Last one of this year, and a bit light since I’m technically on holidays…
Big New Projects: In January, we will be kicking off a big project with and for the University of Guadalajara. Although it’s going to occupy a huge chunk of my time in the new year, it’s exciting for us to be developing an Instructor Development Certificate in Experiential and Digital Learning for UG, of which a focus will be mobile learning. It’s a nice opportunity to be part of something that really draws on JIBC’s strengths.
SSHRC discussions: We had 2 meetings about separate SSHRC proposals for the new social innovation funding pot for colleges and institutes. No shortage of important ideas, but that March deadline is a tough one to meet.
Multi-Access: Valerie Irvine did a web conference with a group of us at JIBC around multi-access learning. This was a really great session that answered a lot of my questions, and I’m pretty sure we will be trying it out this year.
Conferences and awards: We submitted a couple of projects for the Horizon Interactive awards, and also got some proposals in for the CAUCE-CNIE conference and College Canada conference.
Things that wow-ed me: Part of my masters degree was in geolinguistics, so this language network map of language influence is pretty fascinating to me. Basically, it gets at why Spanish has potentially greater reach as language than Chinese, despite numbers of Chinese speakers, and why conversely Dutch has greater reach than the much larger population of Arabic speakers. From what I can see it doesn’t get at the language power component of language politics (e.g. economic, or role of official languages), but it does at least try to capture the role of the internet in language networks.
For the record, I never went into geolinguistics because I was told there were no jobs in it by my grad supervisor, but had the internet and data viz been a bigger thing at the time I guess my life path would be a bit different <sigh>.
And for fun, I was introduced to Alvvays this week, and this song is pretty catchy.
Innovation:Pushed along by one of our always keen and innovative instructors, investigated use of drones for Fire and Safety and SARS (search and rescue) training. This alternately excites me and frightens me, but then again, my job isn’t really about staying in my comfort zone.
Sat in on and learned a lot from Grant Gregson’s (Emily Carr U) TELL session and am ordering a WD cloud. I’m grateful there are people in the ETUG community that can talk and do the technical, almost IT part of ed tech but still keep it simple for the rest of us.
Reading and Responding: Responded to Tony Bates’ excellent (and well-timed) post on experiential learning.
Responded to a post on the OERResearch Hub site.
Read an article that resonated, despite it being specific to a developing country context problem. It’s a fun read and I highly recommend it for highered folks: The impact of managerialism on the strategy work of university middle managers.
Workshops and Demos: Joined our Marketing and Communications wizard, Richard Chu, in delivering a Twitter 101 for our Exec team. Richard pointed us to quite a nice Twitter info graphic cheat sheet.
Delivered a demo of our simulation platform, Praxis, to some really great Camosun College visitors.
Classroom of the Future: Our Belkin Tablet Stage arrived, sadly a day after Demofest, but we haven’t yet had time to set it up.
Made arrangements with Valerie Irvine to chat with us about multi-access learning. Since we have 5 campus locations, and many f2f classes that run parallel to online offerings, this method could be a good option for us.
Things that wow’ed me: I’m a textile nerd, and this 3D printed dress was the coolest thing I saw all week. Textiles + Technology may be my next career if I can figure out how to make it one.
And because I work at JIBC, this criminal botnet tracker was a close second (via @The_O_C_R) .
Demofest – The big event for us this week was our now annual showcase of ed tech. We had similar numbers to last year, and we were thrilled to have a good number of external visitors from UBC MedIT, Kwantlen, Royal Roads, and even one from the Island. We’re still gathering some videos of stuff that was shown, but for now the Demofest Guide is the best source for info on what was showcased.
SSHRC discussions – There was a SSHRC call that fits in nicely with some research we want to do here at JIBC, and thanks to some good collaborative BC postsecondary folks we have a meeting scheduled to discuss more.
CC-NP discussion – @mctoonish had an interesting blog post on whether a CC-NP license is needed. I think this is a good idea, since it captures a sentiment that is missing from CC-BY and gets at a problem I’ve already blogged about here and here. Here’s a thought for the EBSCOs–instead of *hiding* the fact that you are harvesting CC-BY articles under your brand (which, yes, you are entitled to do), why not capitalize on it by being the Fair Traders of academic publishing? At a minimum, put a stamp on it that lets users know that it the source is CC-BY licensed?
