Category Archives: Professional Development

Professional Development, Training, Faculty Development, Workshops

Tweeting Teachers and Pinterest Professors: Social Media Lessons from a Community of Educators as Learners

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging the sessions I’m attending.

Starting off today with a preconference session by Stephanie Thompson, PhD, Faculty and Course Lead who teaches for Kaplan University. Contributors for this session included Barbara Green, Teresa Marie Kelly, and Josef Vice, other Kaplan faculty.

Faculty Driven Learning Communities

The idea is that faculty can learn together online, because it might be hard to travel to attend conferences – and social media can be a way for doing that.

As we do introductions, I think it’s so interesting what makes people come to a session. I’m mostly interested in the social media side – but the faculty development / professional learning idea is really critical too – and I’m looking forward to seeing how social media can connect faculty for learning.  

This is a cool graphic shared from EdSurge Guides – to help focus on the idea of personalized learning / personal learning networks – driving your own learning. I am so fascinated by the change to self-driven learning – in the context of thinking about our self-paced courses – which often are looked at somewhat askance – but really, the Internet allows us to learn at our own time and with the people we choose. That’s a different type of learning!

Things to Learn About

One comparison that Stephanie is making is the difference between Career Development and Professional Development. That career development is more about learning how to climb the ladder – leadership training, learning how to be a department chair (thinking of CIC’s workshop on that), support for research publication. But professional development is more life long and focuses more on teaching. So what all do faculty need to learn about?

  • technology tools in teaching
  • more teaching strategies
  • providing quality feedback
  • using different resources like OER etc.
  • how to progress in their career
  • learning about advising
  • learning about supervising or leading others
  • building skills for ongoing learning
  • classroom management
  • data and assessment collection and evaluation
  • increasing content knowledge
  • tools for organizing and planning your career development
  • think about the next job you want – and then start your learning heading in that direction
  • how to build curriculum based on outcomes

Specific Strategies

These are specific professional development strategies that caught my attention…

  • Observing each other’s teaching – I love this idea. Thinking about how we could set that up so that our online faculty could observe each other’s teaching. What would it take to do that in a fully asychronous course? what kind of structures would help make that happen?
  • Requiring a certain number of hours of training – Kaplan requires 8 hours of training a year for their online faculty. What would it take to do this? Could we do it for all online faculty – both adjuncts and full time? Could it be framed to be received well?
  • Using Trello to plan career/professional development – using a tool to track your personal goals, resources, and accomplishments
  • Have an Appy Hour and have everyone connected share round robin all the different tools and resources they like and use – shared by Elaine Shuck

Forms of Professional Development

  • Open, user-generated content like blogs and wikis
  • Social networking tools like twitter, reddit, etc.; Google+ or Facebook group about a topic
  • Virtual communities – google groups etc
  • Webinars
  • Virtual conferences
  • MOOCs / open courses

Resources Shared

Places to keep learning – social media based professional development – webinars etc. – places to learn online…. These are shared by the presenter, Stephanie

Other resources and cool things shared throughout the session:

Main Takeaway

Social media and online resources allow anyone to organize, track, and design their own professional development and learning!

Disconnect and Battle Six Super Villains to Win Back Your Life

Tomorrow I’m presenting at the International Forum for Women in E-learning in San Antonio, TX with Elaine Shuck (Polycom), Amy Spath (Central New York Regional Information Center), and Roxanne Glaser (i2i Technologies and @superdoodlegirl).

This post contains the resources and websites we shared in our presentation.

Disconnect and Battle Six Super Villains to Win Back Your Life

Description: Are you trapped on the treadmill of not getting enough done? Feeling disconnected? Stressed? Join us as we discuss our battle with evil super villains: Dr. Distraction, Sir Sit-a-Lot, Captain Busyness, Ferocious Foodie, Guilty Girl, and Super-Yes-Woman. Learn how to tap into your superhero powers to recharge your work-life balance.

Disclaimer: This session is actually self-therapy or friend-therapy. We are just sharing what has worked for us. Some things are free, some are not; but almost all of them one or more of us loves.

Dr. Distraction

Fight with GOALS:

Sir-Sit-A-Lot

Captain Busyness

Ferocious Foodie

Guilty Girl

Super Yes Women

What’s Next? 

