Anatomy of an ed-tech workshop


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 »

Bravo to Amherst faculty!


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 »

Beyond the LMS


(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


(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 »

All aboard the MOOC train!


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


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 »

Partnering with faculty for online instructional design


Photo by Teo Romera via Flickr

This week I found a helpful article by Laura Lea on the Moodlerooms blog… Best Practices: Sharing the Lanes of Design and Facilitation in Online Courses I’ll get back to this article in a minute, but first let me set some context for how it factors into my work… In my role as Distance Learning… Read more »

The frailty of community in MOOCs



Now that the PR hysteria around MOOCs has died down and there are actual courses running, I’m trying to track the experience of MOOC students, some of whom are blogging about their experiences. Here’s a helpful piece from Audrey Watters that talks about the peer feedback system in Coursera, one of the big two MOOC… Read more »

An ed-tech ecosystem…always evolving


Ed-tech Ecosystem Aug 2012

When I started my work in May, my task was deceptively simple: Help EMU standardize on a web conferencing platform to facilitate a synchronous online classroom experience. Virtual/online class sessions had been used previously in a few of the graduate programs here at EMU, but with no standardization. The Nursing and MBA programs used GoToMeeting,… Read more »

Reflecting on “Elicitive Pedagogy in the Digital Age”


In the spring 2012 semester I played the role of tech facilitator for an online class in restorative justice at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). At the time I was their resident tech/web/social media nerd, so I had also been involved in the design process for this class, which was the first online class… Read more »