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Category: Social Media

NMC Summer Conference Correspondent

nmc_logo_url_RGB_jpg__675×600_I am heading up to Alexandria tomorrow for the New Media Consortium (NMC) Summer Conference. The NMC is best known for producing the Horizon Report, several annual publications that for the past decade or so have charted trends in educational technology and–although the organization has always distanced itself from this word–predicted the level of adoption of these technologies will have in various educational domains–higher ed, K12, museums, and libraries– along several adoption “horizons”–one year or less, two-to-three years, and four-to-five years. I’ve always found these prognostications problematic, untrustworthy, and ultimately not really useful. More useful is the sections of the reports that document current trends and provide links to case studies.

The focus of this conference is very different from the ones I usually attend, emphasizing creative educational practices using emerging technologies, and I’ve wanted to attend for a number of years. Either the location (Portland, OR last year) or schedule conflicts have prevented this. However, having the conference in DC this year (OK, technically Alexandria) has made it too convenient an opportunity to pass up this year. So, I have decided to jump in with both feet as well, as I have also volunteered to be a NMC Conference Correspondent. During the conference I will be crossposting from my social media accounts to the NMC conference blog and Twitter feed (@NMCorg #nmc15) mainly, as well as to the NMC Flickr group and Instagram account. We’ll see how it goes and if I can successfully keep all of these digital balls in the air.

What’s the (OER) Story Morning Glory?

OER World MapThis is not a request you get everyday: the creators of the OER World Map, a new project to “share information on behalf of the worldwide OER community, using local knowledge to describe the OER ecosystem” have extended an invitation to this community to share your OER story. From the website:

We invite you to share your OER story with the community and tell others about your OER activities! These could be OER projects or initiatives, Open Educational Practices like generating OER or teaching with OER, the development of guidelines & institutional policies on OER, new insights and research on OER, as well as the development or use of helpful infrastructure tools for OER. Please include a title and a text no longer than 5000 characters that describes the who, what, when, where and why of the activity. A photo connected to the story would also be great. Please note that stories will be published under CC-BY.

Built withopen data technology, OER World Map is attempting to use data visualization to represent OER projects and use as they spread across the globe. The OER World Map also supports a range of widgets and tools through powerful statistical analysis. OER World Map is built by hbz and graphthinking GmbH with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

To share your or your institution’s OER story, send it to info@oerworldmap.org.

 

New America Foundation Event in DC: Community College Online

CC-BY http://www.jisc.ac.uk

CC-BY http://www.jisc.ac.uk

On February 17th, the New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program will host an event that will focus on the use of information technology at community colleges. The event will occur in conjunction with the release of a new report by New America, Community College Online, which features case studies of how community colleges are harnessing technology to improve remediation, student services, and content delivery. Here is a description of the two-hour long event from the organization’s web site:

Community colleges are often the only or the last chance for a college education for many of America’s students. Some students enroll in a couple of classes or a short-term certificate to gain new skills, some enroll to obtain their associate degrees, and some enroll with the intention to transfer to a four-year institution. The open access of community college is one of America’s greatest postsecondary strengths, but also one of its greatest challenges. While almost anyone with minimum qualifications can enter a community college and pursue a postsecondary credential, few will actually complete.

Community college students need access to more high-quality, flexible support services, courses, and credentials to succeed. Students should be able to take at least two courses a semester—two in the fall, two in the spring, and two in the summer—so that they can complete their associate degrees in two to four years. Innovative use of information technology can help get them there.

The opening remarks and innovation presentations will be live streamed.  If you can’t make it in person, you can participate on Twitter using the hastag #CCOnline and following @NewAmericaEd. You can see an agenda and register for the event here: http://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/community-college-online/.

The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that “invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.”

VCU Online Learning Summit 2013

VCU Online Learning Summit

If you are in the Richmond area on May 14th, or want to justify a spring trip to our fair capitol city, you may want to consider attending the Online Learning Summit at Virginia Commonwealth University. Seasoned keynoter Gardner Campbell will be headlining. There is no opening band or cover charge. That’s right: it’s free.

If you haven’t seen or heard Gardener speak before, you can get a taste of what you are in for by viewing his spectacular keynote speech at the OpenEd conference in Vancouver, BC last year. I wrote about it here. The link to the recording is here.

More info from the VCU Summit website:

The VCU Online Learning Summit is organized by the Center for Teaching Excellence at Virginia Commonwealth University. This regional conference serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the research, development, and applications of all topics related to teaching and learning online. We invite proposals of substantive, interactive sessions that will raise provocative questions, engage participants in discussion, and foster conversations.

If you want to submit a proposal, you have until Monday, March 1st, 2013. Visit the Online Learning Summit web site for more details: http://wp.vcu.edu/onlinesummit2013/

Jane McGonigal on CNN

I’ve never crossed paths with Jane, but I have been following her career with interest over the past few years. She was involved in designing the I Love Bees alternate reality game (ARG), and has since gone on to develop a number of innovative ARGS such as World Without Oil and other online games.  Now she is on the front page of CNN, talking about the positive impact that video games can have on the world.

Frontline’s “Digital Nation”

I am really excited by Frontline’s upcoming documentary series, Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier. The series addresses the profound ways that technology is digital_nationaltering the modern, human experience, from the way we fight our wars to how we manage our relationships and pursue learning. I am especially excited by the interviews with James Paul Gee and Henry Jenkins about the benefit video games  and social media can offer to learning and engagement.

While the series is not due to be released until the Winter 2010, according to the website, rough cuts of interviews from the show are posted to the site for viewer feedback.

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