It’s unfortunate that I was not able to stay longer; however I’ll share my sample of the #edu13 higher education and technology conference. {This is what happens when you are traveling to conferences, writing a dissertation proposal, advising for Spring 2014 registration, teaching a class & training for a marathon all in the same month. Lessons learned for next year.}
#selfie at our #edusocmedia precinct at #edu13

Inside the Actors Studio @ #edu13

I was fortunate to be able to attend #edu13 since Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten) asked me to co-facilitate a virtual workshop on Social Media for Teaching and Learning. Much of this session shared ideas from Tanya’s book, our research article, and our practical application for utilizing social media for learning/teaching. During the session we modeled our teaching/learning expectations by encouraging participants to interact & dialogue with us on Twitter. Our emphasis was not on the tool, but more on the social learning and interactions you can have to augment educational experiences:

Let's get social #edusocmedia ....its not the tech #edu13Here is our digital handout from the workshop: http://bit.ly/edusocmedia13

Before I had to leave EDUCAUSE on Wednesday, I attended the #edu13 Prepare for Lift-Off: Becoming a Successful IT Pilot Site Panel and took a few digital notes: http://bit.ly/pilotpanel

How can the solution improve student learning? Ask @tjoosten @amcollier & @Veletsianos #edu13

During this session, Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten), Amy Collier (@amcollier), and George Veletsianos (@veletsianos) discussed the TOP 10 questions every institution should ask before piloting a technology solution for learning at their campus:

  1. Why should this solution be introduced to the campus?
  2. How can the solution improve student learning?
  3. Does your institution have readiness or capacity to pilot a new solution?
  4. Who is the audience and are the stakeholders?
  5. What is the pedagogical model that will lead to the greatest?
  6. How will a vendor be selected for the new technology?
  7. How would faculty be selected to participate?
  8. How do you evaluate the impact of the solution on the identified outcomes?
  9. How do you diffuse the innovation on campus and beyond?
  10. What are your questions?

Since I missed out on the live happenings, I made sure to follow the #edu13 backchannel and my tweeps while traveling home. If you don’t have much time or interest in text mining all the many tweets, The Chronicle curated few conversations on Twitter and EdTech Magazine compiled a list of people to follow at EDUCAUSE 2013.

Good morning #edu13

Reflections

Lucky 13: Top Blog Post Views for Summer 2013

13-ball

Since major news outlets, TV series, and  government officials seem to be on hiatus in August, I decided to take a break from blogging as well.  In looking back at what’s been trending on TechKNOW Tools,  here are the lucky 13 most viewed blog posts since  May.

LUCKY 13:  TOP BLOG POST VIEWS THIS SUMMER View
Social Media Strategies in Student Affairs
More stats
850
What’s Your Research Methods Worldview? More stats 353
#AcWriMo & Accountability to Write More stats 219
#EDUSprint 1: Beyond MOOCs – IT as a Force of Change More stats 116
Facebook for Learning Communities: Groups vs. Pages More stats 115
Passing the Torch: Leadership Transition in Our Professional Organizations More stats 115
Using Verbs for Specific Learning Outcomes More stats 114
Organizational Learning Constructs More stats 103
Backwards Design with TED-Ed More stats 84
I Tumblr For You… To Reflect. More stats 74
Going Mobile for Academic Advising: Tablets, iPads & Protocols on Campus More stats 72
Building Communities of Practice in Higher Ed More stats 65
My Prolegomenon to Technology
More stats
61

My pause from blogging will resume after I wrap up a few things before the Fall academic term starts: publications, projects, and proposals. #GradStudentProblems

MOOC, Web Design

#EDUSprint 3 – Creating the IT Architecture for the Connected Age

Here’s the recap for the last EDUCAUSE webinar of the EDU Sprint series: #EDUSprint 3 – Creating the IT Architecture for the Connected Age. Today’s session talked about the role of IT on campus, technology planning, and the infrastructure of IT services for digital learning.

#EDUsprint 3 - Is IT Creating a New, Connected Age?

The session discussed the processes, management strategies, and governance structures from the following higher education leaders on the panel:

  • Tracy Futhey, Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Duke University
  • Tracy Schroeder, Vice President, Information Services and Technology, Boston University
  • Ethan Benatan, Vice President, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Strategy Officer, Marylhurst University

Many spoke about how their IT unit is thinking deeper about services to connect to learning and the needs on their campus in a holistic manner. Tracy Futhey shared her ideas around IT services, and how we not only need to consider location within the organization, but more about the delivery and methods for our IT units.