  • Find your tribe
  • Pick one thing

The Role of Social Media Tools in Higher Education

Today I presented for the faculty of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This post has the accompanying resources for the social media session.

PowerPoint

Examples of Social Media Use

Other Social Media Ideas

Articles and Resources on Twitter in the Classroom

LMS vs. Social Media

Issues and Challenges

Additional Recommended Reading

Bonus Idea: COIL: Collaborative Online International Learning

Blended Learning and Flipped Classrooms: Practical Strategies and Ideas

Today I’m presenting for the faculty of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This post has the accompanying resources.

Blended Learning PPT

Andrews Resources

Definitions

Video Resources

Open Courses and Resources

Recording and Hosting Videos

Assessments at the Door

Resources for Teaching, Active Learning, and Engagement

Accessibility

For Further Reading

Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility

Today I’m presenting a webinar for the United States Distance Learning Association National Distance Learning Week Webinar Series: Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility. This post shares the accompanying resources.

PowerPoint

My blogging history:

Tools for blogging:

Ideas for Blogging

Scheduling and Tracking Writing

Promoting and Learning

Thank you to USDLA for the great line-up of webinars for National Distance Learning Week!  the opportunity to present this session! Hope to see you, dear reader, at the following upcoming USDLA events:

Jazzing Up Your Curriculum: Applying Principles of Jazz to Collaboration

Today I’m co-presenting at the 10th Anniversary COIL Conference with Ken Conn, Amy Spath, and Roxanne Glaser.

Jazz workshopSession Description: Collaboration requires a unique set of skills, skills that are similar to those used in jazz music. Autonomy, passion, risk, innovation, and listening are essential to a successful collaborative experience. Learn how these five principles of jazz are applied in a unique summer course for K12 teachers called 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing. The workshop is collaboratively led and features a variety of interactive activities across the participating sites

Google Slidedeck

Note: 2008-2010 the Jazz workshop had international participation from Wales, UK and British Columbia, Canada.

The “Jazz workshop” Resources

We challenge you to ensure your collaborations are jazz music, not a one-man band or a symphony led by a star conductor!

Bringing the World to Your Classroom

This blog post is a supplement to my presentation at the annual Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference.

Description: Break down the walls of your classroom and bring global engaging learning experiences to your students. Why? The benefits are engaging learning experiences for your students. Collaborate with teachers to design powerful collaborative projects. Come learn about tools and resources that can help you design and implement quality collaborations.

Why Collaborate? 

Collaborative Project Planning Resources

Possible Tools

Finding Partners

Time Zone Tools

  • TimeandDate.com – great for planning ahead, especially checking daylight savings time changes
  • Qlock.com – put a widget on your computer with the time in another location

Selected Bibliography

See my dissertation for a more complete list of videoconferencing and collaboration references.

  • Cifuentes, L., & Murphy, K. L. (2000). Promoting multicultural understanding and positive self-concept through a distance learning community: cultural connections. Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(1), 69-83.
  • Martinez, M. D., & MacMillan, G. (1998). A Joint Distance Learning Course in American Government (No. ED428005).
  • Owston, R. (2007). Contextual factors that sustain innovative pedagogical practice using technology: an international study. Journal of Educational Change, 8(1), 61-77.
  • Sweeney, M. A. (2007). The use of videoconferencing techniques which support constructivism in K-12 education. Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Warschauer, M. (1997). Computer-mediated collaborative learning: Theory and practice. Modern Language Journal, 81(3), p. 470-481. Also at http://www.gse.uci.edu/person/markw/cmcl.html
  • Yost, N. (2001). Lights, Camera, Action: Videoconferencing in Kindergarten. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference.

An Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER)

Today, March 29, is the annual Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference. This year, my department has joined forces with TLC and our monthly Faculty Technology Showcase is part of the day long conference. Our theme for the showcase is Open Educational Resources, and we’re having presentations on OER, learning from MOOCs, and Yammer, an enterprise social network. I’m sharing the OER presentation, and here are the resources we are exploring.

What is OER?


