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Conferences, cybersalon

Late Night Learning LIVE!

Saturday evening’s Late Night Learning LIVE started the ITC ELearning 2010 conference off with a bang! Using a late-night-talk-show format, hosts Marc Hugentobler and Jared Stein, along with their special guests, covered a variety of topics including “cheating in online classes”, “getting rid of the Learning Management System”, and “open learning on the world wide web”.

My takeaways from this rowdy and humorous event were mostly made up of resources and websites to investigate further including:

  • A dissertation by Justin K. Johansen titled, “The Impact of Open Courseware on Paid Enrollment in Distance Learning Courses
  • The Cheatability Rubric created by Jared M. Stein, Marc Hugentobler, and John Krutsch
  • Al ur scorez belongz to usz (a takeoff on the icanhascheezeburger site and relates to online cheating)
  • Vocabulary: PLN = Personal Learning Network and PLE = Personal Learning Environment
  • An article from First Monday by Lisa Lane on “How Course Management Systems Impact Teaching
  • A blog post by Gardner Campbell titled, “Stoves Full of Butterflies” which equates learning to fire and a stove for the learning environment
  • John Mott, David Wiley, and BYU’s Loosely Couple Gradebook project. There are lots of links. Best to google and read updates on John Mott’s blog.
  • The idea of learning reflections and creations that are generated by students and persist over time…after they leave the institution
  • An absurdly great video: Slacker Tracker
  • The idea that the VLE (virtual learning environment)/LMS (learning management system) is dead (or should be)
  • Key phrases such as “Zombies in Education” and “The Revolution will be Syndicated” along with “7 Signs of Academic Zombification”
  • Introduction to “on the fringe” technologists such as the “Ed Tech Survivalist

There is so much to process from this session and a lot of the ideas were pretty far out there even for me. I am not sure that killing the LMS is a good idea. I think that folks for whom using technology to teach comes easy should remember that many, many faculty just want a simple and easy way to have a basic web presence for their course even if that presence is in a closed environment such as Blackboard. They don’t want to become technologists or even learn to think like a technologist (which is a different way of thinking from most faculty). They just want tools that work and enable them to communicate in some capacity with their students in an online form. So, don’t sell your Blackboard stock just yet. I think, like it or not, that VLE’s and LMS’s are going to be around for awhile yet.

I think a good ending quote also shared in this session is from Dan Willingham in his post titled, “Why Web 2.0 will NOT be an Integral Part of K-12 Education“,

“The wisest course may not be to find “best practices” with the expectation that they will apply across the board, but rather to expect that teachers will select pedagogical practices based on their own strengths and the material they teach, and to support them in that choice.”


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