Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Asking what if? DevLearn 2017

I love DevLearn. It’s a conference that lets you dream about possibilities. It lets you throw “practical” out the window, put aside issues of cost and implementation, and just ask what-if.

What if there were a space dedicated to faculty for the exploration and experimentation of augmented reality? Faculty would be provided a bundle of development apps (think Aurasma) and a variety of devices such as an Android phone and iPad and a basic set of instructions. Completed test projects would be uploaded to a common area for sharing with other interested faculty developers. The words “no” and “can’t” would not be allowed, only a loosely structured testbed for the nurturing of ideas.

What if there were a series of open forums between faculty, students, course developers, and regional employers? The forums would consist of open discussion on how technologies could be implemented to improve 1) teaching, 2) the student learning experience, and 3) the media literacy needs of future employers.

What if Jesuit institutions could work as a collaborative to purchase technologies as a single unit? There would be one LMS solution for all 28 institutions. One SIS system. One Payroll system. One HR system. With one common support system for all that would be one phone call away. Annual cost savings alone would be sufficient to fund a number of technology projects.

Baycrest Medical Center AR orientation
What if we had the budget to fund a sampling of AR/VR/MR technologies along with several example apps and let faculty “geek out” and get a taste of what’s possible.

All of the above occurred at DevLearn this past October, although with not the specificity that’s described above. Several companies, including The eLearning Guild, sponsors of DevLearn, put on a display of augmented/virtual reality that was amazing to experience as well as watch others experience for the first time. eLearning Guild had a large booth set up with VR devices from Sony, HVC, Oculus, and Samsung. Attendees strapped on these devices and participated in experiences to demonstrate the power of virtual reality. No one was saying “too expensive” or “too resource intensive” or “too this” or “too that”. It was a hands-on, balls to the wall, real time demonstration of what’s possible.

Creating better infographics
There were also a number of round table discussions on topics related to technology in education. One of the most telling was an informal discussion on media literacy and digital literacy and how we are preparing students on their use in the workplace. The overarching opinion was that higher education, in general, does a poor job at preparing students in these crucial areas. In short, the majority of students are not prepared and higher education needs to place more emphasis on integrating the technology tools used by businesses so new hires can hit the ground running, particularly with electronic collaboration.

My biggest takeaway from this conference? Start any project, particularly projects involving something new and innovative, by asking those no-holds-barred, no boundaries, what-if questions of what's possible. Dream big. Scale back as reality sets in, but always reach for the stars. 

Several resources from notable sessions in no particular order:

Resources for creating microvideos

Resources for an inexpensive video podcast studio
Augmented reality on the cheap (new employee orientation, Baycrest Health Sciences)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Teach Access Professor Bootcamp

I am glad I had the opportunity to attend the "Teach Access Professor Bootcamp". This was a 3 hour session led by Mary Bellard, Senior Accessibility Architect at Microsoft and co-leader of the Materials Task Force for Teach Access, along with Larry Goldberg, Senior Director at Access Media, Oath. There was a good demonstration on how screen readers work. I have to be honest, I'm not sure I could keep up, and the speed of the screen reader wasn't raised. One comment that really influenced me was: "Disability should be more around the conditions and not a person." I think this is powerful. Two websites you will want to take a look at are:


Let me know if you want to discuss more.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tech Trend most visible at COLTT 2017

WebRTC is coming of age (it's 5), and it is taking over!

It stands for Real Time Connection and it is an amalgamation of old web technologies, and a few new ones, that let people connect directly to one another over the web.

What is the promise of WebRTC?

Tons and tons of interactive tools that go well beyond discussion boards and clicker questions.

Why have I not heard of this before?

For the first four years of WebRTC development, browser support (and especially inter-browser support) was spotty; this made WebRTC somewhat unattractive for developers of cool new tools because it meant that most of the people who tried to use it would have a bad time.

What does the coming of age of WebRTC mean for me?

It means that there are going to be an endless stream of super cool, interactive tools flooding the market; such as Kahoot and YouSeeU.

Kahoot is like clicker questions on steroids. It provides the ability for users on any device to participate locally, remotely, alone, or in groups, LIVE, with other students and educators. It is easy to set up, it is free, and getting started is a breeze.

As you may know, YouSeeU allows students and educators to engage in real time, rich video chat and numerous live communication assessment types.

As more and more tools like Kahoot and YouSeeU get built on top of WebRTC, the gamification of education will begin to come alive and the sense of being involved with a group of people (when engaging in long distance learning) will get stronger and stronger.

Hooray WebRTC and hooray interactive learning!

