Tag Archives: Instructional Technology

Speed and Agility in Higher Education

I attended the Sloan-C Conference on Online Learning last week and three themes surfaced as I attended sessions and talked with other participants:

NeedForSpeed-AmnemonaPart 2: Speed

The opening session with Frank Mayadas started this theme in motion. He stated that those of us involved in the development and delivery of online learning are moving at a frenetic pace and achieving success. That is in spite of the fact that words like “speed and agility are rarely used to describe higher education.”

How fast can we go? How fast should we go?

The concurrent sessions covered issues related to technology and how it allows us to manipulate data at a faster pace that we would ever be able to do on our own. These technologies have the potential to impact how learning takes place and how networked learning changes the way we design and deliver formal courses.  It occurred to me that while technology can make our work easier, it also adds to our to-do lists.

The closing session with Stephen Laster included this statement: “What I did yesterday isn’t good enough for tomorrow.” The speed at which we must move to keep up with the need seems a little daunting. Keeping up with not only what is new, but what is also useful will be a constant challenge as we move forward in the fields of instructional design and instructional technology.

How do we balance careful decision-making and development of effective online courses as our budgets, bottom lines, and student demands push us forward?

photo credit: Amnemona, Flickr

Professional Conferences – ID, IT, Distance Ed…

Sometimes my employer funds these trips, but I have funded myself just as often. I like conferences, but I don’t love conferences and two-a-year is usually my goal, especially if I can present. I realize it’s usually a bonus to be able to attend these and I try to select them pretty carefully. Recently I was asked to recommend events related to Instructional Design/Instructional Technology/Multimedia Development. The list below was the result and I thought I would pass it along here. The events marked with an asterisk (*) are ones I have actually attended and recommend. Others I have heard about and would like to get to at some point.

  • EDUCAUSE – a number of regional events also available. I am planning to attend the one in the Southeast next year.
  • USDLA
  • E-Learning Guild – check out DevLearn. A colleague of mine (Hi Nathan!) went last year and it sounds terrific, although he was very ‘Adobe’ when he got back ;)
  • AACE * – check out E-LEARN and ED-MEDIA…and SITE if you are in teacher education.
  • AECT
  • ASTD
  • SLOAN-C *- a big fan of SLOAN-C, especially the emerging technologies symposium, small and focused.
  • ITC
  • Distance Teaching and Learning Annual Conference * – University of Wisconsin – Madison, a great mix of people and topics, and a well-run event.
  • SALT * – I’ve been to the one in Orlando, small (in a good way) and a nice mix of education and industry.
  • ITTSEC
  • AERA * – Big, really big.  Focused on the “R” (research). Lots of interesting Special Interest Groups.

There are so many more conferences out there. Some with really specific niches…. what’s your interest? Second Life? Faculty Development? Open Education?…. Here are several links set up for searching for more…

Trends —- I’ve answered survey requests from a few of these organizations recently. There are changes coming I think. More virtual events (more on these in another post). More regional events. Less “glamorous” locations. More registration options (i.e. by-the-day). Will be interesting and very possibly improved in a lot of ways.

Your Favorites???

Update! (2/16/10) – @etcjournal has posted a very nice list of conferences on their Educational Technology & Change site. Take a look at this for upcoming events in 2010 complete with links. Online conferences are noted as well.

Update! (2/24/10) – ThinkingCap is also tracking eLearning conferences you can search by month. Check out the “Call for Proposals Deadline” tab. Very helpful!

Update! (5/21/10) – Just discovered this list via Twitter. 750 Educational Technology and Related Conferences. You can download the list as a Word.doc.