v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

NMC Day 1: session overview

This blog post might be long...but what the heck, a long post every now and again is OK ;-). These are my thoughts on Sessions that I attended. Some were great...and some not so much (they had potential but did not deliver)



Digital Badges on Campus: More than Just a Game

With: Mike Soupios, Danielle Mirliss, Thomas McGee from Seton Hall University


This was my first session of the day, and it did not disappoint! The presenters were all from Seton Hall University and they were describing the initial phases of their campus engagement tool. They implemented an OpenBadge compliant system which they introduced to their incoming freshman population.

The initial badges that students got wet fairly easy to get, as with any social system that awards badges, in order to get people used to the idea of the reward. The system debuted this summer when students came to their campus preview activities. They got a badge for attending the preview (week?) as well as participating in activities throughout this week. The badges were cross referenced with RSVP lists that enrollment services had, so only people that came got the perk.


Other types of badge earning activities included being curious about the numerous posters with QR codes on them. There were also" level up" badges where if you got so many badges of a certain kind the system traded them in for a higher level badge. They also had badge-less awards that gave participants points, and the points in these categories would eventually yield a badge.


This was a pretty freakin' awesome presentation. It reminded me a lot about my own yet unpublished paper (submitted last week) in so many ways. It's like these guys were reading my mind (or I was reading theirs). I would LOVE it if our campus worked with Seton Hall to develop an open source solution for this system so that other colleges could it as well :-)


As a side note, it's interesting that they worked out a deal with Nokia to get all new incoming freshmen Lumia 900 phones. I am wondering when Google finally engulfs Motorola if there will be similar Android deals.





The Case of a Massive open online Course at a College of education

With: Dalit Levy from the Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts.


When I saw that there was a MOOC related session, and one that was aiming to make the case for MOOCs in higher education (and one that had cited one of our MRT papers!) I was really excited. The actual session had a lot of potential, but it fell flat, sad to say. The presenter was apologizing for her command of English, which wasn't a problem for me, and went in to say that she finished her presentation hours before she delivered it. This was a major fail since presenters KNOW that they will be presenting months in advance! No excuse :-)


The other two flaws of the presentation were that she focused too much on setting up what a MOOC is, giving examples from PLENK and Change11, but she really didn't tie in her own experiences as a participant. The language barrier was cited as an issue, and I agree (as I have written before), but that hasn't stopped people from participating. A great example f this is Serena. It was great to see her posts in Italian, and seeing others post in other languages less frequently, so why not interact in Hebrew?


The second major issue was the bureaucracy of it all. It was really painful to see a course (MOOC) go through all these steps of approval and scrutiny, and angst over how it will fit in with the existing LMS (does it have to?) and the university website (again, does it gave to?). This has been (or seemed like it anyway) a multi year process. This stood in stark contrast to Ito's keynote.


On the plus side, it's nice to know that there are other non English speaking MOOCers that might be willing to participate in a study of attitudes of non English speakers about MOOCs.


As an aside note, too much attention and time was wasted on Connectivist MOOCs vs "Stanford" MOOC models. More in this in another post I guess :-)




Fostering Digitally Literate Faculty: An Interactive Case study

With: Alicia Russell, Seth Merriam, Victoria Wallace from Northeastern University


This last time slot of the day was a toss up between this session, and the following one. I elected to go to this session because I knew the people from Northeastern and wanted to see what locals were doing. The presentation was a bit slow going and I ended up leaving about half way in. The main issue, for me, was that the initiate was something similar to what UMass Boston had in the early 2000s with their Teaching with Technology program. The only difference seemed that now people were also blogging about their experiences. What made it hard to stay in this session was that some of the DS106 people were in the session bellow, so I left to go see




Don't Adjust y our set - This Class is Live!

With: Andy Rush & Tim Owens from University Of Mary Washington

and Grant Potter from University of Northern British Columbia.


Even though I came to this session late, this was a pretty good session. The tweets were instrumental in getting me to attend :) One interesting thing, a question from a participant, was about FERPA and how that ties in with live broadcasts. Siiiigh. As I said in the tweet stream yesterday, FERPA is either the boogie man that no one understands, or the excuse that people use to hide behind because of their own uncertainties. To go back to Ito's saying: just do it! FERPA is only about grades, and about other private information such as mailing info. Having a conversation about an educational topic online, or asking questions in a lecture is not a problem under FERPA.

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