(Learn more at the WebRTC wikipedia page)
Fusion 2017
The Fusion conference covered a wide range of ways to leverage the learning management system to facilitate engaging learning experiences.

In a session presented by the American Nursing Association the presenter discussed how they integrated storytelling techniques, utilized self-paced materials, and created games through Brightspace to assist nurses as they continuously work to stay up to speed in a rapidly changing healthcare field.

In Getting Started with Personalized Adaptive Learning, a D2L representative delved into the Gartner hype cycle and how it relates to adaptive learning platforms. Adaptive learning platforms are about to hit the enlightenment period of the cycle, reaching full potential. Currently, many institutions are using release conditions within Brightspace create an adaptive learning experience. Pre-tests through Brightspace help to ascertain a student’s competency level and allows students to skip sections of learning content based on their knowledge level. The representative stressed the need for a diverse set of content in order for an adaptive learning approach to be effective through release conditions.

In another session, Sinclair Community College discussed how they leveraged the LOR in Brightspace to create single source courses in a variety of formats. They start with an online course master as a base for development and adapt for different course formats from there. Chunks of course content are placed in different modules and those modules are pulled into different course formats. Only IDs and a few faculty who have received training have the ability to edit course content. Meta tags are used to make content searchable and chunking course content aids in monitoring analytics on specific content pieces, helping schools to make improvements to a course.

One of my favorite sessions was a lightening round on student engagement. Saint Leo University discussed the use of gamification in a history course. Instructors created a story line with a villain who is responsible for changing history. The goal is to figure out what the villain has changed in history and fix incorrect information.

Slippery Rock University integrated RSS and Twitter feeds into course homepages in an effort to draw students in and keep information fresh. They also utilized VoiceThread for introductions, participation in case studies, and contributions to a collaborative class presentation.

Finally, Saint Leo University discussed how they created learning innovation at scale. They asked students from across the campus and across disciplines to participate in a mass learning event. Students were asked to apply knowledge from their particular program to help plan and execute a mock presidential debate. They had a large amount of student participation in planning the event as well has hundreds of students who attended the actual event. Here is more information about the project as well as a video from one of the presidential candidates.

I really liked this idea because it broke down barriers among different programs and had students apply their knowledge in an experiential way. Overall a great conference!

Monday, August 21, 2017

The $200 Light Board at COLTT 2017

ID&T is always looking out for learning technology innovations. These can be the more recent innovations such as AR/VR/MR, or a remix of existing technologies that create new uses. The Teaching and Learning with Technology Micro-grant (TLTM) program is good for this as faculty can fund their innovative learning technology ideas and pilot in classrooms. This combination of technology remix and the TLTM is what caught my eye at this year’s COLTT conference, CU-Boulder’s wonderful two-day event featuring all things teaching and learning in the online environment.

A Regis faculty member applied for and was awarded a 2017-18 TLTM to fund construction of a Learning Glass, an enhanced white board (also known as a light board) with special lighting for capturing whiteboard-based teaching segments. Unfortunately, the faculty discovered that materials costs had skyrocketed well past the $2,000 grant limit, forcing a withdrawal from the project.

Enter eLearning Consortium of Colorado members Kae Novak (Front Range CC) and Chris Luchs (CCC Online). For $168, they not only built a working light board but built it live, in front of a sizable crowd, at a COLTT Idea Forge session. Their plan was elegantly simple: use easily obtainable materials, do a proof-of-concept, and let session attendees critique and improve upon the idea. Chris had prechanneled the 2x4s for the plexiglass and purchased the hardware and LED light strip. Then it was putting everything together. Within an hour, and with audience participation, the board was constructed. Once the lights were turned on, the board was ready for attendees to begin testing the board using Expo Neon markers. The results were truly amazing.

The light board is something that ID&T will be building this fall. There isn’t sufficient real estate at this time to build a full-sized floor unit so the initial board will be desktop-size. Same functionality with less space on which to write.

Huge shoutout to Kae and Chris for proving once again that when it comes to innovative teaching and learning with technology, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Additonal resources

Presenter contacts:
Educause - 7 Things You Should Know About Light Boards

Friday, August 18, 2017

COLTT 2017 Jill Reflection: Applying Cognitive Psychology Research to the Classroom

There were many excellent sessions to choose from at COLTT 2017. The session I attended that most resonated with my work developing courses with faculty, however, was Applying Cognitive Psychology Research to the Classroom presented by Tim van der Zee, a visiting doctoral student from the Netherlands. Tim facilitated a very engaging research-based presentation in which he shared several effective learning strategies that are based on research that tells us how the brain works.

