Monday, February 16, 2009

ITC09 - eLearning Conference in Portland

The annual ITC eLearning 2009 Conference conference begins this Saturday at the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon. From the conference website: "eLearning 2009 is the friendliest and most comprehensive annual distance learning conference you will find for eLearning practitioners. It is the one place where you will learn who is doing what, what technologies they are using, what works, and what doesn't." This is always my favorite conference of the year, which I certainly hope is true again in 2009.

I'm busy working on presentation materials for all of the following sessions:

The Basics of Blogs, Wikis, and RSS - Saturday morning: 1/2 day pre-conference workshop.
  • This workshop will start at the very beginning, with no prior knowledge assumed. We will look at how blogs and wikis can be effectively be used in education. You'll create a blog, and see how you can use a blog to effectively communicate with your students as well as how you can have your students use blogs as a significant part of their learning experience. You'll also learn how RSS feeds make it very simple for you to follow the entries that your students make to their blogs.
  • We'll also look at the many effective uses of a wiki in education. You'll create one and learn how to edit the pages, as well as how to share access to the wiki for others to collaborate with you. They can be especially effective for student group projects and other academic work such as committee work and college planning. All materials will be available online for your continued use after the workshop.
Using Web 2.0 Tools inside your Virtual Learning Environment - Saturday afternoon: 1/2 day pre-conference workshop
  • Social networking and collaboration are enabled by many free Web 2.0 applications that are useful in education and can help enhance student creativity. They can augment and make slide presentations and other forms of course content unique. Barry Dahl will demonstrate the use of these applications inside various virtual learning environments (VLEs), such as Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Angel, and Moodle.
  • Each participant will receive access to an online course they can continue to visit after the workshop ends. You will use examples of many free Web-based tools, including SlideShare, Zoho, Flickr, UStream, Wet Paint, Toondoo, Blip, iMeem, Delicious, various Google tools, Twitter, and Netvibes, and learn how to integrate these tools within your VLE for added convenience for your students.
Grand Debate: Virtual Worlds are the Second Life for Online Learning - Sunday luncheon: where my far-too-worthy opponent will be Chris Collins of the University of Cincinnati. I'm the Con Man.
  • Pro position: Online simulation and role playing in virtual worlds are leading to new forms, methods, and modes of communication, collaboration, and creation that will enhance the educational process. Web-based multi-user 3D virtual worlds continue to attract educators from all over the world by offering a variety of opportunities for interactive learning experiences, developing a rich sense of community, and allowing students a greater freedom of self expression. Well over 100 educational institutions have established a presence in Second Life or other virtual worlds and are actively developing a significant virtual experience for their constituents
  • Con position: But how much of this is hype and how much is truly useful? How many of these virtual world efforts are simply duplicating things that can be done (better) in real life or using other, less complicated and demanding technologies? Trolling around a virtual world and not finding anyone else to interact with can be discouraging to say the least. Then when you do run into someone in world, they are either a virtual porn star or someone trying to pull some sort of financial scam. Not exactly the environment that we usually send our students into. Maybe there is a great deal of HOPE for the future of virtual worlds in education, but right now it’s mainly HYPE.
It's NOT My Job to Entertain Students!! Sunday 3:30 breakout session with Kim Goudy of Central Ohio Technical College.
  • Some faculty say it is not their job to entertain students. Yet, to be entertained is to be engaged. Would they also say it is not their job to engage students? Probably not.
  • The presenters will look at ways you can engage students with technology, in the virtual and face-to-face classroom. Every idea will be something your students can do for free, and many can be used to facilitate student collaborations. One example is a creative writing project where students create an electronic comic strip rather than the same old word processing paper.
  • The presenters will demonstrate several additional ideas using new social technologies. Participants will walk away with resources that provide access to a large number of free, Web-based tools that they can use in their teaching to engage students in new ways.
Sunday evening 6:30 ITC Regional Event: Rock Bottom Brewery. Fun competitions in various games includeing Wii Sports, Wii Guitar Hero, pool, poker, and speed Scrabble.

Web Conferencing 2.0: The Old, the New, and the Difference; Tuesday 10:00 breakout session with Ronda Edwards of the Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative.
  • The proliferation of online meeting tools makes it easier and cheaper to collaborate across distances. However, to get started you must choose from among all those tools. Some are free, some are cheap, and some are expensive. Some are Web-based and some need an install.
  • The presenters will compare several tools you can use to share documents, make presentations, troubleshoot problems, and collaborate like never before via video and audio conferencing, instant messaging, application/desktop sharing, and interactive whiteboards. Participants will learn which Web conferencing tools work well for various educational applications.


Anonymous said...

Hi Barry,

Interactive web comics are a great way to engage and motivate students to learn.

If you're interested in innovative Web 2.0 learning tools, I invite you to check out - an award-winning website where you create comics without having to draw.

Design every aspect of your character, and move it into any pose you want. All you have to do is click-and-drag to change or reposition any part of it - the creative and artistic possibilities are endless!

Share with others, post to your blog or remix comics to add your own twist. Read comics in over 40 languages, with our automatic translation by Google. Language filters, privacy settings, and flagging mechanisms help preserve a safe online environment.

Try it out and let us know what you think. Sign-up is free!

Creator of Pixton - Interactive Web Comics

Web audio video conferencing solution provider said...

I am agree with you pixton its really bring a great revolution from learning point of view also, keep it up.

elearning guy said...

Interactive web comics are a great way to engage and motivate students to learn.

-- i agree since online comics are very versatile materials that you can use in a variety of ways