Hazmat ibook to Pressbooks – we had the thought that we should take our get our Hazmat ebook out of ibooks and get it into Pressbooks, provided we can maintain some of the interactivity.
BCNET announced the keynotes for their 2015 conference and well, there’s that. I guess Jennifer Chesney, Alexandra Samuel, Valerie Irvine, or anybody from EdtechWomen weren’t viable options, since I provided those names last year at feedback time. As BCNET is indirectly funded with public funds, I guess I expect more effort on that front.
Classroom of the Future: Ordered a Belkin Tablet Stage which apparently replaces a document camera, works quite well, and costs less.
Demofest organization: This year we ordered t-shirts for presenters and have some great prize donations coming in as well. Via @etug, we extended the invite to attend to those in the lower mainland who can get to our New West campus on Dec 3
Budget: our budgets are submitted and now it’s just everything that comes after.
Spent some time researching for a new Instructor Development certificate we are proposing in Experiential and Digital Learning. In a case of fortunate convergence I was pointed to some great resources on transmedia which I really hadn’t been paying close enough attention to. This lead me to sign up for an account with Conducttr , checked out this great example of linear transmedia , downloaded this Getting Started in Transmedia book, followed transmedia curator @D_RockingChair, checked out some transmedia and experiential learning links from Instructional Design Fusions , Ryerson, and Henry Jenkins, and was pointed to a compelling article from Norm Friesen via @IrwinDev.
Met with our Director of Indigenization to talk about creating an open course for staff on Indigenous Cultural Competency. The challenge, as it is with a lot of workplace training, will be to create something engaging for staff that can be delivered in small bites.
And lastly, attended to about 100 emails that had fallen off my desk in the last 2 weeks. If you are one of them, feel free to prod.
Mobile learning: Our iPad program pilot looked like it was about to leap off the tracks, since the way we were doing it was causing too much admin work for the program, which was defeating the purpose of the pilot to some degree. As the discussion evolved, we clued in that our bandaid workarounds were mainly caused by – believe it or not – the fact that our students don’t get JIBC emails. Put simply, it appears that without some sort of active directory authentication these kinds of deployments don’t work seamlessly. So we are trying a new way of doing things with the next cohort, at which point we should be able to determine whether this kind of tablet supported program is sustainable for our institution, whose technical resources are being maxed out for an ERP project.
Open Textbooks: Met with an instructor about creating a open textbook for project management (non PMI focussed) but as luck would have it, BCcampus was able to point us to a couple of great options that already exist. This may let us redirect money to another textbook in a more obscure discipline, which is perhaps a better strategy for us anyways. We are also lining up another instructor to work on a second criminology text for our Law Enforcement Studies diploma and degree.
Innovative learning environments: Our pilot “classroom of the future” is coming along nicely. This was somewhat inspired by Michael Minions’ ETUG talk this spring–his budget sensitive approach really resonated with us, so our Technology Services group has been working with us to reconfigure one of our classrooms with some new equipment. We’re putting in a document camera, a Swivl, a WePresent, and a 60″ LED screen to start. We’ll try out this configuration with some instructors and see whether this is a good alternative to podiums and projectors in the classroom. We’ve got 2 classroom sets of iPads that can be used with this setup, and it will be great if the WePresent lets us get to more of a BYOD setup.
Student lead innovation: I have a small fund in my budget for student-lead innovations that improve teaching and learning. This week I was got to meet one of our paramedic students who is also a robotic engineer by training. Over the weekend he was able to convert one of our simulation devices that connects to the simulation patient dolls so that it can be wireless controlled by an instructor to create a more high fidelity simulation. I’m not doing justice in describing the genius of what he was able to do since it has the potential to change the simulation experience of any paramedic or emergency medicine program, but it was a nice bookend to a week where things that should be simple seemed so hard, and hard things had simple solutions.