Big takeaways from this session for me were:
  • Learning is not actual performance--can't "see" learning 
  • We all learn pretty much the same way--the idea that some people are primarily visual while others are primarily auditory is not actually the case. Variety is the key.
  • We don't know if we are actually learning 
  • All other things being equal, higher intrinsic motivation leads to higher performance...at the same time, when we perform WELL, we are more motivated intrinsically. We like success. Success begets success.
  • Learning takes effort. Rote memorization is a building block that can then serve as the foundation for deeper learning later.
Additionally, Tim shared a list of Effective Learning Strategies based on cognitive psychological research that, while not hugely surprising, were very helpful to have in one place. I plan to add these to the list of resources I review with content authors when we begin to develop a course to give them ideas for ways to weave these practices into their course content.
  1. Retrieval Practice-recalling information from memory makes you better able to recall it again later. How? Put away the materials. Practice tests. Flash cards, Write summaries not just for simple information, also complex concepts and relationships.
  2. Spaced Practice--Spacing out learning over time is more effective than massed practice.  Takes advantage of how our brain uses memory. One hour each day rather than cramming. Don't just re-read. Progress tests. Don't rehearse immediately after learning something.
  3. Interleaving--Interleaving (rearranging) different (sub)topics and concepts and practicing them in different orders. Not AAA BBB CCC, but instead ABC BCA CAB
  4. Elaboration and Concrete Examples-Enhance your understanding by connecting information to be learned with what you already know, and expand on it. How? Ask yourself questions. Make connections with what you already know. Identify similarities and differences. Give examples. Do it from memory. Interrogate yourself. Focus on similarities as well as differences.
  5. Dual Coding--Have lots of functional ways to represent the same information in different ways. Can do this as you present information and have students create them as well.  NOT an either or.
Discussion about these learning strategies comprised the bulk of what was covered in the 50 minute session, but I learned enough that I plan to follow Tim on Twitter to see what else he has to share as his research continues! 

Reflections on the 2017 Fusion Conference

Doug Emmerich - Reflections on the 2017 Fusion Conference

I would have to say that this was perhaps the best Fusion Conference I’ve ever attended. Perhaps the tone was set for me in my first session that was titled “Be a Copyright Ninja” presented by Dr. Thomas Tobin. Tobin used the concept of the Ninja law of secretly serving a cause of one’s own choosing. To that point, he has distilled the muddy waters of Copyright into some simple “rules of thumb” because even the courts and lawyers acknowledge that Copyright is almost a case by case issue.

For starters forget these two thing often sighted by faculty as justification or guidance for use of other’s works.
  1. The 10% rule – I can use up to 10% of anything and be in compliance of the law. (game show buzzer) WRONG! There is no set amount or percentage anywhere in the law.
  2. It’s legal for academics to use anything in the classroom for educational purposes, it’s called “Fair Use”. Again (game show buzzer) WRONG! Fair use is a defense, not a right. You have to make a case for the fair use which has no real definition but just happens to be supported in court again and again. Probably why people think it is the rule.
It’s important to understand that Copyright is based on the concept of copying (duh). If you take content from an original source and put it into any fixed format; ripping a DVD, copying a CD, taking a photo of a photo, copying, even mimeographing (remember that?) than Copyright applies and you have to get permission or make a case for “Fair Use”. However linking to or embedding content isn’t copying so Copyright doesn’t apply (so long as the source isn’t violating Copyright in the first place.

Use this flow chart to help determine your responsibility:

  1. Did you make a copy of the desired content? YES? Go to step 2. NO? Copyright doesn’t apply.
  2. Do permissions currently exist? Is the product licensed or otherwise released through a Creative Commons license agreement. YES? Use the content according to the terms of the license. NO? Go to step 3.
  3. Do the PANE criteria apply strongly to your use of the copy?
    1. Purpose – You are copying the content for “teaching, scholarship, or research”.
    2. Amount – You are copying a representative sample from the desired content.
    3. Nature of the work – Prefer factual content over creative, published over unpublished.
    4. Economic Impact – Copying the content will not deprive the owner of revenue or profits. If YES use your copy of the desired content according to the PANE criteria. IF NO go to step 4.
  4. Is the owner of the content known? YES? Go to step 5. NO go to step 6.
  5. Has the owner granted your request for permission to use the desired content? YES? Use the desired content according to the owners grant of permission. NO? Do not use the content. 
  6. Were you able to discover the owner after a good-faith effort? YES? Got to step 4. NO? Do not use the content or document your good-faith effort to locate the copyright holder if you do decide to use the desired content.
So what is the one best piece of advice when considering the use of others published work? DON’T copy it. Look a little harder and try to find a way to link to it.

