Posts Tagged 'et4online'

Shared stories and Sloan C #et4online

I enjoyed attending the Sloan C Emerging Technologies for Online Learning in Las Vegas last week. I enjoyed listening to the speakers, tweeting out what I was learning, presenting a session about Google Plus and Doctoral blended learning courses, and interacting with colleagues I knew and colleagues who I met for the first time. But probably the session I enjoyed most was the “Unconference” session that was held after the closing of the actual conference.

The Unconference was facilitated by Jen Ross from the University of Edinburgh. There were about 40 of us who first gathered in stadium seating to hear Jen share the outline for the session.  We randomly divided ourselves into table groups. On the walk to the tables, I found a Twitter friend who I had not met. Amy Collier is the Associate Director for Technology & Teaching at Stanford. We chatted a minute and then moved to our respective tables. She and I tweeted back and forth for the rest of the session about what our respective tables were doing.  At the first table, our task was to identify “What does it mean to be a teacher in the context of emerging technology?” Each of the tables uploaded their results to a Google doc at which time, one of Jen’s colleagues took what was uploaded, and identified the main themes that emerged. After a short break, everyone then moved to tables based on one of the themes.  The themes were:

  • Point 1: Being human
  • Point 2: In the learning landscape, technology is not enough and teaching is not enough.
  • Point 3: The work of the teacher
  • Point 4: Risk
  • Point 5: The social
  • Point 6: The way of the student

Following the table groups there was a “fishbowl” type set up where there were 6 people on stage with one empty chair with the rest of the group sitting in chairs facing the stage. This began an open conversation in response to the previous table group work. One of the participants made the statement, “Why can’t the actual conference be structured like this?”  To which I responded, “What structures would you put in place to have the actual conference work like this?”.  Another person stated how valuable he found the unconference conversations, and that he wondered why the actual conference could not be that way. One of the conference organizers was in the audience and he shared how there are people who attend conferences and just want to listen.  The overall document of the conversations can be found here.

I then went to retrieve my suitcase that was stored with the concierge.  Another person from the unconference walked up so she and I started talking. Turns out she was going to the airport so I asked if she wanted to share a cab which we did. Her name is Gigi Johnson who works at UCLA.  I was looking forward to continuing the conversation from the unconference since she was the one who had questioned why the actual conference could not be structured like the unconference.  As we entered the cab, the cab driver asked why we were in Vegas and we shared that we were educators.  The driver’s accent suggested he was originally from a country outside the U.S. so he had us guess where he was from (We guessed Egypt, Iran, Greece and several other countries, but his nationality was Italian).  Then, for the whole drive to the airport (about 20 minutes), he talked about the American educational system and how the real problem with American education is parents.  Needless to say, Gigi, my unconference friend and I did not get any time to talk with one another during the cab ride.  As we got out of the cab and each walked towards our respective airlines, we smiled and commented about how the shared experience in the cab ride was much different than our shared experience of the unconference.  But, it was another shared story.

Conferences really can be opportunities for shared experiences and shared stories.

Internet, Twitter and Sloan-C Conference

Thursday’s morning plenary at the Sloan-C conference in Las Vegas featured Steve Hargadon and Audrey Watters who spoke on the topic of: Drilling Down on the Real Impacts of Emerging Technologies . Little did I know that first the Internet was not working on my computer and then my phone could not connect either and I do enjoy Tweeting out thoughts during the presentation. In addition, I found out later that Twitter was down at the same time.  So, I opened a good old word document and started typing out my “tweets” in hopes that Twitter and the Internet would be up…but nope, it was still not working.

So, here are my “tweets” from yesterday’s plenary at Sloan C:

  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online discussing how information is currently consumed like food at McDonalds. Perhaps there is a better way.
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Seems like institutions are working hard to protect their space but with MOOCs and related structures…
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Quoting Tim O’Reilly about “data exhaust” vs. “data management” that could help with student learning
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online now talking about the textbook delivery method. Why have we not fired textbooks?
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Resources can now be organized by instructors and learners vs. textbook publishers curating…but will they?
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Why haven’t digital textbooks taken off? Audrey said that if she could touch a mitochondria in a textbook she might have become a scientist
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Problem with textbooks is that you can’t share them with your friends and cost and copyright
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Publishers worrying about losing control…and profits with changing world of textbooks
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online discussing what Audrey has written about Edmodo and the investment capital invested in it – primarily a K-12 social media platform
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online With investors in Edmodo – over $40 mil – what will be the return for the investors in the future?
  • “If you are not paying for the product, you ARE the product.” @audreywatters at #et4online
  • @stevehargadon is the ultimate insightful interviewer as part of this keynote identifying “elephants in the room” of tech and ed with@audreywatters at #et4online
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online There is another connection with food and online – many people check out reviews of restaurants before going. More control for customers.
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Now talking about how mobile devices have allowed users more control and decision making in every day life and in education
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online So, Edmodo is free. Audrey wonders how they will make money in the future…
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Money going into education from philanthropists and entrepreneurs more today than in the past. What will be the result?
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online The “Audrey” test are 5 questions she asks educational entrepreneurs to see if they “get” what they are investing their money in
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Some suggest “Until the iPad came along, there was no educational technology. Many forget the educational history. A type of “educational amnesia”
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online When you see one person drop out of Harvard and they become a millionaire, others think this is what they can do, too.
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online It is probably a good idea if you have an idea of how to improve education, it is probably a good idea to talk with a teacher
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Everyone went to school at some part in their lives so they think their solution will “save” education. Their “app” will change education and some how make it better.
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Many of the tech products such as “Twitter” or “Evernote” have no idea about education, but it is educators who adopt it and put it to work in education
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Interesting how companies like Apple make statements like they have “education in their DNA” but what they produce is not really focused on education. It’s educators who adopt it.
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Talking about recent Open Source conference…some have gone to the “dark” side…but doesn’t always mean “open” – the word du jour
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online It is important for educators to ask questions about what does it mean to be “open”
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Now talking about Tim O’Reilly who talked about the “clothesline paradox” when you hang clothes outside, there is no measure of energy consumption
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online If you dry clothes in a dryer, energy is measured, if they are hung outside, there is no measure of energy.  Analogy of open education – “clothesline paradox” Tim O’Reilly
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online says that Tim O’Reilly believes that it is important to give more than you get
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Having 160,000 students in an open course seems like a compelling story…is it serving a need?
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Now discussing courser (a for-profit) just signed on 12 universities as part of their program to offer open courses
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Now sharing about Harvard and MIT edEX open courseware … but the model is graded via multiple choice auto-graded tests
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Why is it important to know where MOOCs actually started? (It was not at Stanford)
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online Do you know about Connectivism, George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier and their role in the development of MOOCs?
  • @stevehargadon and @audreywatters at #et4online An answer to one of the questions: It is important for learners to be able to identify how they learn best and institutions should be able to accommodate the variety




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