#ET4online Recap, Reflections, and Review

As I regroup from last week’s Emerging Technologies for Online Learning (#et4online) conference, I am filled with ideas and inspiration. Inviting a group of teaching, learning, and researching friends invested in supporting online pedagogy is a fantastic way to wrap up April.With the help of a fab #et4online steering committee (especially that co-chair Michelle), we were pleased to bring OLC to my current hometown, Dallas, TX.

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Thanks to ALL who contributed to the #et4online program. I was genuinely impressed by the quality of content, interactions, and engagement in the conference workshops, sessions, #et4women dinner, panels, and more! I was told time and time again, how much participants enjoyed the program and felt motivated to bring these ideas back to campus. Way to bring your A-game to Dallas, #et4online! BIG THANKS and shout out to the #et4online Program Track Chairs (@adesinamedia@amichaelberman, @ajsalts@JLeafstedt, @Profpatrice,  & @unatdaly) and our proposal readers for putting this together!

ET4MontageThe conversations and interactions at #et4online really provided momentum for supporting my online learners. I am already thinking about ways to improve my own online teaching and learning, to include action-based pedagogy, #et4messy learning, and reconsider assessment in my curriculum.  It was also a  treat to listen to our #et4online keynote & plenary speakers reflect and share research, projects, and developments in the follow areas of technology emergence – thank you so much:

I am grateful for the collaborative and sharing spirit of the #et4online participants. I was so pleased by a number of new initiatives and happenings at the conference – which also left me contemplating and considering a few things ahead, including:

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Messy Learning sketch by Giulia Forsythe

  • The value of wrapping up a conference with #unet4online the ET4Online Unconference hosted in Canvas facilitated by @Jessifer & @slamteacher (About & remote support @Bali_Maha) + Tweets. Although I was exhausted at the end of the conference, this was  – BY FAR – one of my ET4 conference highlights. The discussions were very fruitful and active in the #unet4online room. It was nice to connect with a few new folks, and walk away with a few new ideas after this thoughtful debriefing session.
  • Hybrid participation in a conference with the #et4buddy pilot project with @Bali_Maha & @rjhogue – Submit feedback for the #et4buddy and #et4buddy video playlist. I am still thinking about this hybrid engagement for a few and its impact for others at the conference. What does it mean to be present at a conference? How does this type of digital involvement make meaning for in-person interactions? How does this interaction help or hinder everyone’s conference experience? Can this meta conference be the “same” or does it have to be?
  • The purpose of the Teacher Tank (Launch Pad) to #et4online, and beyond an entertainment value – how does this really serve #et4online participants? The ideas for this new program feature was to have  ed tech startup’s provide a solution for teaching and learning by sharing their results & preliminary feedback. After processing with the startups, judges, and reviewing the #et4snark meta backchannel, many agreed the format/concept has little value-added to the program.  During the #unet4online conference, we had a great talk about a hackspace and/or collaboration to provide a more meaningful concept — so I look forward to our next meeting about this in May to re-purpose the “shark tank.”
  • The after conference social times that included #et4Bonfire Sing-Songs, dinners, karaoke, 1st Ukulele Lessons #moocalele & harmonizing with peers. These impromptu lessons & creative spaces should have a bigger place for professional development and learning at our conferences. I want to think more about this for next year. How can the non-sessions provide a great space to dialog, learning & engage? Where could and should this fit into a future conference?

A HUGE thanks goes out to the on-going efforts and developments of the OLC Technology Test Kitchen. The addition of the hands-on demonstrations by the Technology Test Kitchen Chefs #et4TTK  was brilliant. I would like to give a shout out to @jlknott & @scragg_OSU for their efforts on organizing this play/maker space! Thank you.

I am continuing to absorb and read others reflections about #ET4Online from tweets and in the blogosphere – thanks for sharing Adam, Patrice, Maha, Jeff, Rebecca, and others to come. Please continue to post your blog reflections, write comments, and share your general thoughts. Also remember to complete the post-conference evaluation so we can better understand your impression of #et4online and improve future events. This survey will take less than 5 minutes, and the #et4online steering committee will use this information to learn about your experiences and utilize this for planning ahead:

Onsite Survey

Virtual Attendee Survey

This was my 3rd and last #et4online conference. Like the ones before it, ET4 did not fail to deliver quality memories and interactions. Next year #et4online will be replaced by the NEW OLC Innovate Conference 2016 in New Orleans, LA from April 20-22, 2016.