Doug Emmerich - Tips on Copyright from the 2017 Fusion Conference

Monday, August 14, 2017

Reflection of 2017 COLTT Conference

Reflection of 2017 COLTT Conference by Carl Kinney

The fact that this conference is so well organized and in our backyard, is one of the reasons I've attended for the past several years. As always every presentation provides good insights and you come away with at least one nugget of information that you didn't have before you attended. The presentation that I want to highlight this year is "Bringing the Right Instructional Tools to the Job" by Dr. Vivian Shyu, Assistant Professor, C/T from CU Denver.

At CU Denver they conducted a project that taught the same course in 3 different formats (F2F, Online, and Hybrid), during the same semester and by the same professor.

In all three formats they had students rate the same 27 course elements. In this presentation they made it interactive by having participants go to bit.ly/2vy7f9Q and actually complete a portion of the survey.

Hello COLTT Participant!

Here, you will be completing a portion of the survey that the students filled out.

Please fill out this information as you PREDICT students would report.
You will act and answer as a student in one of the FORMATS as assigned below.
If your LAST NAME begins with:

  • A-G = Traditional F2F (meet in person 2x/week; 30 in-person meetings)
  • H-N: Hybrid (meet ~ 1x/week; 10 in-person meetings; 60% of instruction is online)
  • O-Z = Online (meet 0x/week; NO in-person meeting; all instruction is online)

Some of the results/findings from the project:
  • Hybrid/Blended might be the best
  • Interaction is Critical
    • Teacher presence
    • Teacher to student
    • Student to student
    • Student content interaction - engagement with the material
  • Students generally prefer F2F. This is mainly because of the interaction and guidance.
  • Students like online flexibility, but see it as disconnected.
  • Summative assessments with Hybrid showed the biggest improvement, but also started lower.
  • Half the students in the Hybrid course didn't realize they were signing up for a Hybrid course or what it meant.
  • With F2F students struggle with, do I go to class or do I use Canvas?
My reflections regarding the findings:
  • I believe Hybrid/Blended courses are an aspect of learning that we haven't explored enough. I'm not sure what percentage of our courses are Hybrid, but I am thinking it is very low.
  • Interaction being critical is not new, but we need to work on making sure that our online courses are designed in a way that creates the opportunity and encourages all the aspects of interaction.
  • I think having standard formats really helps with the guidance.
  • Even though they were very clear on the different formats: Online = 100% Asynchronous, Hybrid = 60% Asynchronous, and F2F = 100% Synchronous, it wasn't clear to the students. I'm concerned that Regis doesn't have consistent criteria for what is considered "Online" or "Hybrid". This can really add an aspect of confusion for the students.
  • We really need to pay attention to the fact that F2F students struggles with when and how to use the LMS. My suggestion is, if it is a F2F class, course content in the LMS should be considered supplemental material and only required if the facilitator specifically refers to it. In a F2F class the LMS should be used for assignment submissions, grading, and communication as determined appropriate by the facilitator of the class.
I am happy to discuss any or all of the above in more detail.  Just let me know.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Highlights from 2017 Fusion Conference

Highlights from 2017 Fusion Conference - Carl Kinney

This was my first Fusion Conference, and I consider it a great opportunity. I came away from the conference believing that our Learning Management System (LMS) is pretty impressive. I have to realize the conference was put on by Brightspace (D2L), but I was very impressed with their vision, their desire for innovation, and their goal to reach every learner. I believe our LMS has many features that we haven't explored enough to determine if we want or how we would utilize the capability. For example, one session was on "Getting Started with Personalized and Adaptive Learning". D2L has this capability, and we really need to investigate more and determine our strategy around Personalized and Adaptive learning if we are hoping to stay competitive. I appreciated their clarification given around the terms Personalized and Adaptive.

  • Personalized Learning - taking into consideration the different needs and learning styles.
  • Adaptive Learning - is a subset of Personalized Learning, and is reacting to the inputs of a particular student.
Greg Jorgensen and Instructional Technology Specialist from St. Cloud State University gave a session on: Content- Put It All In Your Course - Adding All The Things To Your Course Content. I enjoyed this session, and agree that "You don't want to do something just to do it. It needs to align and increase interactivity. From this session, I think we need to discuss external sources we are using in our courses and determine if they can be accessed within D2L and make the access somewhat transparent to the student. For example: you can create a link so a student automatically goes to Adobe Connect.

In a session titled: Setting Students Up for Success Through Student Engagement, I discovered that YouSeeU has a partnership with D2L and it is a free offering in the core platform. It also provides a Virtual Classroom Feature with no plug-ins required, and is completely browser driven. This is one of those features that I wasn't aware of, but we really need to investigate taking advantage of this capability.

