Tuesday, June 19, 2007

STLHE 2007 - A Few Days On...

It's been a few days since the end of STLHE 2007, and I'm back in Nova Scotia (not quite home yet though - I'm in Truro co-facilitating a CCEDP course). Other than a 45 minute delay because of a severe thunderstorm in Edmonton (you can see the clouds behind the airplane), it was an uneventful, but long trip back to the East Coast. Lots of time to start the contemplation and reflection on the mass of information received at STLHE 2007.

First, the most amazing part of STLHE 2007 was the people - an incredible, talented group (over 500 all told) of scholars, teachers, mentors, and facilitators all passionate about teaching and learning. the networking opportunities, the lunch time round tables and the hallway discussions betweens sessions and over coffee were a great way to hear what people had to say. I'm still digesting what I heard and learned, and determining what I can apply to my own practice.

I heard several common threads at STLHE 2007:
  • A need to move from "teaching/lecturing" to facilitation
  • A need to engage and connect with the Millennial generation (through the use of innovation, Web 2.0, and social software, among others)
  • The use of portfolio learning, PBL, and service learning to improve the learning environments and experiences of today's post-secondary learner
  • A lot of talk about learner-centred education
I look at these discussion threads (and there were many more), and one thing immediately comes to mind - we are doing good (maybe great) things at NSCC - many of us are already there on the threads above, certainly with our use of portfolio learning, PBL, learning (as opposed to learner)-centred education, and facilitation. many of us are also looking at implementing Web 2.0 tools and social software as a way to engage our learners, but there is a lot more that we can do.

All in all STLHE 2007 was an amazing experience - I can think of nothing better than going again next year to see where we are...

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