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We will be taking ideas from both #et4online and #blend15 for the OLC Innovate 2016 event. Are you interested in getting involved in planning this new event? Want to contribute to planning the program or being a member of the steering committee? Interested in being a program proposal reader? Do you have an idea or suggestions for Innovate 2016? Let me know – complete this Google Form:

Twitter to Enhance Learning & Performance

Twitter provides the opportunity to have micro-conversations in 140 characters or less. This social media platform has been repurposed by a number of educators for workplace learning. Twitter is not the only form of professional development available and you do not have to tweet to learn.  That being said, an increasing number of educators have repurposed and remixed Twitter for work learning and performance. You would be surprised what 140 characters can do to create community and interaction online. A number of grassroots initiatives have developed for educators to consider Twitter as part of their professional development plans for informal learning, scholarly development, and shared practices. For me, the last seven years spent on Twitter has been invaluable. This platform continues to provide an open, informal learning space to collaborate and banter with a community of educators. Thanks for that, Larry.

Twitter Bird in the Lattice

Flickr photo c/o Brian Kopp

Twitter is really the “water-cooler” for educators to share news, post reports/trends, read the news, review research, ask questions, gather information, and curate knowledge. Educators are increasingly expressing ideas and linking to relevant websites, videos, articles, images, etc. related the workforce.  This commentary and resources were shared for my own learners and other training participants who want to “get started” with workplace learning and performance – so I welcome your shared suggestions for helpful Twitter resources and tips in the comments below.

The Twitter Basics:

Hashtags & Backchannels

GotHashtag

Hashtag: A symbol used in Twitter messages, the # symbol, used to identify keywords or topics in a Tweet. The hashtag was an organic creation by Twitter users as a way to categorize Twitter messages and link keywords posted on Twitter. Besides a current event or pop culture reference, Twitter has been an essential part of the conference tool kit to support sharing on the backchannel. You no longer have to be in-person to engage in the workshops, presented talks, or round table discussions via the live experience. There’s now a full stream of activity created around single hashtags for professional development and workplace learning events.

Here are just a few Hashtags to SEARCH and Follow:  

  • #AcWri (academic writing)
  • #highered
  • #digped
  • #edtech and #onlinelearning
  • #phdchat and #gradchat and #SAdoc
  • #Open and #OER and #openaccess
  • #acadv (academic advising)
  • #StudentAffairs and #sachat
  • And MORE!
  • P.D. hashtags related to your field and conferences, e.g. 2015 Education and Ed Tech Conferences [Psssst… you can add to it if  I’m missing any!]

What Is a Twitter Chat and How to Make the Most of ItTwitter chats are threaded discussions using a hashtag to dialogue about a specific subject.Twitter chats are linked conversations via a single hashtag that participants can search, follow, and include in their own Tweet as they respond during the Twitter chat time. Twitter chats are similar to online chats, forums, or discussion boards; however they are often synchronous and active during a designated date and time. The hashtag for many chats continue past the “live” event on Twitter for others who want to share and engage. Some Twitter chats guide the discussion or have open topics central theme, while others Twitter chats are moderated in a structured question-response format.

Other Twitter Tips & Resources:

Got Hashtag? [Gathering Edu & Ed Tech Conference Hashtags]

HashtagLauraI am wrangling up hashtags from all 2015 education and education conferences. If you know of a conference with a hashtag, let me know. ADD the conference name, hashtag, and the conference website HERE (or here http://goo.gl/6Uvlvs).

Giddy up!

#SAreads: Students, Ethics, and Online Engagement @ #ACPA15 the #ACPATrendingNow Session TODAY!

Join Courtney O’Connell and myself in a roundtable discussion about online student behavior in higher education during the #ACPATrendingNow Session (TODAY at 12:30-1:30 pm in the Marketplace):

SAreads #ACPATrendingNow Session @ #ACPA15

#SAreads: Students, Ethics and Online Engagement

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An excerpt from the What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube book on cyberbullying:

cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is defined as teasing, insulting or making fun of another person online. The intent is often to soil the target’s reputation. If you are a cyberbully, STOP! Your bullying could be the byproduct of social anxiety or low self-esteem and it is important that you seek help. Educators, friends, parents and counselors are increasingly aware of the signs of cyberbullying and will eventually confront you.

Cyberbullying is often considered a criminal offense and offline bullying laws apply to online behavior.

  • Cyberbullies leave digital fingerprints and often are easier to prosecute than traditional bullies who do not leave as much incriminating evidence.
  • Bullying can ultimately lead to a victim’s suicide. Victims of cyberbullying are twice as likely to commit suicide as those who have not had a cyberbullying experience.
  • 1 in 4 teens report that they have experienced repeated bullying via their cell or on the internet
  • Over half of all teens that use social media have witnessed outright bullying online, and an astounding 95 percent of teens who witness bullying on social media have ignored the behavior
  • We all must serve as upstanders and not bystanders to cyberbullying.
  • Colleges and universities have their own rules and procedures for dealing with cyber-bullying, cyber-harassment, and cyber-stalking. If you know something that is occurring, tell a faculty or staff member. They can help and give you options.
  • Being harassed or bullied online can be mentally draining. Reach out to others to help you process through it. The counseling services on your campus can also help.

