LCC’s 2nd OER Summit

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Image shared on Twitter by Eric Kunnen

On Friday, I was fortunate to have been able to attend the 2nd annual Lansing Community College Open Educational Resources Summit. I attended last year when David Wiley was the keynote and it was outstanding. This year’s keynote was Dr. Cable Green who is the Director of Open Education at Creative Commons. It was an amazing day of learning, sharing and making connections with others in the field I hadn’t known before.

For instance, as seen in this panel image which was the culminating event at the Summit, I learned about Joseph Mold who is the Director of Online Learning & Instructional Design at Bay College in our beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula. The work they have been doing on behalf of student success and faculty autonomy with OER is one of the most compelling examples I have learned of to date. You can see a glimpse into some of their efforts and accomplishments in the two short videos below:

I nearly missed this year because it somehow was not on my radar. Fortunately, Regina Gong (Chair of this great Summit) mentioned this year’s summit over the weekend on Twitter. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pull it off because of some previously scheduled meetings I had on my calendar, but thanks to my kind colleagues who covered for me, I was able to attend.

You can follow the active twitter stream that ensued here at #LCCOER or at #GoOpen. Don’t miss Eric Kunnen’s infamous note taking skills on his WordPress site too. It’s probably the next best thing to actually being there.

Looking forward to next year already! Thank you, Regina and all the great folks who helped put this together! 

LearnDAT Farewell Post

Together, each member of the LearnDAT team makes up an amazing pool of talent, creativity, knowledge, skill and experience in the field of distance education.

LearnDAT Holloween Party 2012
LearnDAT Halloween Party 2012

For over the past year, I have had the privilege of working with the incredibly talented instructional and educational media designers at LearnDAT (this is a picture of some of us at our 2012 halloween party). Together, each member of the LearnDAT team makes up an amazing pool of talent, creativity, knowledge, skill and experience in the field of distance education. I will miss them very much.

Friday is my last day in LearnDAT as I have accepted a new instructional design position at Jackson Community College. I look forward to venturing into this new role that is closer to home and plan to stay in touch with my colleagues here at Michigan State. Thank you, for everything!

The team assembled here is so innovative, creative, collaborative and effective. Since being here I have learned so much from each person. There is a rich history here and notoriety not only in the MSU community, but in the field of instructional design and instructional technology in general. It makes me incredibly proud to have been able to contribute to a handful of the ongoing great things going on here.

Google, are you losing me?

Google, are you losing me?

In the past couple weeks, I learned that Google Reader is going away and nearly cried.

After pulling myself together, I discovered that Feedly has been so much better all along and I have actually been missing out on an even better blog connection experience.

Today, I learned about Google Keep which really peaked my interest due to my near obsession with task lists. I am sorry to report that I am currently not impressed. No reordering? No connection to google calendar? Tasks don’t disappear when checked off? The search doesn’t seem to work? How was this even released without things like this addressed?

Google, are you losing me?

I hope not.

LearnDash – Could WordPress be a viable LMS?

So, I have always wondered about who might build a learning management component onto the existing WordPress platform.

LearnDASH LogoAbout five years ago, I had some kind friends help me to see the benefits of using WordPress as a platform for blogging and web design. I continue to find the interface of WordPress to be intuitive compared to other content management systems. The powerful plugins are also robust with an active developer community.

So, I have always wondered about who might build a learning management component onto the existing WordPress platform. There are many faculty who use it in their courses as a way to provide content to their students outside of a learning management system. In doing so, they also sacrifice native tools geared for learning like quizzes, discussion forums, and gradebook functions. This is why I have been recently really interested to hear about what has been developing over at LearnDash.

Besides having a great name similar to another one that I know, the LearnDash plugin is soon to be launching an LMS solution within WordPress. I am really eager to explore the course creation process, quiz creation process, certificate completion options, course scheduling features, user management integration with existing LMSs, learning analytics package, and even media hosting options.

