The @SloanConsortium 2014 Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (a.k.a. #blend14) is less than a month away! I am excited to be attending and facilitating a workshop in the rocky mountains (Denver, CO) this July. As blended learning models for curriculum and program development increase in post-secondary education, learners and instructors are being more invested in different mode and models for education. Last year, I found the mix of programs, discussions, and people at #blend13 very refreshing. If you have interests in design, development, or research in hybrid and blending learning environments than this might just be the conference and workshop for you!
For those you who ARE attending #blend14, let me entice you to join in the UN-conference session. This year, I will be helping to host the Blended Unconference (#unblend14) with Jessica Knott (@jlknott) and Patrice T (@Profpatrice). Unconferences are great opportunities to interact, discussion, and dig into topics that YOU are most interested in. As an a-typical session, the unconference is guided by participants who attend, and are flexible to the needs and wants of the group. It will be YOU who takes control of the agenda, content, and conversation. We will help by providing a basic infrastructure to keep things organized and moving, but this is the opportunity to really make the conference YOUR OWN. Typically unconference sessions introduce a topic or issue, and discussion, debate and ideas ensue.
Should I Attend the Unconference?
Yes! Well, we think so. If you answer yes to any of the following, the unconference session is JUST for you:
- Do you sometimes find yourself thinking “I wish they had covered X,Y, Z more deeply” in regular conference sessions?
- Do you wish you had the chance to ask further questions or expand upon session content?
- Are you looking for ways to get involved & meet others at #blend14?
- Did someone ask the perfect question during your presentation & now you want to talk to them further?
- Do you like interacting with colleagues to expand on ideas, share techniques, debate current trends, or collaborate on research?
Come to the Unconference Sessions on July 9:
- 1:30 PM – Gather in the Unconference room and review the topics and votes; select top topics
- 1:45 – 2:45 PM- Break into groups and discuss the top three topics.
- 2:45 – 3:00 PM – Short break
- 3:00 – 3:15 PM – Reconvene and revisit the topics and votes
- 3:15 to 4:15 PM – Break into groups and discuss the next three highest voted topics. (Again, the individuals who submitted the topics will facilitate each of these three groups, with a scribe assigned for note-taking and organizational purposes.)
Check out and VOTE ON the current Unconference Topics on Ideascale:
In other #blend14 news, I will be a “Chef” in the “Technology Test Kitchen.” This NEW addition to the conference will provide participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with different tools and technologies they want to use back on campus. Bring your own device (BYOD), and let’s getting developing with audio and/or video, collaborative platforms, communication tools, or presentation resources that YOU want to learn more about.
Are you planning to be in Denver for #blend14? Want to learn more about the #unblend14 Unconference or Test Kitchen? Drop me a line. :)