Also in a recent study on cyberbystanders, nearly 70% of respondents who noticed the cyberbullying and who didn’t respond directly to the abuser gave bad marks to the chat monitor and/or didn’t recommend use of the chat room – both of which were classified as indirect intervention. This is happening at your institution and this is an important issue that WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT NOW! 

Sneak Peak of the Book (Preview Copy Only!)

More #ACPATrendingNow Sessions to participate in TODAY from 12:30-1:30 pm (in the Marketplace).

Becoming a Leader in Professional Associations – Facilitated by Cissy Petty
Hate Speech and First Amendment Rights – Facilitated by Kathy Adams Riester
Implications of Systemic Oppression – Facilitated by Tori Svoboda
Working with Undocumented Students – Facilitated by Ray Plaza
Personal Mental Health as Professionals  – Facilitated by Kalie Mason
Media Scrutiny of Higher Education – Facilitated by Gretchen Metzelaars
Supporting Veteran Students – Facilitated by Monica Christensen
Athletes as Students – Facilitated by Markesha Henderson (U West GA)
Title IX and Transgender Protection – Facilitated by Finn Schneider
Reclaiming Language as Means of Peaceful Protest – Facilitated by Dan Sym

Using Google Apps in Higher Ed #ACPA15

Join me today (3/7) at 9 AM for my  #ACPA15 Genius Labs session on Google Apps for Education (1st Floor West Side of Tampa CC) where I’ll share how I use a few applications to make my workflow more productive and how I’ve used a few of these applications for my educational curriculum and developmental programs on campus. Blog-Post-Image-Google-Apps-Admin-Best-Practices-1024x372 About: Many universities/colleges are turning to Google Apps for Education as a solution, and it isn’t just for email. This 20-minute session will introduce applications provided by Google Apps, and will illustrate easy-to-implement practices for everyday problems. Google Apps to Explore & Use

Examples for Google Docs & Forms

Google Video – YouTube & Hangouts On Air

3 Google Apps to Check Out More Often

  • Google Scholar What it is: Academic search engine for publications of scholarly research Why It’s useful: Search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles. Pro tip: Identify articles available from your institutional library on campus. Also able to search & preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide in Google Books.
  • YouTube Trends Dashboard What it is: A handy tool to figure out what’s trending on YouTube. Why it’s useful: What are your students watching on campus? What is being shared most often near you? With the Trends Dashboard, you can tap into the zeitgeist quickly and easily. Pro tip: Compare the “Most Shared” (across Facebook and Twitter) with “Most Viewed” to get a sense of what content gets viewed often but shared infrequently. To see what was trending in the past, check out
  • Google Trends. Use the optional forecast checkbox to anticipate whether interest in a particular topic is expected to rise over time. Google Keep What it is: Lets you easily jot down whatever’s on your mind via a beautiful, simple interface. Why it’s useful: Share any one individual note with a collaborator, create to-do lists, drop an image into notes as needed, and organize notes using eight color options. Pro tip: Don’t want to forget to do something? No problem: You can easily turn any note into a date or location-activated reminder.

Resources

How do you use Google Apps for education? Please feel free to share links and resources here: http://bit.ly/acpa15google

The 2015 #et4online Conference Preview

#et4online bannerThe Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan Consortium), MERLOT, and our Emerging Technologies steering committee wanted to give you a sneak peak of what lies ahead at #et4online, so we hung out to share details about the upcoming conference being held April 22-24, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

Who attends #et4online? (you might ask)

Who attends #et4online

Image c/o @brocansky

6 Reasons Why You Should Join Us for #et4online

Or hear what the #et4online Steering Committee Members have to say in today’s Google+ Hangout ON AIR (recorded):
Michelle Pacansky-Brock Conference Chair – @brocansky
Jason Rhode, Assistant Conference Chair – @jasonrhode
Jane Moore, MERLOT Program Chair – @janepmoore
Laura Pasquini, OLC Program Chair – @laurapasquini

Here are just a few of the MANY highlights for the #et4online program that we shared:

Interested in attending (virtual or on site)? Register TODAY! Early bird pricing ends on February 25, 2015. I hope to welcome a few of you to Dallas in April. Do you have questions about the conference or program? Want to know great places to find BBQ in Dallas? Want to get involved and volunteer? You know where to find me. I’d be happy to answer any/all questions. Hope to see you soon!

