Weekly Update, March 2, 2012

It’s been a while since I wrote my weekly reflections, mainly because last week I had been at the Instructional Technology Council eLearning Conference. I did quite a bit of blogging about the conference so I didn’t have much else to report when Friday rolled around. If you want to read about my experience and the sessions at the Conference, feel free to click here.This week has been a mix of catching up and getting ahead. Next week is spring break, so I wanted to get as much done as I could before the campus goes silent. The middle of the semester is close if not here, which means that we have all been busy with SGIDs. Before I left for the Conference, I only had 1 SGID scheduled, which is pretty low for me. This week, however, I did 3 SGIDs and I have another 3 scheduled for the week after spring break. I’m not sure why the numbers are low this semester, nothing has really changed in the University community (that I know of). Well, the extra time allows me to do some other things…I did my 2012 goal setting shortly before I left for the Conference, which went just as expected. I have about 6 projects that I want to work on this year, all of which are completely attainable. I guess I shouldn’t say that because I thought WordPress would be an attainable goal as well. Anyway here are a few goals that I have for this year:

  • iTunesU – Miami does have an iTunesU installation, however it’s a private portal that is only available by authenticating at the University. In my opinion, this approach hurts the University’s public image and any chance we have at contributing to the “open university” community. I’ll have more about the open university and open education thoughts later on, but to get your feet wet, be sure you read about Cable Green’s closing keynote at ITC12.
  • WordPress – As you should know by now, I’ve been advocating for WordPress since I came to campus in February 2011. We’re so close, but completion of the project is being held up by social media policies for the University. I’m hoping those involved in making the policies can complete them in the coming year and we can finish the WordPress project.
  • Podcasts/Webinars – Since I arrived in 2011, my group has not done much by way of providing short-form professional development. There are 2 groups on campus that do “faculty development,” one being CELTUA and the other being my group. Our faculty development traditionally focuses on tech trainings and “how-to’s,” however we’ve not done much of those lately. Attendance at these trainings usually are low and oftentimes canceled due to low attendance. My suggestion to counter this was to regularly publish podcasts with “quick tips” for the University community to take in at their leisure. Also, I think that by offering webinars to the community, instructors from all of our campuses can tune in from their own offices, hopefully increasing attendance. My goal is to start this in the coming month or so, I’m just working on topics and presenters.
  • Department blog – Our group recently started a blog where we talk about a variety of topics, from new technologies, to highlighting inspirational teaching at the University. I’m the one in charge of setting the post schedule and making sure that content is updated/accurate. It’s an ongoing project that we hope to get rolling more quickly than it has been.
  • Training and Support with Niihka – My last goal is to redesign/reorganize the training and support site for our LMS. When we launched the LMS, we populated the site with tons of information for both faculty and students. Now that the LMS is in its 2nd semester of full usage, it’s time to revamp the site to clean it up and ensure that the information is accurate. Due to the amount of work our Learning Systems Coordinator has on his plate, I’m going to take on this project.

That list is not all-inclusive, but it’s definitely a large load. Here’s to hoping I can achieve them!

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