Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CNIE 2009 Ottawa - Day One And Twitter

Day One of the conference started off with a keynote from George Siemens. His keynote was titled "A Firm Foundation", and was quite interesting and thought-provoking, with some thoughts on education needing to be rethought and restructured. Some interesting numbers, including the facts that young users are not the greatest users of the Internet and that the 70-75 year old segment is the fasting growing sector (Pew Internet).

One important thing for me that came out of this keynote is the affirmation of the need to develop information literacy skills - the use of information literacy and information is critical and skills need to be developed. There is an issue where physical aspects haven't changed to meet the way information is being used - that is so true - just look around at information sources and how they are changing regularly.

Check out the presentation - very interesting.

Perhaps the single most important thing I have done at this conference was engaging in active twittering of the conference (tag #cnie) - it added such a dimension of richness and inclusiveness, along with immediate feedback and community - it was and is a spectacular way to engage in a conference (or I suspect any live event). Not to mention a great way to engage in conversation and get others' perespectives on what is happening around you.

Sat in on a presentation about critical thinking online - lots of good demographic numbers on internet use from the Media Awareness Network, a great resource on media and information literacy for K-12 (with some PSE application too). Talked aboutthe dominant reading pattern online is in the shape of a "F", and that a lot of really good content gets missed if it's outside the "F". One thing that was recommended to foster critical thining online was to separate entertainment from content and on eof the examples given was the Field Museum. Learners need to develop skills to successfully navigate and search he Internet - again that theme of information literacy came up.

The next presentation I attended was on "Web-Based Tools - The World Beyond The LMS" - much of the conversation was getting to the idea that Web 2.0 tools provide services beyond the ability of many LMSs, but that there needs to be a value add to use them - if the LMS will do most of what is wanted, then movingtos trange and unfamiliar Web 2.0 tools might not be the best. Ther needs to be a value-add to make the move. I am a strong believer of using Web 2.0 tools for learning, but like anything, use the right tool - the one that does the job and allows effective teaching and learning to occur.

The presenter also talked about how to train faculty in the use of Web 2.0 tools and build their comfort in their use. Web 2.0 has to be about ease of use and having the technology fade into the background. Personally I think that is the great advantage of Web 2.0...

The last presentation of the day was from Martha Burkle, the Cisco Chair in e-Learing at SAIT. It was a "Journet Through Second Life to Facilitate Hands On Learning". What SAIT has done is take their Robotics Lab and recreated it, along with other elements of their programs in Second Life - the SL Robotics lab is connected to Moodle through SLoodle and is a fuly functioning facility complete with testing and evaluation components - an entirely hands-on experience. I am quite sure that an entire online course could be developed and run this way.

Also took us on a tour of a TV studio set up for learners - they had full control rooms and camera setups allowing for simulated brodcasts and programming a great adjunct to their real world program. SAIT has creayed an engaging and creative learning environment in SL, but like a lot of them it has been driven more by "champions" that universal acceptance and adoption. Hmmm...

All in all an amzingly engaging and absorbing day - some incredible presnters and a lot of enaged attendees - twittering really was the icing on the cake. I can't s
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ay just how much more it adds to the conference experience - you have to try it!

For me the overwhelming themes of the day were information literacy - just how critically important it is, and that innovation in teaching and learning needs to be supported, but also needs to be done with an understanding of the effects of innovation on faculty and learners and that the supports must be there for both. Lots of Hmmm... from Day One...

1 comment:

Kamsin said...

thank you thank you thank you.
concise summary AND great links
all from the comfort of my laptop :-)