This morning concluded the 3 day eLearning conference in Long Beach, California. Overall, the conference has been incredibly inspiring, however there definitely were some bad seeds. Here is my recap of this morning’s sessions.Concurrent Session – “eLearning Digital Story Slam.” I’m going to have a biased opinion of this session, mainly because I was one of the presenters. This session was a showcase of 7 different digital stories, all using different tools and for different academic purposes. This presentation was planned remotely as all 7 of us live in various parts of North America, including 2 from Canada. We fielded several questions about digital storytelling and also mentioned Bryan Alexander’s book about the subject. The website (Google site) with information on our presentation can be found here.Concurrent Session – “An Evolving Blogging Case Study – the Impact on Learning and Satisfaction.” To be honest, I’m not really sure what this presentation was about. I paid attention for the first 1/2 of the session but never fully understood the point. It was a data-driven presentation on “blogging” in their nursing course. I use the word blogging loosely because I didn’t get the impression it followed the traditional definition of blogging. Based on the presenters’ information, I got the feeling that students were contributing to a discussion forum instead. Their data looked to be well thought out and presented, but what I missed was the reason they did the study in the first place. I was still lost 1/2-way through the presentation so I decided not to stay the 2nd half.Closing Keynote – “The Obviousness of Open Education.” Side by side with Gardner Campbell’s presentation, this was definitely one of the most inspirational of the conference. The openness of education is a huge topic these days with the increasing cost of education. Presented by Cable Green (Creative Commons), I was both frustrated and inspired to help change the way content is perceived and delivered in higher education. Green referred to the word “free” such as “free beer” (cost) and “freedom” modifications. One of the biggest challenges these days is the rising cost of education and the restrictions that are put in place by publishers. Simply by making content accessible (adding alt tags) or translating it to another language, you break publisher copyrights. The statistics that Green presented were astonishing. Here is just one of them:
A single textbook for 1 course (ENG 101) at 1 community college in 1 state runs upwards of $9.6 million dollars that is given to book publishers.
In looking at this statistic, what if that school spent $1 million to to create an open textbook for that course, saving students millions of dollars each year. Now, what if that open textbook were adapted for all ENG 101 courses across the nation. Think of how much money that would save?!Some links provided by Cable Green:
2 closing thoughts about this presentation:
- Content is now a commodity – students don’t come to an institution for the content, they come for the instructors, student services, etc.
- The opposite of “open” isn’t “closed” – the opposite of “open” is “broken.”