Twitter for Professional Development… Make it Part of Your PD Plan. #SAchallenge

In the field of learning and performance, there are a number of ways to train and develop employees. A number of professional organizations and educational institutions are interested in supporting online learning communities to enhance learning and development for “the workforce of tomorrow.” This often results in going to where the communities are already active online, i.e. social media. A number of social spaces, including blogs, videos, microblogs, and photo sharing websites, have been repurposed for training and development by the community. One of the largest areas for professional development has been on Twitter with users aggregating around a hashtag to form a community. In higher education, a number of Twitter-based communities of practice are emerging as the “combination of improved facility and user flexibility has created an environment in which networks and communities, albeit of a restricted kind, can flourish (Lewis & Rush, 2013).

sachallenge

It is no wonder why we see The #SAChat January Twitter Challenge #SAchallenge appear with the start of the new year. Although I’ve been loosely off the social grid for the holidays, I tuned back in to find these January #SAChallenge prompts posted to get connected and involved on Twitter:

During the month of January, we will be tweeting out various challenges and ideas of ways you can engage on Twitter – starting with basic how-tos and moving towards looking at different ways to engage through the medium. Each weekday will bring at least one “challenge” – something you can do to either learn more about using Twitter or to refresh yourself and make you think about using it differently, especially within the #SAChat community. We’ll be posting the challenges here if you miss one and want to catch up.

I applaud the @The_ SA_Blog community managers for facilitating the #sachallenge.  To best support learning and development, The SA Collective L-Team are actively supporting their online subscribers and cultivating the #SAchat hashtag, by utilizing these key community management skills:

  • Listen. It might be a great space to broadcast and disseminate content – but that’s not how you hold a conversation. What do people what to talk about, not just receive? What is the online community engaged in? What are the conversations about online? Take a minute to read and learn from others online.
  • Participate. You need to be a community member, too. Try to join conversations as a peer contributor, not a facilitator. Contribute useful ideas, articles, research, and more. Your online community will want you to be actively sharing online like others in their learning community.
  • Include. Let others help find and create content, guide conversation, start new discussions. It’s a change for many of us in the field who what to “lead” the professional development experience, but will pay off in a more vibrant, sustainable community. Encourage members of the community to be the active voice.

I think Twitter is a key component of my own learning and development, and I often encourage others (i.e. students, professionals, faculty, etc) to set up their own Twitter handle [HOW TO: Set Up a Twitter Account], and/or follow along with the community hashtag. I am also more than happy to connect and chat with those of you who reach out to me on Twitter (a.k.a. @laurapasquini), or by any other means if you want to to talk about Twitter or professional development. Although the #SAchat hashtag focusses on the Student Affairs arena there are a number of other higher education and discipline-based Twitter communities to follow. Check out any number of Twitter chats you can learn from this year: http://bit.ly/TwitterChatSchedule    

Dubbed the Twitter Queen by @hglez9

Photo mashup credit goes out to @hglez9

That being said, I also caution using Twitter as the only means for learning and development. As an avid Twitter user, who has learned a great deal from tweeting over the past few years, I have a healthy skepticism that Twitter is the “best” platform for delivering professional development. Apparently, I am not alone. Audrey Watters recently asked this question in her blog post “Is Twitter the Best Option for Online Professional Development?” and identified both its benefits and challenges. Twitter has created opportunities for conversation, research, collaboration, and support; however I have also witnessed spam bots, self-promoting followers, bullying, disciplinary implications in academia, and other not-so-nice things.  I was reminded by Audrey that “there is a fragility to our ability to connect and share online. Some of that fragility comes when we opt to rely on for-profit companies to run the infrastructure. We do not own the conversations on Twitter. We have limited control over our data and the content we create and share there.” That is not to say you should not participate and engage – but don’t let Twitter be the ONLY only means for your PD.

In my opinion, I think Twitter can augment, not replace, learning and development. Let Twitter be one part of your professional development plan for 2015, and then ask yourself what do you want to learn? Think about what goals you are setting for yourself first, and then consider the spaces you want to engage in this year. Always put your PD goals ahead of the platform, and then go searching for where you want to engage this year. You might also consider searching out training and development opportunities at your institution, at your professional associations, with trade/professional journals, by reading new literature & books, through research projects, signing up for a course/seminar/webinar, by conducting an informational interview, by reaching out to others in your network, and always by discussing your goals with mentors and peers from the field. Perhaps you might even take the time to reflect on these training experiences when you return to/start some bloggery (Thanks for the term, Bryan) to process your learning and development. Good luck with your PD goals for 2015! Let me know if or how I can help.

References:

Lewis, B., & Rush, D.  (2013). Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 21. Retrieved from http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/18598 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.18598.

Watters, A. (2014, December 17). Is Twitter the best option for online professional development? Hack Education. Retrieved from http://hackeducation.com/2014/12/17/twitter-professional-development/.