Anatomy of an ed-tech workshop

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Stop! Ed-Tech Workshop
(Possible nerd-rap lyrics?)

Back in late May, I made my first trip back to EMU’s campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia, since moving last fall to “the cornfields of Iowa,” as my boss Jack Rutt likes to say. It was a short trip, just three days on campus, but on Friday the 24th I facilitated a workshop primarily geared toward… Read more »

Seminary experiments with live sessions & video in online course

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Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 2.30.53 PM

This just-concluded spring semester was the first time an online course offered at Eastern Mennonite Seminary made use of synchronous online activities, which we facilitate through WebEx. In ed-tech lingo, “synchronous” describes any activity that takes place in real-time, in online/virtual space. This is a particularly important moment for EMS because they have been doing… Read more »

Bravo to Amherst faculty!

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In what is probably the first public “rejection letter” handed to the heretofore uncriticized MOOC phenomenon, Amherst College has said “No thanks” to joining the non-profit platform, edX. The piece at Inside Higher Ed offers some of the reasons why faculty voted down the prospect after months of negotiations with edX. They’re worth listing out… Read more »

Reusable online video: A field report

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In a previous post, I showcased the work that Doug Graber Neufeld undertook to record his lectures for an online earth sciences course last summer. I mentioned that fact that Doug planned to reuse the videos to flip the on-campus version of the same course this spring. Well, the spring semester at EMU is starting… Read more »

Webinars: Substantive proselytizing for your program

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The medium is the message? (Photo by Vincent Diamante/Flickr)

First off: I’m being a bit tongue-in-cheek with the word “proselytizing” above. In the highly secularized tech industry, it’s not uncommon to see someone with the job title “product evangelist.” This should strike those of us in Christian higher ed as funny. So I’m merely playing with that a bit there in the title (and… Read more »

Beyond the LMS

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(Click for the PDF version of the whole diagram)

There’s an excellent post by Sean Michael Morris (@slamteacher) over at Hybrid Pedagogy, on Decoding Digital Pedagogy…Beyond the LMS. The piece has some critical things to say about the LMS, which at EMU we have seen manifested as Blackboard and in recent years Moodle. There are many quips that I’d love to post here, but this… Read more »

Problematizing the MOOC

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(Image by gbl55, remix of ‘la vaca de los sinvaca‘ by José Bogado/Flickr)

The experience of participating in the Intro to Philosophy MOOC over the past two weeks has my ed-tech brain buzzing with questions and possibilities. I’ll briefly say that my suspicions over lack of a sense of cohort were confirmed when surveying the message boards for the course, where tens of thousands of people are posting… Read more »

Pedagogy tweet-chat, Feb. 1

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Just yesterday I discovered the site Hybrid Pedagogy (@HybridPed) – “a digital journal of teaching and learning” – and I’m already hooked. As I was starting to explore their site, I found out that they were hosting a live chat on Twitter over my lunch hour, under the hashtag #digpded. Using Hootsuite - my social media dashboard… Read more »

All aboard the MOOC train!

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Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895

Many like Nathan Harden are saying that the MOOC signals “The End of the University as We Know It.” Free online higher education, Harden argues, is part of the shifting sands for established higher ed institutions in the U.S. If you put much stock in 20-30 year predictions (I don’t), schools like EMU run the… Read more »

Human connection and ed-tech in Mennonite higher ed

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In the January 7th issue of the Mennonite World Review, president emeritus of Fresno Pacific University, D. Merrill Ewert, laid out a few of the 21st century challenges facing Mennonite higher education. They include: A broken financial model (including reduced congregational support of colleges) Rise of the for-profits (University of Phoenix, et al.) New faculty majority… Read more »