EDUCAUSE Highlights the Best Thinking in HigherEd IT

SherThis post is brought to you by Sherry Barricklow, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist.

The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is one of the largest higher education technology events, bringing faculty, staff, instructional designers, technologists, and vendors together to share best practices.  This years themes included sessions in the following tracks:

  • Creating a Culture of Data-Informed Decision-Making
  • Evolving Infrastructure and Enterprise IT
  • Exploring Innovation in Teaching and Learning
  • Leading and Partnering Across the Institution
  • Managing and Reducing Information Technology Risk
  • Transforming the Student Experience

Here are a few of the sessions I attended:

  • Digital storytelling and Education Technology:  The State of the Art
    Bryan Alexander and Mark Corbett Wilson

    This session was excellent in reinforcing the concept of digital storytelling from both the instructor and student perspective.  Alexander was animated in describing the long-tern retention of details in any subject when the faculty member uses a storytelling multi-sensory format vs a lecture style.

    He also discussed the concept of enhanced learning for students to internalize the materials they were to learn about and distill them into digital storytelling. Along with content acquisition, students learned skills/abilities as they assembled their materials to tell the story.

    Fun link   http://newdigitalstorytelling.net/

  • Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation of Race
    Michele Norris
    Michele Norris discussed The Race Card Project and how six-word snapshots paint a vivid picture of America’s attitudes and experiences about race during a fascinating moment in American history. Michele has a project site with more information.
  • Open-Source Tools for Auditing and Inspecting Web Accessibility

    This session focused on a variety of tools that can be used to check for accessibility.

    Open-Source Tools and Session Slides

  • Talking to Our Colleagues About Universal Design for Learning
    Tom Tobin
    Instead of ADA think Re-Framing UDL Focus on Mobile Learners.  Instead of talking about the students with exceptions, Talk about how it is a way to reach out to our students on their mobile devices.

    Most student students have a smartphone 93%

    “Aim for progress not perfection…”

  • Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast Transformation of Culture through IT
    Mojgan Amini, Laura Boehme, Todd Migliaccio, Jen Schwedler

    This session spent time polling the audience.  Here are some of my favorite responses and buzz phrases:

    Failure is also information.

    IT is the sticky-ness of the organization

    What percentage of strategic initiatives fail and what is failure and success?

    Check and double check for the Organizational technology Readiness

    If the administration does not have a willingness to invest in training is hard to convince Faculty and Staff that it is very important.

    Define the culture so you can move forward and get ideas out it a way that makes sense to the end users.

    Look at this as a business process > (not the shiny tools)

    Define what is success?  It is not 100% adoption.

    Resource: https://www.mentimeter.com/

  • Secret Decoder Ring
    Presented by Sarah Miller (U of Wisconsin-Madison) and Cody Connor (Purdue)
    Explore Faculty Roadblocks

    Examine How Faculty Communicate

    Identify Key Challenges in your Community

    Identify Strategies

    Share Institutional Examples

    Distillation of all the conversation:   Faculty must feel supported and that they can get help, when needed, to move forward in adopting technology.

    • What issues might be contributing to each situation?
      • Change is difficult and scary
      • Change takes times
      • Fear of failure and embarrassment
      • Not convinced that active learning will have desired outcomes
      • Belief students like traditional
      • Student evaluation process and the validity of use of active learning
      • Not have the technology support.  Not the active learning tools.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s