A Nice Touch

We wrap up our Center for Teaching Excellence annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Institute tomorrow, and it has been a wonderful week of discovery for ourselves and our 18 participants.  It is always fun to immerse yourself with colleagues in explorations of teaching practices built around the web and networked learning.  From delicious to digital storytelling to RSS to Slideshare and Jing, we have heard a lot of excitement and brainstorming on practical applications.  One of my high points was being a part of a panel discussion on blogging with three of my colleagues.  Laura McLay blogged about it here.

Check out the Twitter hashtag of “#tlwt09” to gain some appreciation for the week!

As energizing as this week has been, it has been equally fun to reflect on how far I have come in the past year.  I just went back and looked at my blog posts from one year ago.  I had forgotten that just one year ago we both changed our office locations and I bought my scooter!  More importantly, I have had the opportunity to continue learning and growing with my colleagues Jeff Nugent and Bud Deihl.  The three of us spent from December to May brainstorming and then publishing the White Paper on online teaching and learning.  We also totally revamped this Institute, such that the current year focused on networked learning hardly resembles the previous more tool-oriented institute.

As an example, this afternoon was focused on “Casting the Net”.  In a three hour period, we took our participants on an exploration of first podcasting, then screencasting, and finally webcasting.  Our focus was on using these techniques to communicate and connect with students and colleagues.  While each is useful for disseminating material to students, we also demonstrated how each could be equally useful as student-generated material.  As one participant noted in Twitter, she sort of liked the concept of shifting from grading 30 five-page papers to grading 30 five-minute videos!

I illustrated how Jon Becker had put together an impromptu webcast with colleagues nationwide and our students, then Twittered a link for the web meeting, which allowed others outside our walled garden of Blackboard to join the conversation.

As something tangible to take back from their week with us, at the end of the day we gave each participant an iPod Touch.  It was totally unexpected and you could feel the boost in energy and excitement (and goosebumps) from the crowd as we began to hand them out.  We feel confident that this is a group that will make good use in this investment in technology!  This institute has really been an opening commitment to building a relationship that is going to evolve and grow over the coming years!

As I said, it was a nice Touch!  🙂

{Photo Credit: Apple}

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2 thoughts on “A Nice Touch

  1. For me it has been an enlightening week. It may take a few more weeks, months, or years to unpack just the first couple days of it.

    Thanks for the stimulation and connections w/ ideas & people.

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