IT Services

Although there was talk about campus-wide strategy, I rarely heard much about bringing others around the table for this discussion. Much of higher education still operates in silos, so the full potential of connectedness and planning technology in learning cannot just occur in an IT unit, academic department or business solutions. I think that more administrative leaders need to bring faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, IT developers, and external shareholders together for these strategy meetings. in higher education. As our campus environments change, so does the IT needs and services to support learning and engagement.

I did appreciate when Tracy Schoeder shared about the Digital Learning Initiative and Technology Planning at Boston University. Although emerging technological trends evolve, I think that planning and assessment need to be part of the regular planning cycle.

Strategic IT Planning - The BU Example #edusprint I also appreciated that BU puts a focus on the human aspect of their planning, and not just the IT solution. Organizational structures should be assessed and reviewed for the IT architecture, to meet the needs and understand the institutional goals for learning.

Human Architecture for Digital Learning @ BU

Finally Ethan Benatan, started with a few predictions on how IT will change, be challenged, and move in the future – which is always a difficult task. I did appreciate that he shared a design process… and that it was just that – A PROCESS. There will not be a single solution to each campus environment, and it takes some agility and insight to move your higher education institution in the right IT direction and continue to assess your needs.

Here are some new links & reads from the session in no particular order:

Did you miss the last of the 3-day #EDUsprint? No worries. Here are a few resources for you:

You’re very welcome. Happy learning!

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:

AcAdv, nacada, NACADA Tech, Social Media

The Global #AdvTech Discussion at #nacadaINTL … And Then Some #acadv

At the beginning of June, I was fortunate to participate in the first International NACADA Conference in the Netherlands. The conversations (#nacadaINTL – archived tweets!) and sharing of ideas on how to advise and support students is universal. A number of countries and institutions were represented, and surprising enough, many of us face similar institutional challenges for effective student development.

I was happy to return to Maastricht, where I studied as a student, to present social media research, moderate a technology in advising panel, and facilitate a workshop on communication strategies for advising students.

Q: What do @ 4 am when you cant sleep? A: Go on a Maastricht walkabout to see what you remember from grad school circa 2004.

I shared recent collaborative research on guiding social media from @tjoosten & @lindseyharness, and how our institutions rarely think about learning when it comes to policy. It was good to discuss challenges and ideas on how other campuses manage social media practices, and my faculty advisor will be happy to learn that I gave me some direction for my dissertation work. 🙂

Poster Session: Guiding #socialmedia at Our Institutions on by @tjoosten @lindseyharness & moi at #nacadaINTL #acadv #highered

In thinking about actual engagement, I discussed communication plans and ideas for reaching and teaching our students. I do not think that social media is the only solution; however this workshop discussed comprehensive communication planning.

Much of what we fail to do is think holistically about this at our institutions, and I am certain that advising units can lead the way and be a strong example on campus.

This workshop discussed ideas, examples, and practical strategies – here is the digital handout and the presentation:

Finally, I would like to thank the #AdvTech Panel (left to right), Richard Sober (from Teesside University,UK), Joel Shelton (from Zayed University, UAE), Nicolai Manie (University of Maastricht,  NL), Catherine Mann (University of Melbourne-AUS), George Steele (The Ohio University, USA), and Jennifer Joslin (University of Oregon, USA) for joining in the vast conversation about technology in advising. Interested in meeting the the panel? There’s an open, Google doc for that HERE.

Untitled

Although the assigned panel topic was technology in learning, much of the discussion dealt with managing institutional objectives, supporting learning outcomes, considering effective communication strategies, and workflow solutions to make advising practices shared and developmental. The first question posed to the group  was to set the tone and give the participants an understanding of how varied and fluid “technology” is for our advising experiences.

Question:

Answers:

Immersive, necessary, potentially useful, collaborative, student-centered, electric, difficult, powerful, accessibility & connected. {What is YOUR word?}

Much of the panel discussion and general conversations at the conference around technology really involved our shared experiences for our student needs. It was not really the WHAT or HOW, but rather the reasons WHY technology is utilized at each of our institutions.

Different practices and trends for technology in advising have emerged; however an agreement on costs, advising models, student demand, and resource issues were common topics. More advising units around the globe seem to be moving towards holistic needs that require system-wide, institutional technologies to track student success, encourage mobile learning, and identify administrative solutions to make advising workflow easier. Are all institutions doing this? No. Not many at all.

I look forward to continued discussions beyond #nacadaINTL as we dig into what lies ahead for advising and technology on a global scale, specifically:

  • How can we best determine technology needs and use for advising practice?
  • What technology in advising resources will be used or should be used if they were available?
  • How is your institution attempting to respond to these questions and challenges in higher education?

Let’s keep the conversation going #advtech …