Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fresh from EDUCAUSE

I'm posting this from Portland, Oregon, while attending the EDUCAUSE West/Southwest Regional Conference. Just notes...nothing polished!

Julie Evans - plenary session on The New Free Agent Student
Julie spoke about the findings and reports of National Speak Up.
Findings included K-12 students values of social-based learning, including both communications and collaboration, as well as setting up their own networks including their peers (of course) but also including their instructors and subject matter experts from outside of their school system, often national experts or international experts.
Students also value untethered learning and are frustrated by artificially-created boundaries, such as limits to online access by 1) filters and firewalls, and 2) prohibitions against use of mobile devices in their classrooms.
The three new "E"s of education: enabled, engaged and empowered. Students expect to access information as well as create and share content.

Integrating Information Literacy Across the Campus
University of Arizona librarians presented this session and shared links to their tutorials. Here's an example, titled "Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism."

International Faculty Professional Development

Marc Lentini,  Samad (Sam) Chakour,  and Ousamma Alkhalili, Highline Community College
Egypt -
  • faculty development/exchange with HCC
  • linking industry and technical training
  • Facebook, Skype, cell phones, mailman (mailman "maybe 10 users", Facebook is "smoking!")
  • website (in both English and Arabic)
Technology Challenges in Egypt
  • bandwidth and power (110 degrees, losing power!)
  • equipment (outdated, old software)
  • access (5 labs, limited access for students, only 1 lab has internet access)
  • Camtasia (used to share what we were doing in our projects)
  • digital divide is more evident, especially age
  • Example: college faculty teaching programming course in classroom equiped with a blackboard (no, not a whiteboard...) and the instructor brought his own projector. No computers.
Indonesia (just developing a community college system, similar to that of the United States)
  • Faculty development/Exchange
  • Web site portfoliios, Facebook, Skype (Egypt connecting with Indonesia)
Cultural Challenges and Best Practices
  • focus on relationsships (if you do not develop relationship and trust, you will go nowhere)
  • much social interaction led to a successful project
  • Language Sam and Ousamma are also native Arabic speakers. They presented workshops in both languages. Tip: Have a PPT slide in Arabic, followed by English so that all present could keep on track.
  • Idioms and jokes don't always translate well.
  • Be very flexible...extremely flexible...REALLY flexible.
  • Daily schedule change
  • Constant interuptions (cell phones, unannounced visitors, people in and out of meetings, answering cell phones, informal side conversations are the norm, it is not considered flexible.)
  • Cairo traffic (essentially 6:00am - midnight!) any meetings away from the main site meant bring food and water and plan to have your staff meeting in the car
  • Expect the riding donkeys.
Important note: translators who understand the context and the culture of the colleges and people involved are essential.
CCID - Community Colleges for International Development

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