Back in May I was lucky enough to be invited by the good folks of the Maricopa College System (the largest community college district in the US) to talk about edtech as a change agent in higher education at their 2011 Teaching and Learning with Technology conference. I focused my talk on a few things: UMW Blogs, Jon Beasley-Murray’s Wikipedia Experiment, and the MOOC (in particular #ds106) as potential examples of change that is currently happening on the higher education landscape. I have talked about UMW Blogs a lot over the last few years, and what was new in this talk for me was trying to explain ds106 (which I think I did a better job of at the Elon talk). What was cool about my freeform discussion of ds106 is that it marks one of the few times where the kernel of an idea emerged within a talk for me that went on to become something that I actually impelemented and thought was awesome. I had been thinking a lot about how I would do ds106 differently for the fully online, 5-week intensive Summer version of the course, and it is in this talk (as well as a series of conversations with Alan Levine over the few days following this talk) that I got the courage to go ahead with the Summer of Oblivion. The last 30 minutes of this talk (at about the 40:00 minute mark) I start framing my thoughts about MOOCs, ds106, and the possibilities for rethinking online learning with such a model—I even nail the vision I has been searching for in regards to Videodrome, Dr. O’Blivion and what it might all mean.
Finally, I sound like a salty dog sailor in this video because I had blown out my voice in Vancouver only a day or two before at the epic Norther Voice jam session at the Sanctuary. I still hold that up as one of the greatest experiences of my life, and between Vancouver with all the #ds106 maniacs and Arizona with cogdog, that 10 day trip back in May was OISOME!
Additionally, there is also a video available from the 45 minute Q & A after the talk which was a blast. From what I can remember, Alan and I spent a lot of time wondering why anyone would use an LMS —and saying something to the effect that “we don’t hate BlackBoard, but just feel better when it is not around.” 🙂
Special thanks to all the folks at Maricopa who made me feel right at home despite the fact I was highly self-conscious given how shot my voice was. And I would particularly like to thank Christy Alcaron and Eric Leshinskie for making everything so easy. What’s more, I have a separate post I need to write about the unbelievable edtech folks on the ground at Maricopa. They have come up with an extra-institutional professional development approach called the “cybersalon” which I had the distinct pleasure to partake in after the presentation—and I must say it’s brilliant, but more on that shortly.