Dr. Mark Milliron, president and CEO of Catalyze Learning International, was the opening general session keynote speaker. As such he is recognized as a leader in educational leadership and the use of technology in education. An extremely engaging speaker he talked about the changing face of learners and how technology and tools like social networking are going to change the face of community college education.
Community Colleges are preparing for multiple generations of learners and have to be prepared for all of them:
Baby Boomers (the family generation)
Gen X (the ME generation)
Net Gen (the WE generation, or as I have heard it coined, the "XBox generation")
Along with this we have to realize that there is an ongoing digital divide - broadband vs. dialup and that there are still dialup ghettos that will impact how and what technology can be delivered to learners.
Dr. Milliron talked about what is in store:
- Attract, Service, Retain and engage learners
- Fund raising
- Operational funds
- Maintenance funds
- Sustainable Learning Environments
- Blurring and Blending
- Mobility Galore
- Social Networking
- High Impact Presentations/Engagement
- Analytics, Diagnostics, Evidence-based education
- The Human Touch
Mobility galore - m-learning will be big - learners need access - the oasis effect - free wireless will keep learners engaged and on campus
Gaming - a whole different way to learn. Look at seriousgames.org and americasarmy.com for examples.
Social Networking is engaging and connecting - collaboration is key. Second Life - a bridge between gaming and education. Of the social networking sites Dr. Milliron compared MySpace as Bart and Facebook as Lisa (or Potsie and Ritchie depending on your generational analogies...). The OER Commons is social networking for faculty.
Take your work seriously and yourself lightly when dealing with net geners (makes sense and it works in my experience). Sixteen to twenty-year olds want IM or chat - not email or readings "EMails are whta old folks send me" - so true - just try getting learners to read their e-mails - Facebook a much faster way to communicate with them.
We need to build buildings with high impact presentation technologies and tools in them - retrofitting no longer working.
The use of analytics to determine the best use of resources is a critical process that we need to start using, just as the gaming industry has been doing for years.
On the Human Touch we need to have the courage to be open to opportunities, the courage to catalyze the conversation, and the courage to learn.
We need to engage all learners in this process, including the CAVE people - Colleagues Against Virtually Everything (and you know who you are..).
A great keynote to kick off CIT 2007 - what we need to do as we look forward and the good news for me is that I get it it. Can't wait to see what the rest of CIT 2007 brings...