This was a very good conference and hopefully some of the highlights I've shared are helpful, and can be the foundation for our growth with our LMS. Please feel free to stop by or call if you would like to discuss in more depth any of the above highlights.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Violetta's Reflections on the 2017 eLCC Conference

Submitted by Violetta Miles, ID&T Instructional Technologist

Do You Have a Textbook In You?
After years of teaching, most of us probably have a textbook in us. Learn how to assemble, create and distribute your first book. Thomas Harrop, MGD Lead, Red Rocks Community College

In this session Thomas went step by step on how to publish your own book (textbook), what important things to remember, and what to keep in mind. And then he went over these three websites that will publish your book:

It was interesting to me because I do wish to publish a book one day. I thought of it when I was teaching Communications at ITT-Tech. I wished I could make it easier for students and have a more useful information in the textbook instead of very complex and full of terminology that students will never remember and use. I will learn more about this process and be able to provide some information to our faculty, if some will express an interest.

CU Online Creation Station- Videos with the Touch of a Button!
In the spring of 2017, CU Online adapted the Penn State One Button Studio™ model and designed a ˜Creation Station™ for faculty. CU Online not only adapted this idea, but also created additional media solutions specifically designed for faculty. The Creation Station allows faculty to create high quality audio and video with the push of a button! Amy Arnold, Academic Services Senior Professional, University of Colorado Denver.

Great session and a great service, but I am not sure if Regis has the budget and resources for that.

Be the ONE in the DRIVEr’s Seat! Using OneDrive for Course Design Collaboration and More
Explore Microsoft OneDrive, with a special focus on using the tool for course development project management. All attendees will have the opportunity to observe use of the tool and learn more about online collaboration best practices. Grace Whiteaker, Instructional Designer, CCCOnline

OneDrive allows you to sync (including SharePoint online team sites), share, and collaborate on all files anywhere and anytime across PC and Mac in Office 365. 

I have Office 365 and OneDrive on my devices, but I didn’t have a chance to use OneDrive yet. So, this session was very informative on how this team is using it, and made me go and read more about OneDrive.

Best Video Recording Practices for Flipping Your Classroom
Get guidance and practice on best video recording techniques when considering the “Flipped Classroom” method for students. Anne Banister, Videographer, Red Rocks Community College

Anne is a great asset for RRCC. In her presentation she talked about why flipping your classroom is a great idea, what to consider, technical aspects, and more.

Designing Explorations
Leverage technology and instructional design to create meaningful and effective opportunities for students to engage with content. See some examples from CCCOnline, and be inspired to create your own! Jessica Gagnon, eLearning Technologist, CCCOnline

In this session they talked about enhancing courses with Spry (Accordion), Tabs, Knowledge checks, and Articulate Storyline. We are already using most of them in our courses, but it was good to see how other colleges use them and what they are focusing on.

CU Denver’s Canvas Migration
Come hear from CU Denver about their migration to Canvas. Christian Bell, Regional Director, Canvas, Dave Thomas, Director of Academic Technology, CU Denver

In this session, Dave Thomas stated that Canvas is “the best documented LMS out there.” He shared that the moving transition from Blackboard to Canvas was fairly easy. However, the transition would have been even better if they have done these things in the first place:
  • Use Canvas help desk
  • Batch interface is good enough (takes 4 years to lean bugs out)
  • Build better comm pathways
  • Get students involved
Dave was very enthusiastic and happy with the things they are able to do in Canvas, the things they are currently working on, and the things they wish to improve.
It was an excellent presentation and great insights, but we are not changing our LMS anytime soon. So, I guess it was good to learn why some colleges prefer Canvas over others.

Transform your Online Discussions by Creating Presence Creatively
Increase student interaction, see and hear your students’ emotions and allow your students to connect in a more human way through creative online software. Create a topic for your students, learn how students participate through text, voice, video or cellphone and load it into your LMS. Joan Anderssen, Faculty/Economics and Finance, Arapahoe Community College, Denise Lefort, Faculty/Business, Arapahoe Community College

Removing Roadblocks to Student Success: Simplifying Access to Digital Content
“Things are continuing to come together”, says Amy Sorensen, ProfHelp at Colorado Community Colleges Online. Join us to learn how CCCOnline & Labyrinth Learning partnered to simplify access to etexts and digital content without the need for license keys or access codes. Amy Sorensen, ProfHelp, CCCOnline; Kristin Rivedal, Learning Management Systems Administrator,
CCCOnline; Jodi Noll, Business Development, Labyrinth Learning