Source: Why Open Education Matters

Open Textbooks for Higher Education

Open Textbooks for K12

Open Educational Resources

So how does it work?

Want to Learn More?

123VC Jazz Wins the 2015 TxDLA Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Distance Learning by a Nonprofit Award

123VC Jazz - 2015 TxDLA OCEIDL AwardsI’m so excited to announce that 123VC Jazz is the recipient of the 2015 TxDLA Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and innovation in Distance Learning by a Nonprofit award!

Quoting Ken Conn, who started the 123VC Jazz workshop:

It is a great honor after 10 years.  123VC Jazz is one of my most proud accomplishments.  Especially because it has always been such a truly collaborative group effort.

For a summary of the quality of 123VC Jazz, read the award submission:

 

123VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum With Videoconferencing, fondly called “Jazz” by past participants and facilitators alike, is a grass roots collaboration that has been developed, prepared, coordinated, and facilitated by volunteers since its inception in 2005.  The goal that fuels this organization is to increase the use of interactive videoconferencing in K12 education through experiencing it in a purposeful and engaging manner as well as active and guided reflection.  The session is delivered from multiple sites simultaneously that connect through videoconference and web 2.0 tools for a variety of meaningful activities. Over time, the workshop has consistently evolved to include various site/lead facilitators with K12 curriculum infused videoconferencing continuing to be the focus.  More detailed information can be reviewed at the 123VC website, http://123vc.pbworks.com/, which includes a link to past blogs, pictures, created projects, and the positive evaluation results of the participants from 2005 – 2014.

In 2005, 123VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum With Videoconferencing originated from a simple request:  Bennie Tschoerner, retired Technology Director at Paris ISD, approached Ken Conn, then Distance Learning Coordinator with Lamar Consolidated ISD, to facilitate a videoconferencing focused workshop in his district.  This transformed into a larger idea of the two districts collaborating together on the workshop with much of the initial planning actually taking place at a table in the hallway at the end of the 2005 TxDLA conference in Fort Worth.  Janine Lim, at the time a K12 videoconferencing leader from Michigan, also joined the original group as a third site after being approached to participate as a guest presenter during the workshop.

The workshop is designed so the participants can be quickly immersed in videoconferencing to experience various formats and interactive content providers, reflect from a student and teacher perspective, and partner with a small group of educators across sites to develop a project that can be implemented back at their local sites.  At the same time there is a significant amount of planning and collaboration occurring among the various site facilitators in order to prepare, coordinate, and facilitate the session.  It is a videoconferencing workshop for participants that is synchronously occurring during a videoconferencing workshop for the facilitators.

The true innovation of this organization over the years comes from the consistent collaboration, reflection, and application of new approaches/ideas.  The facilitators have changed over the past ten years and the content of the workshop has continually taken the feedback from both participants and facilitators into consideration.  The content, processes, and procedures have evolved to incorporate the lessons learned over time.

“Jazz” is a unique organization in many different ways that is truly organic and will continue to provide a positive impact to the videoconferencing community.

Finally, the poster advertising the award nominee at TxDLA. Congratulations, Ken, on keeping Jazz alive for so many years of amazing professional development for teachers!

123 VC Poster at TxDLA

 

To learn more about Jazz, review my past posts about the Jazz workshop.

 

Collaboration and Collaborative Tools

Blogging the 2014 AECT International Convention.

Cognitive Tools to Support Collaboration: Technology and Pedagogy at Work

Presenters: Rose Marra and Christopher M. Larsen, University of Missouri

The goal was to help engineering students learn collaboration and communication skills as these are needed for the workplace.

There is a perception that engineers like to work alone. Faculty struggle to create learning tasks and activities that require collaboration; and may not have the knowledge base needed to teach these skills.

They developed a tool to support engineering student collaboration in the context of doing engineering design. Used a tool called Google Drive Environment for Collaboration.

The study was really focused on whether students were able to learn collaboration skills through the use of these online tools.

The course studied had 40 students and was an Industrial Engineering Ergonomics and Workstation Design course. They worked on project where they had to consider a human factors problem and designed a solution for it. They did all of their work, and turned in final work in the GDEC environment. The environment was technology paired with pedagogy to facilitate learning.

