Three Stellar Presentations and One Dud

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Hello again from the Instructional Technology Council’s eLearning 2008 Conference. It was a full day today and I have already blogged about Myk Garn’s keynote this morning…which set the pace for an instructive day.

The first presentation I attended was “fun” but fell flat for reasons I will discuss below. The other three were insightful and stimulating. A brief recap of each.


Researching and Teaching Digital Natives with Web 2.0

Manoucher Khosrowshahi, Tyler Junior College

He tried to take a day long workshop and cram it into one hour. It was entertaining but geared for a non-techy audience, which this was not. He spent the hour detailing the differences between Boomers, Nexters, and Millennials (nice job), and then discussed how faculty needed to adapt to deal with educating millennials. His key point (with which I agree):

If students do not learn the way we teach, maybe we need to teach the way they learn.

Where he lost me (and turned this in to a dud) was at the end, when one of the participants asked if he would share his slides. His comment, “This is my intellectual property, so no, I will not share, but if you want to pay me to come to your campus, I will be happy to do so.”

Okay – a guy’s gotta make a buck…..but don’t feed me Web 2.0 platitudes for an hour and then practice Web 1.0 philosophy on a personal basis. This really turned me off and demonstrated for me that – in the end, he does not get Web 2.0!

<end of rant>


Online Instructor Competencies – It’s About Time

Edward Bowen, Executive Dean, Distance Learning, Dallas TeleCollege

Slides available at Ed’s Blog. (Someone who DOES get it!)

Ed started out with one of the nicest moves I have seen at a conference. He first asked everyone in the audience who would be giving a presentation to give a 15 second promo (nice touch). He then asked for a quick round-up of “take-aways” others had learned so far. One was an inexpensive text to speech conversion tool. I discussed a tool my colleague Bud Deihl is investigating: Jott – and Bowne ran with it – talking about how cool it is to be able to call an 800 number and have Jott RSS feed the text of your call to all students in your class!

Ed then shifted to his presentation. He started by noting that one cannot talk about competencies until one decides how learning occurs online. For instance, he solicited input from the audience as to their articulation of a philosophy as it relates to our online discussions:

Learning outcomes
– Social connections
– Motivation

He suggested that we need to develop instructor competencies in five areas:

1. Subject Relevance (Outcomes / Expectations)

2. Media (Text / Audio / Video)

3. Assessment (Formative / Summative / Peer / Remediation)

4. Control of time/place/pace (Flexibility / Continuing)

5. Type of Relation with instructor/other learners (Social / Personal / Professional)

Ed discussed the components of the online environment and suggested we need to be assessing courses not only at the end, but pre-course and during. We should be assessing students entering the course, teachers capabilities to teach online prior to the course, and course design prior to the course. During the course, the process in the LMS should be reviewed. And post-course, one should look at student evaluations and learning outcomes.

In focusing on teaching, he suggested we look at seven categories of competencies:




Instructional Design



Social Processes and Presence

All of these should be aligned with the learning outcomes and aligned with faculty development.

Nice job, Ed Bowen!



Personalized Learning Environments – Tools that Support Learning-Centered Instruction

Rhonda Ficek, Minnesota State University

A very nice presentation on the use of different web-based tools to drive the development of PLE’s for students. PLE’s are personally managed learning spaces that are social, distributed, and layered with both formal and informal learning. Key features included:

– Communication tools

Flexible structures

Integrated formal and informal learning

She discussed tools in four areas of instruction:


4 quadrants

Writing: Google Docs / Wikis / Google Notebook

Presentation Tools : Google Presentation

Organize Resources: Zotero / Flickr / delicious

Collaboration: Skype / Wimba

Think Tank

E Portfolios: Minnesota eFolio



Free Web-Based Tools

Google Notebook


Google Docs:

Zotero – bibliography help (Firefox only)

Nice job, Rhonda!



Mashing Up the Face of Academia –

John Krutsch, Senior Director of Distance Ed, Utah Valley University

John reviewed teaching and personal learning through mash ups. He demonstrated:

Viral videos (President George Bush singing rap)

– The Mashed Up song of the day from local radio
Nothing new – Simon and Garfunkel in 1969 combined Silent Night and Evening News

Teachers have historically been doing this:

Rewrite stories

Thematic Events

Movie Madness http:/

Romeo and Juliet’s Blackboard / WEBCt “affair”

John discussed some of the technologies available, including Twitter feeds, Google Map feeds, Open API (application programming interface), FlickrVision, TwitterVision, SLoodle (mashup of Second Life and Moodle), etc.

John’s main point: Culture of Mashups allows students to participate in creation of course content.

Mashups can occur at lesson-level, course-level, or degree-level. Mashups at the course level help break the monopoly of single textbooks as content source.

John reinforced Barry Dahl’s point from yesterday that teachers need to engage their students, and suggested teachers of the future will resemble Club DJ’s, shifting their content if it is not engaging students.

He summarized by suggesting that mashups allow students to take more ownership of their own education, reusing, remixing, and resubmiting material as part of their personal learning journey. This all supposes that alternate forms of assessment will be needed.

John’s blog –

Still trying to get my head around tying mashups to learning outcomes…but an interesting presentation, John!


As usual, my head is spinning. I present tomorrow on Instructional Uses of Social Bookmarking, and I am looking forward to another great day!

2 thoughts on “Three Stellar Presentations and One Dud

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