Hybridize the Learning Experience
Discover some guidelines and considerations for developing a hybrid or blended course and how to replace the F2F classroom meetings that will be missing. Make F2F meetings more precious and re-design certain parts of your course content so it can be delivered and learned in an online environment. Design your course so that it has 3 tracks of learning: F2F class meetings, regular assignments, and online/independent study learning opportunities. Another major challenge is to make these learning tracks interweave with one another so that they are connected to common course objectives. Tim Kochery, Senior Instructional Designer, Laramie County Community College

Show Me the Makerspace: The How and Why of Makerspaces in Higher Ed
Explore the foundations of maker education such as definitions, pedagogy behind maker education, best practices for beginning your makerspace, and resources that include Higher Ed makerspaces locally and across the country. The bottom line? Makerspaces are about the construction of knowledge by learners, not the technology you adopt. Brandon Poulliot, Technical Support Specialist, Laramie County Community College; Dr. Rebecca M. Reese, Laramie County Community College,
Senior Instructional Designer.

Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 International Conference and Expo (ICE) - Association for Talent Development (ATD formerly ASTD) -

I attended the ATD ICE conference (http://www.atdconference.org/About/Reasons-to-Attend) in Atlanta last month as a volunteer which means the conference fees were waived. For each day I volunteered I received a complimentary day. I volunteered two days and received two days free! What a win-win. One day I served as the volunteer day manager which turned out to be a 12 hour day. My second volunteer day wasn't as taxing. I served as a room monitor which means I was able to select the room I wanted to work in for the day to help the speaker, count the number of attendees, and make sure the room was tidy along with materials and water. I wanted to hear. Again, this was a win-win for me.

This international conference includes 10 content tracks of Science of Learning, Instructional Design, Learning Technologies, Learning Measurement & Analytics, among many others. This is a fabulous conference for those in Higher Education. In fact, one of the four Industry Tracks includes Higher Education. There were special events and receptions for those in Higher Education to meet and network on a global scale. In addition, Thomas Gilhooley, of Regis University's Higher Learning Partners was interviewed as part of the conference video summary. Thomas is interviewed beginning at 2:30 minutes into this video, see http://www.atdconference.org/About/Video. Further, there are many session tracks such as Healthcare, Education, Global Voices, Innogizer, Leaders of the Profession, Panels, Senior Leaders, Learning Transfer (applicable for back on the job), and Voices of Innovation.

One "Science of Learning" track speaker was Britt Andreatta of 7th Mind, Inc. She spoke about the power of teams. Her neuroscience research discusses how to build more effective teams. To do this, we must understand how the brain works and the human biology that works toward building collaboration, trust, productivity, and engagement. She discussed the metrics of inclusion and psychological safety affect team engagement. Britt cited that over 86 percent of employees and leaders lack the skills to create an effective team which leads to workplace failures. This information is astonishing. If you would like more information on Britt's research, her latest book is titled, "Wired to Resist." She can be contacted at http://www.brittandreatta.com/.

The keynote speakers (http://www.atdconference.org/Speakers/Keynote) included Captains Mark and Scott Kelly who spoke on their experiences that shaped their views on teamwork and collaboration, overcoming adversities and dealing with tragedies. Dr. Kelly McGonigal, Health Psychologist and Lecturer at Stanford University spoke about the upside of stress. Her book by the same title, "The UPside of Stress: Why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it. Here's a link to her TED Talk, https://www.ted.com/speakers/kelly_mcgonigal. The final keynote speaker was inspiring, Dr. Ronan Tynan is a medical doctor, paralympic champion and lovely Irish tenor. He spoke on hitting the high notes by living life to the fullest.

I highly recommend this conference for those interested in hearing from experts in our field of learning and education. There we also many, many exhibitor sessions, author chats and meet and greets. The exposition included over 400 vendors. What fun that was!!!

On a final note, being Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) I attended the annual ATD Awards ceremony and reception, sponsored by Harvard University, in which corporations and individuals were recognized for their efforts . Dr. Maureen Orey, CPLP, of Brandman University was recognized for her dissertation titled, "Is it Worth It? The Career Benefits and Return on Investment of Volunteer Leadership as Perceived by Chapters Leaders in a Professional Talent Development Association." As part of her research findings, the study participants reported volunteer leadership led to transformational change as a leader within their current workplace environments. For many study participants who were business owners and consultants, they reported a 424 percent return on investment.

