Today started off fairly quickly because my session was #1 for the day. I got to the room early to test out the technology. Once everything was working, I was set… or so I thought… as the presentation started, all the technology started shutting down. I couldn’t stream my iPad to the projector, couldn’t connect to the network, and then couldn’t get the VGA cable to stay in the iPad. Regardless, the show must go on. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the session and there were quite a few people editing the Google Doc throughout. If you are interested in the resources from my session, check out my Presentations page.
Supercharge Your Faculty Website
Colin Strupp & Sage Freemen, Chemeketa CollegeThe presenters from Chemeketa College (Salem, OR), redesigned their website using WordPress. They mentioned that there are other systems, such as Joomla or Drupal, but that they prefer WordPress. Anyone that knows me knows that I am in full support of that! The presenters talked quite a bit about the basic overview of the WP Dashboard for those who have never used the system before.Overall, I think the session was a little more basic than it could have been. I was looking for more information on how to get faculty to the site and what the impact of the newly-designed site. Unfortunately, I didn’t get those answers.
On Making Education a Game Changer
Mark Milliron, Western Governors University
www.markmilliron.comThis was the first time that I had heard Mark speak. Both his topic and engagement were high-energy. His premise was that today’s students are a game changer, which overall is not a new concept. His opening compared his childhood with that of his kids during their “journey” from North Carolina to Austin, Texas at the conclusion of their winter break. The notion that games that kids play during long trips and the support that they receive is very different from previous generations.One big thing that I took away was an interesting concept that WGU is a fully-online institution, but they only hire full-time faculty – no adjuncts. Also, there are more grandparents on Facebook than grandchildren. I would never have thought that to be true, but when looking at it further, FB requires users to be at least 13 years of age. Now, I’m sure there are kids that lie about their age, but I know plenty of parents who restrict kids from using Facebook when they are under 13.
Western Governor’s has now flipped the business model of textbook costs. Every student pas $149/semester for all of their curricular materials. Instead of textbook publishers selling to the students directly, they now are negotiating with the institution.Learning Resources Strategies provide instructors with the competencies and they instructors then curate the information from websites, videos, textbook, etc. WGU isn’t against MOOCs or OERs, but it’s mixed into the LRS with other resources.
An interesting idea is to provide immediate feedback to a student and relate their behaviors with the outcomes of previous students who had similar behaviors.
- Green light if previous students who did similar things succeeded.
- Yellow light if previous students who did similar things didn’t do very well.
- Red light if previous students who did similar things failed miserably.
It’d be great to have immediate response for students who register for specific classes when those mix of classes are “toxic” – students don’t succeed.
“We have the data, we just don’t tell students” – Mark Milliron
“In times of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. THe learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer