Every so often I’ll have a discussion with an academic around “this facebook thing” or “what’s the point of Twitter”. Each time it’s for a different reason or coming from a different perspective or background. But each time it also comes down to two main areas of interest: time and effort. How long will it take or how much effort will they need to put into it for it to become a worthwhile enterprise.
I always say it will come down to what they want to get from the experience. Do they want to get hits or recognition, do they want to build a social profile and/or ‘digital footprint’? Do they want to manage or improve an existing profile or footprint, or eradicate a negative one? Is it to be able to connect with colleagues and peers through LinkedIn or Google+, or to increase conference speaking requests? Is the reason for signing up to Facebook or Twitter for student engagement or because you can only really understand how the students use it if you use it yourself? Is their need to be ‘there’ one of inclusion or monitoring? Often the reason is just one where they see someone else using it, probably successfully, and therefore “want some of that”.
In most cases it is nearly always ‘some of the above’, and in very few cases ‘all of the above’ (even if it’s not acknowledged to be this). I can’t say “you should start here … ” as each person should start where it is more appropriate: LinkedIn for professional reputation, SlideShare for conference and/or learning resources, Google+ or Twitter for networks and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), etc. Continue reading →
It was during FOTE12 that I had the first hint of an idea on how to take conference attendee engagement to the next level.
As the curator for the ULCC YouTube videos from FOTE12, I had hoped to collect a series of video interviews with deleagates and produce a number of videos on the delegate responses to the conference theme and ‘future of technology in education’ issues. It did not pan out as planned on the day, so instead I used the archive of tweets from the conference (thanks to Martin Hawksey), as well as the great photos of the day taken by the ULCC photographer.
Here’s what I thought … take the delegates engagement in the conference activity (weeks and even months before the conference itself), add in a new feature in the Conference App (or associated website), and a little bit of 1980′s TV, and you’ve made a great way for individuals to be involved in the conference.
Day two of the Durham Blackboard started with an extremely useful insight into the roadmap Blackboard is taking with their product(s), as well as Blackboard’s own opinion on the conference theme: “Make Do or Spend?”. However, the Conference’s second keynote is from Jeremy Knox from the University of Edinburgh and was on “MOOC pedagogy: the challenges of developing for Coursera”.
Day two of the Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference started with this extremely useful insight into the roadmap Blackboard is taking with the ‘Learn’ product, as well as Blackboard’s own opinion on the conference theme: “Make Do or Spend?”.
Greg Ritter (@gritter), Director of Product Management with Blackboard Learn, showed Blackboards perspective on ‘the challenges ahead’ and on the conference theme, ‘Make Do or Spend?’. Greg showed us, and discussed:
Blackboard Analytics [product]: extract student data, from both Blackboard and Institution student-records systems, for use in reporting to different stakeholders.
After several years of trying to get the UK Blackboard Users Conference it seems 2013 (and the 13th conference – it’s a teenager!) is my lucky year. The theme for the 13th Annual Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference is ‘Make Do or Spend’ with presentations looking at how colleges and universities are responding to pressure:
Increasing consumerist attitudes amongst students, and
Severe fiscal constraints.
What I hope to get from the 2 day conference, apart from the networking, product/Blackboard development, Bb mobile progress, conference dinner, travel, etc., is insight into how individuals and Institutions are dealing with, and adapting, to the changing conditions within the UK FE/HE market. How are these changes are affecting approaches to learning management systems (Blackboard) and can these changes be sustained or modified if the conditions ‘worsen’? Continue reading →
Here’s what I liked (at minute mark 5:18) when talking about integrating technology (from the student feedback, NSS score, and improving the “student experience”) and the issues on an Institutional level at making these changes:
“We can’t change everything because we’d have to change ‘Everything’! … if you unpick all this you see lots of but’s, reasons why we can’t do something … we had what’s called a Deputy Vice Chancellor ‘out of patience’ error … this notion of we can’t do it because we’d have to change everything built up and up and up, so we ended up with” ‘well if we can’t do it because we’d have to change everything, and that’s what you’re saying to me, then let’s change everything!’”
Indeed … “using Learning Technology to transform a whole university’s curriculum”. Who’s with me?
The Durham University Blackboard Users Conference on January 8/9, 2013 is all about ‘Make do or Spend?‘ next year (spelt ‘sp£nd’ – see what they did there?) with the focus clearly on the VLE (or other technologies) and how well we use it in the face of stiff competition for student numbers in the current economic climate.
Are you thinking ahead to conferences next year, which ones you’ll attend and which ones you’ll submit to? Yeah, me too, which is why this ‘teaser’ video from the Plymouth Enhanced Learning Conference (PELeCON, April 10-12, 2013) couldn’t have come at a better time:
The topic/theme for PELeCON next year is “Digital Learnscapes: Meeting Future Challenges”:
“We live in a period of change and uncertainty. Many are bewildered by these changes and find it difficult to keep up, particularly in the education and training sectors. The ability to anticipate and prepare for change is the mark of innovative educators, as is the skill of harnessing new and emerging tools to promote good learning.
“At Pelecon 13 we want to provide learning professionals with opportunities to explore, discover and discuss new approaches, new technologies and new ideas to enhance, enrich and extend their own professional practice. There will be particular emphasis this year on simulations and games, personal learning tools, new pedagogies and practices, learner and teacher voice, and digital literacies.”
Today I attended the JISC RSC (Regional Support Centre) North West and eAssessment Association event ‘Exploring eAssessment‘ in the lovely setting of Lancaster House Hotel.
With the event was billed as:
“With the pressure to show impact of e-Assessment in our institutions, it’s important to know that the technology is being applied in the most effective way. We have brought together speakers from near and far to share their experiences of how you can make a difference with e-Assessment within your own organisations.”
the schedule covered aspect of assessment such as ‘developing flexible e-Assessment spaces’, ‘quick wins for learner assessment’, ‘importance of learner tracking as a motivational tool’, as well as how to use QR Codes to “deliver assessment tasks in authentic spaces, allowing learners to interact with physical spaces while recording their actions”. Continue reading →