As the 2017 Chapter President of ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter (www.atdrmc.org), these research findings resonate with me. Along with serving as a coach for the Regis Leadership Institute and a mentor in the upcoming academic year, I find that all of these experiences are tools to help me develop my leadership skills. So if you are looking for opportunities to develop your leadership skills, volunteer leadership is an investment in yourself which has a large return on investment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

eLCC Conference 2017

Guest post by:
Melissa Brydon, PhD, and Jennifer Millikan, CCLS

The key take away we had from the conference was INNOVATION!!! We found so many novel ideas that we could incorporate into our work with teachers in K-12 settings within the Department of Education in CCLS. Here are some recaps:

3D Printing in Higher Education
  • In this session we learned about printing objects and how to find files to print. It was informative to know the kinds of materials that could be used to print objects ( wood, platic materials from nature such as grass and metals), as well as how LONG it actually takes!!! A baseball (2 hours) vs a Lego piece (4 minutes) gave context as to how teachers could make effective use of this technology in the classroom. Presenters also provided:
    • Higher Ed Examples
      • Design prototypes
      • Custom (i.e. cookie cutters)
      • Fossils
      • Works of Art
      • Physical Diagrams
    • MakerSpace-Lawrence University
      • How they’ve incorporated 3D printing into assignments
    • Project Examples:
      • Design a new product
        • Creative problem solving for students
      • Develop solutions to real world problems
      • Physically manipulate objects
      • Gives new perspectives
      • Objectives can be applied across different contexts

It was interesting to learn that before you invest in a 3D printer make sure…
  • There’s a clear purpose
  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • Is it beneficial?
  • What is the back-up plan just in case there are obstacles with tech support

 Here are some others we went to with key points highlighted:

Social Activism Through Mobile Apps & Games
  • Effecting social change
    • Facebook & Twitter #icebucketchallenge-2014
    • Twitter & Removal of Pepsi Ad-2017
    • Twitter & Apology from United Airlines-2017
  • Beyond Twitter and Facebook there are now apps designed specifically to facilitate social activisim
  • Social Activism Apps-Why?
    • We can stay informed of global social issues, stay informed of bills proposed at federal, state, and local levels of the government, advocate for human rights, effect real social impact and change
  • Buycott.com
    • Scan products to learn about the company behind each product and make informed decisions on whether to buy a product based off of their political agenda
      • Lessons to use with Buycott:
        •  Research on top of scholarly research
          • What companies are doing what and what’s their political agenda
  • SilentProtest.org
    • International, global scale
      • Info shared and emailed for issues you care about
      • Protest on Social Media on behalf of those who can’t speak
  • The Perennial Plate: Stories of Sustainable Eating
    • International/Global Sustainable Work
  • Countable.us
    • Understand bills that are being passed
    • Introduces you to new proposed bills
    • Objective lens
    • Read people’s arguments for/against
    • Passed/Not Passed & Why
      • Which congressmen/women voted for/against
      • Learn about news and current events
      • Learn about new proposed bills
      • Track status of bills
      • Know who your state reps are
      • Know who your state’s voting status for each bill is
  • WeThePeople.com
    • Local activism & live polling to view political spectrum in your state
      • Demographic info to predict where voting is learning towards in the next election
  • IntelligenceSquaredUS.org
    • Upcoming debates
    • Watch debates
    • Listen to podcasts
    • Can follow debates and vote
      • Students can make a decision
    • Debates are organized in classic argument structure
    • Access to expert opinions about issues in video/podcast format for and against issues

Virtual Reality…
  • So What?
    • Virtual Reality
      • Computer-generated simulation of a 3-dimensional image/environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real/physical way by a person using special equipment w/sensors
        • i.e. gaming & google cardboard
    • Augmented Reality
      • A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world providing view of the real world. Can’t interact with it but can watch what’s happening
        • i.e. coloring pages that turn into real life-Aura App
          • Shark eats fish
    • Mixed Reality/Hybrid Reality
      • Merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time
        • i.e. Hololens
          • Virtual characters are mixed into a live video stream of the real world and you can actually interact with objects
    • Can create gaming apps, build simulations, use digital toolbox for digital storytelling, can be interactive so students learn new concepts
      • Examples include: How to perform surgery, what to check for in a crime scene, etc.

