I have just returned from this wonderful conference in Spokane. I met smart educators and tech people and came back with lots of ideas and enthusiasm for educational technology. Plus–a cardboard 3-D viewer for my phone!
I want to remember all of this when I get back in the classroom in September so here are my highlights and links.
A panel on Teaching and Learning about Digital Privacy gave tools for detecting when your online activity is being tracked (Panopticlick) and for protecting your browsing from tracking (HTTPS Everywhere, Do Not Track, DuckDuckGo, Brave). I have to say my favorite tool was Privacy Badger because, well, badgers. The panelists also discussed broader philosophical and pedagogical issues related to online privacy, including the ethics of requiring students to participate in platforms that track and/or sell their data. Thanks Lorena O’English (Washington State University), Gregory Zobel (Western Oregon University), and Gabe Gossett (Western Washington).
Jane Snare of Seattle University demonstrated a game to encourage faculty to think about a wide range of instructional strategies for meeting learning objectives in a class. The “placemat” with 50 different instructional strategies is a useful reference even if you don’t play the game. She also gave us chocolate.
I was really impressed with the Innovative Teaching Showcase at Western Washington University. Justina Brown described how a nominating committee selects a yearly theme and three faculty from different disciplines who embody it. The faculty construct a portfolio and Justina and her student crew create videos featuring the faculty members. Materials are on display at the showcase website and faculty are celebrated at an event at the end of the year. I’d love to see this kind of portfolio available to all faculty as another way to document teaching excellence. The website is also a useful repository of best practices (and great PR for the college, too).
Western Washington also has a weekly podcast with AJ Barse and Chris Powell, who walked us through how they create the podcast and even recorded a live segment with us during their presentation. They suggested this might be a less labor-intensive way than video to do a flipped classroom presentation (and students might find a podcast more flexible, too). I wondered if this might be the next step in the evolution of the blogging assignment in my social media class.
Oh, and I presented, too, about how I use social media (blogging and Twitter) in my classes and the unexpected participatory culture outcomes of those ongoing experiments.
I met several people who are involved in the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium and participated in a discussion about the EdTech Deck that group produces. The Instructional Technology group of NWACC makes resources available online to support educational technology innovation and to improve collaboration across campuses in the northwest. I appreciate their invitation to and support for my attending this conference!