The technology part (2012) was Google Drive. They wanted something easy to use and free for the students to use. Mind tools are like spreadsheets and databases we have talked about for years; now we are moving mind tools onto the cloud. Simultaneous editing, folder structures, and trace data were important affordances.

Instructor had global access to all folders. Folders were created for each team. Students could see their folder only.

They had tried pbwiki before and found it too hard – it wasn’t easy to produce reports and documents.

This was a face to face course, not online.

Students don’t use the affordances of the technology unless they are coached (Hsu et al 2014), used scaffolds and scripted prompts to support each part of the project.

Scaffolding is assistance from an expert that enables learners to accomplish things on their own (couldn’t see the 1976 reference). Need to eventually fade the scaffold.

When they started, partially completed google docs were already in their folders to scaffold their work.

Issues that needed to be addressed from previous sections of the course: projects read as they were bolted together; divide and conquer mentality, collaborative writing challenges, students’ in ability to provide constructive feedback to one another. They conducted in class workshops where students were walked through a constructive peer feedback experience so they could learn how to negotiate and collaborate (not just cooperate).

Interesting that many students hadn’t seen GoogleDrive before and they found it very useful. Comment: I’m not sure that time passing will make it more likely that students are just organically start using tools such as GoogleDrive to collaborate? I think it’s really unlikely – they tend to gravitate to their social media, but not voluntarily using tools that support work-like collaborative environments without a real need for it. 

Faculty or Instructional Designer? Creating a Culture of Collaborative Course Design and Development

Presenters: Lisa Johnson and Gina Connor, Ashford University

Presentation slidedeck is online here

This presentation is on the pilot of a course design and development process within the College of Education. They built a handbook for course design to support the process. We have a new handbook as well, and hope to put it online as soon as editing is done. It will be online here.

Lisa worked before in a culture of open source and sharing.

Some challenges were:

  • The culture emphasized cooperation over collaboration. The roles and jobs weren’t synchronized and people weren’t necessarily talking to each other and sharing resources.
  • Another challenge was a very small ID team – 4 IDs for 200 courses that were new or revised. Communication processes were important – delineating workshops with distinct goals, unique cultures for accountability and sharing. Faculty needed tools to put in place to support the process. They may tend to do what they’ve seen before instead of thinking through developing outcomes and assessments. It’s important to remember everyone was working really hard and working well. The goal here was to maximize what was already working. A proactive approach was essential.
  • A mix of processes and expectations, including accreditation, Quality Matters (98% of their courses are QM certified), mixed workstyles (asynchronous and semi synchronous) caused challenges as well.
  • Audience challenges: purpose, goals, keeping everyone heading the same direction
  • Audience challenges: role confusion, who is doing what between the faculty member and the ID
  • Audience challenges in requiring faculty to go through Quality Matters for their online courses
  • Other comments / tips
    • It’s important to help the faculty realize that ID support is a resource, not as oversight; the positive framing is really important

How the challenges were tackled/overcome

  • Course design cafe – they have the handbooks, templates, and resources to support the process. It’s a social platform for sharing content, having groups, tracking projects, etc. Resources, articles, discussions, etc. are also included to support the course design process. The Instructional Design team is active in the online cafe as well.
  • “Dangerous Designers” Community of Practice. It’s grown to be university wide – there are about 75 faculty who participate every month. They bring in different stakeholders to share with faculty how they can support the course design process. It’s a growing group that supports faculty talking to each other about designing their courses and curriculum.
  • Roles included in the team for course development
    • Faculty developer / designer
    • Program Manager
    • Quality Assurance
    • Assessment Analyst
    • Instructional Designer
    • Career Services, Library & Writing Center Liaisons
    • Curriculum Coordinators/Specialists
    • Curriculum Design Specialist Faculty
    • Instructional Design Specialist Faculty
      • One point is pulling in faculty to work as instructional design support to supplement a small team of trained IDs. They are like a lead faculty support for instructional design.
      • Lisa is a professor, but doing ID work and has the skill set of an ID.
      • Faculty egos are less bruised when they receive feedback because Lisa is a peer – she is also a professor.

The main point is creating structures for supporting communication and collaboration – finding ways to connect people with each other for sharing.