Game Simulation Design: From Survival Sim to the Enigma Challenge….
  • Experiential based 3D learning activity building triadic relationships for increased performance teams (i.e. survival scenarios)
    • Create Simulations
    • Avatars to look like a game character
    • Survival Example: What do we have? How much time do we have? How would we use each item to survive and why?
      • Players receive certificates
  • Character Strengths by Core Values (VIA Values—Top 5)—Can build a team dependent on strengths to compliment each other
    • Wisdom
    • Humanity
    • Transcendence
    • Courage
    • Justice
    • Temperance
  • Created Virtual Reality Scenarios for Creative Problem-Solving
  • AppInventor2-create your own apps
    • Creates an interface and links code so you don’t have to be a programmer to create these
  • Assign roles
  • Discussions
  • Have students actually do the activity, but even more to create their own activities so they will remember and sustain the information for longer
  • Social Good, Service to Others

Friday, April 21, 2017

Nicole's summary of eLCC conference 2017

Another great eLCC conference! My biggest take-away was the concept of the One-Button Video Studio. Ling posted the video overview from CU Denver. I hope we can collaborate with ITS and get our very own one-button studio set up. We can have much guidance from CU Denver and the software that runs it is open sourced. The budget seems reasonable. I know there are several faculty from across colleges that have indicated that they would like to learn how to create videos for their courses.

I presented this year on the topic of "Mindful Living and Learning in a Digital World." Feel free to contact me if you'd like a copy of the PowerPoint, it is chock full of ideas, articles, and resources.

I attended two excellent hands-on sessions. One was about leveraging social media and utilizing special sites for Social Activism by Sherry Jones. I found a couple of the tools personally helpful to know. One in particular, is countable.us (both a website and an app). The tagline for countable is "Your government, made simple. Get clear, concise summaries of bills going through Congress, see what others think, then take action. Telling your reps how you feel is easier than ever with email and now video messages. Make your democracy more responsive!"

And the other tool I really thought would be helpful for all who want to examine both sides of the debate on an issue. http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/ It is "a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis, and constructive public discourse to today's often biased media landscape." After looking at this website and sampling a debate that was posted I found it to be a safe and reliable source for understanding the main perspectives on important issues.

Another hand-on "active" session was modeled after the Escape room concept. Kae Novak, Krystan Grant, and Marcus Fowler had us dive right into solving a fun problem and applying our digital literacy skills for gathering clues and finding answers from a variety of sources in the room. It was a lot of fun (and we did eventually escape!) I can really see how setting something like this up for a classroom would be incredibly engaging and memorable. Kae and her colleagues have a few outlines and tip sheets for building your own escape room activity. Let me know if you would like to see these resources or if you would like some help.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

ELCC 2017 Conference
A real beneficial use of 3D Printing still seems to be a mystery even to some institutions who have invested substantial money, time, and resources to the search. There is always the example of the prosthetic program for kids who have had amputations, but scant few well known examples beyond that. At the ELCC conference  Robin Weber from UNC presented her college's efforts 3D printing an while interesting I don't see where that university has even come close to recovering its investment.

What she offered as examples of their output fit in a quart sized ziploc and largely amounted to toys. The few items that users had paid them to produce included four plastic Hindu type elephants with articulated legs and model of a medieval  baptismal font that might work with the Guinevere Barbie Knights of the Round Table play set.

Robin did share a lot of discoveries that would be useful to anyone who was actively engaged in working with 3D printing such as effectiveness of materials, costs, practical planning in terms of time and maintaining equipment, but she ended it with the same question that I've heard at every 3D print presentation I've ever attended which is "So do you have any ideas on how we can use this technology in the academic setting?".

This technology which seems like a perfect fit with academics still struggles to find a need. I think that if an institution had an engineering program a 3D Printing lab would be very busy, but in absence of that, everyone keeps asking the same question what do we do with it?

More practical, Dave Thomas of CU Denver shared an amazing road map for transitioning to a new LMS. Specifically CU-D went to Canvas, and on an aside, while not a salesman for Canvas, Thomas couldn't say enough good about it.

The presentation was not a gloom and doom everything that could possibly go wrong did typical LMS migration story. Thomas admitted there was a lot of work and some things they could have done better, but a well planned path resulted in a successful migration. While Regis is not planning [to my knowledge] to leave D2L, if we ever started down that path I would suggest we reach out to Dave and his team for advice.

2017 eLCC Conference - Ling's Takeaways

The best session I attended this year was CU Online’s Creation Station. The Creation Station was modeled after the One Button Video Recording Studio, a brain child of PennState University. This studio is a self-service resource for faculty and staff to create high-quality videos with just the push of a button. The studio is fully outfitted with professional lighting, a video camera, a backdrop, and a microphone that all work simultaneously by inserting a flash drive and hitting a button. 

Watch this short introduction video to see how the studio works:

The rough cost estimate is $13k, which I personally think is a very reasonable price. I wish this is a project Regis will consider. The beauty of the project is that CU has done all the ground work. They are willing to share everything they know to us if we’re interested. We’ll know exactly what hardware and software to purchase for the studio.