What about you? Would you be interested in using LearnDash with any of your courses? What interests you about LearnDash? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Interview of Carrie on Google Presentation Collaboration with Students

I had a great conversation today about using Google Presentations for collaborative learning with Carrie Heeter and Keesa Muhammad from LearnDAT.

I had a great conversation today about using Google Presentations for collaborative learning with Carrie Heeter and Keesa Muhammad from LearnDAT. Check it out:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l14KQzwO50]

 

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”document/pub” query=”id=18YYM0EB2TmYpkBL1fCfSrOhTADcS9QNsIAY38_rbVXM&embedded=true” width=”700″ height=”394″ /]

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Windownaut…

I absolutely love this tool on a daily basis. It helps me organize my application windows like a ninja organizes his evil enemies in a backstreet alley. Check it out:

I absolutely love this tool on a daily basis.

It helps me organize my application windows like a ninja organizes his evil enemies in a backstreet alley.

Check it out:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVJeAbISlKY&w=540&h=338]

Field Trip to Menlo

Remember field trips? What ever happened to those?

Remember field trips? What ever happened to those?

Well, I am glad to report that yesterday, LearnDAT team members and some others from IT Services here at Michigan State University took part in one.

Sure, we didn’t ride in a big yellow bus and I am pretty sure none of us had to have permission forms filled out, but it sure felt like an authentic field trip none-the-less.

You see, we had the privilege of visiting our friends over at Menlo Innovations today. Richard Sheridan, CEO, founder, and chief story-teller at Menlo gave us a tour of their facilities, practices and philosophies. He began by explaining how the entire vision is premised upon building a culture of joy. Immediately, one of the attendants asked, “Did you say ‘joy’?”

Richard then went on to explain that he did, indeed, say “joy” despite Menlo being a software innovation company. The surprise at the word joy in the context of the software industry is not uncommon, but Menlo is simply not a common place. That is what makes Menlo a constant revolving door for tourists like us who have gotten wind of some amazing things happening there.

Not many places can claim that their primary tool for project management is 3×5 cards, and especially a place that builds software solutions.

Other notable culture shock experiences during the tour included the wide open floor plan, the 40 hour work-week (with no overtime or limits of when employees are “allowed” to take vacation), and seeing bikes, pets, and children all around the room. The culture of transparency and trust breeds some fascinating results that made for a very interesting tour, to say the least.

According to Sheridan, the issues and difficulties they experience as an organization are not much different than what any organization experiences except for the way in which they handle them. In fact, one of the quotes seen right on the wall stated, “make mistakes faster.” Menlo intentionally identifies managerial practices based upon fear-tactics and eradicates them so that trust is built with clients and the Menlo team alike.

As Sheridan and his team continue to demonstrate leadership and innovation, you might consider joining one of their tours. See what kinds of things you could learn and conversations that could be started as a result. I know that we are glad we did. In fact, they could take the whole field of design and technology for a trip if you ask me.

See photos from our field trip on our Facebook page

Why Administration and Faculty must Mingle and Think Together!

manage, school iconThe Paradox of Teachers and Technology in the U.S. | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice.

Why do teachers get left out of the high-costing technology purchasing process? How could their inclusion evade massive wastes and embrace more effective pedagogical uses? Larry Cuban does a good job of exploring these issues, yet again.

A Good Man and a Great Boss

Randy, here is to you and this new season you enter into. Thanks for everything. I look forward to staying connected and continually learning from you.

Randy Meredith is the director of the Office of Academic Technology at Spring Arbor University. This Friday is his last day. He was one of the best bosses I have ever had. 

I probably wouldn’t be in the field of instructional design without his kind mentorship and guidance. His friendship and leadership has been a blessing and he will be missed dearly, I know.

Today, the OAT team invited me to join them for a going away lunch where we were able to honor him before he moves south with his wife closer to family. It was good to see some of the team again and I am glad I was able to attend.

Randy, here is to you and this new season you enter into. Thanks for everything. I look forward to staying connected and continually learning from you.

Interview with Shane Hipps – The OAT Podcast

Check out my interview with Shane Hipps for the OAT Podcast!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCh68gAOOBY&w=480&h=300]