Last Bits from IFWE 2016

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and this is my last blog post, wrapping up my learning. Here are some snippets from the last sessions I attended.

15 Tips When Working With New Technologies and Learning Ideas

Description: After working with faculty and technology in a variety of positions in Distance Learning, this presenter has discovered 15 tips on how to work with all these new-fangled learning techniques and/or technologies. Come join us to learn!

Presented by: Diana Amis (University of Texas at San Antonio)

This session was targeted to those who might get frustrated or overwhelmed with new tools and technologies. These 15 tips help you tackle something new in a logical manner: 

  1. Breathe!
  2. Patience is a Virtue
  3. Fresh Set of Eyes
  4. Take a Brain Break
  5. Stressing out is not worth it
  6. Time Management
  7. Chunking
  8. Bridging the Gap/ Filling a Need
  9. Baby Steps
  10. If all else fails, ask questions
  11. Communication
  12. Support – call the company
  13. Trial version – test it out
  14. Contact Info for the company
  15. Does it apply – do you need it?

A Matter of Trust: Technology and Privacy in eLearning Environments

Description: This session will discuss educational privacy issues online, with a brief overview of relevant federal and state laws. A possible framework within which to address privacy – and to contribute to an environment of trust – in our online distance courses and communities will be proposed and shared.

Presented by: Susan Stephan (Nova Southeastern University)

This was a great session that I decided not to blog because we had such interesting discussions about things that don’t have a black/white answer. It was really interesting to go to this session on the same day that I attended the learning analytics session. The unique angle that Susan brings to the idea of privacy issues is the trust side. The learning exchange is really a matter of trust between the institution, the faculty, and the students. I learned about a few issues that I’m going to go back and check out. I also really enjoyed the conversations on whether or not it matters that our privacy is so eroded. Fascinating!

Delivering Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the MENA Region

Presented by: Meghan Kent (Stanford University) and Ireen Massis (Stanford University)

Description: During 2015 – 2016 Stanford University designed and delivered a curriculum in Innovation and Entrepreneurship to promote gender equality in the labor force in the MENA region. The curriculum was distributed virtually, allowing for unlimited scale of and the highest possible impact to the region. During this session we will share the initial needs, survey results from the pilot program, and our own observations, obstacles, and solutions. Furthermore, we will share our findings from women who have taken the course and the impact that it has had on their academic, personal, and professional lives.

This was a fascinating project. They basically had a specific course that they wrote so that faculty in UAE could use it as a “course in a box” – it was a course on innovation and entrepreneurship. The cultural differences made the project an interesting process journey – lots of learning shared out of that. 

Women & Gaming: Educational Gaming for All

Presented by: Amber Muenzenberger (Triseum, LLC) and Shawna Fletcher (Texas A&M University)

Description: Gaming has grown immensely over the last decade, including using games for education and professional development. There are a growing number of gamers around the world, including women. Join the conversation of gender roles in gaming, ties between gaming and elevated interests STEM careers, and inclusion of gameplay in education.

Amber sure has some good work going on! She’s at Triseum – and they’ve built two cool education games – Arte Mecanas – an art history game; and Variant – coming soon – that teaches calculus (aligned to AP too). These are for the college level. Interesting data and experiences shared on how males and females are playing games – how much time, what devices, etc. What a powerful discussion among the women attending. 

Wrap Up

So, wow, IFWE! First time. It happens every two years. It’s time to plan for 2018! Mark your calendars. It’s an amazing experience – networking, support, life coaching, great e-learning!

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