Iowa State University IT Services Academic Technologies staff regularly attend talks, seminars, and conferences in the areas of information technology and educational technology. This allows us to share our experiences with new and innovative topics and projects we are developing while learning from our peers at other educational institutions. We also regularly try to encourage university faculty to join us and share their experiences of participating in various educational technology projects and pilot studies.
Below are links to recently attended conferences with a short description of their focus and what we learned there.
2015 Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC) annual conference (Oct. 14th through 18th)
2015 Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) annual conference
The 2015 CALICO conference was held in June in Boulder, Colorado and attended by Iowa State University staff member Jacob E. Larsen. He presented with several Iowa State University colleagues and faculty, including Dr. Richmond Dzekoe and Dr. Karina Silva, lecturer and e-learning coordinator in the Intensive English and Orientation Program.
Larsen was there to present on the use of ePortfolios in an intensive English program.
Notable themes from the conference included mobile learning using the ARIS game creation tool, the use of digital gaming for language learning, the use of mobile-assisted language learning, faculty training and digital badging and other topics on the use of technology for language learning.
Several of these themes are being actively explored by faculty and staff in different areas and departments at Iowa State University, including IT Services. In addition, Larsen was able to network with faculty, language instructors, and tech support personnel from various national and international universities.
2015 SITE annual conference
SITE–Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge through the SITE conference, books, collaborative projects with other organizations, and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (Adapted from SITE About page).
The 2015 SITE conference was held from March 2nd through 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada and attended by ISU IT Services staff member Jacob E. Larsen. At the conference, he presented on the ISU Techstarter initiative and held a roundtable discussion on Faculty Engagement Strategies. In addition, he held a roundtable discussion on Using e-portfolios in Language Teacher Education Programs: Reflective Practice and Professional Growth together with Dr. Shu-Ju Diana Tai, postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching and Dr. Karina Silva, lecturer and e-learning coordinator in the Intensive English and Orientation Program. The conference was also attended by several other ISU faculty members, including Dr. Larysa N. Nadolny, Assistant Professor in the School of Education and Dr. Denise Crawford, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching in the School of Education.
Notable themes from the conference included the potential of wearable devices in education, mobile learning and mobile devices in the classroom, digital badges and gamification, as well as faculty training. Several of these themes are being actively explored by faculty and staff in different areas and departments at Iowa State University, including IT Services.
2015 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting
The ELI Annual Meeting was held face-to-face in Anaheim and online February 9-11, 2015. This year's meeting was organized around six themes: assessment of student learning; online and blended teaching and learning; faculty development; working with emerging technology, future models, and academic transformation; learning analytics; and evaluating technology-based instructional innovations. (Adapted from ELI Agenda and Program).
Two ISU IT Services staff members attended the 2015 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California: Jim Twetten, Director, and Jacob E. Larsen, Emerging Technology Specialist.
During the three-day conference Jim and Jacob collaborated to cover the greatest amount of sessions within their respective areas of interest from the more than 100 sessions offered. One of the highlights was the talk given by Dr. Peter Doolittle titled From Silver Bullets to First Principles: Effectively Leveraging Technology in Higher Education. He spoke on the topic of how higher education “has a tendency to look for and accept silver bullets, uber-easy and uber-effective solutions to complex and wicked problems, without the necessary scrutiny”. He suggests that more sound approaches, “grounded in ‘first principles’ of learning,” are used to evaluate innovative applications of technology and that these first principles center on “foundational and evidenced-based findings that can guide our development of effective instructional environments” (2015 ELI Program).
At the conference, Jim and Jacob did two presentations together on the topic of Faculty Engagement Strategies: One poster and one online presentation where they discussed the empirical data they have collected on the topic during the past year through surveys of higher education faculty and staff at various North American and international institutions. In addition, they moderated a learning circle on this topic, which was very well attended, having more than 65 participants actively engaged in discussing how higher education faculty can best be engaged in exploring innovative educational technologies, how faculty training on these technologies can best be conducted, and what obstacles faculty support staff face in this process. Jim also joined a panel on the FLEXspace system, Enhancing the value of the FLEXspace system with peer review, which recapped the “efforts of the FLEXspace project as it has migrated to a production service and outline the peer-review process under development” (2015 ELI Program).
2014 Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC) annual conference
The mission of CCUMC is to provide leadership and a forum for information exchange to the providers of media content, academic technology, and support for quality teaching and learning at institutions of higher education.
Two ISU IT Services staff members attended the 2014 CCUMC Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon from October 15th to the 19th: Jim Twetten, Director and Jacob E. Larsen, Emerging Technology Specialist.
During the five-day conference Twetten and Larsen attended several interesting talks on innovative technologies and approaches such as Makerspaces, media distribution in higher education and wireless interactive classrooms. Of particular interest was the keynote speech by Eric Denna, CIO at University of Maryland, who discussed the business model of higher education. He believes that while public higher education institutions have a lot of subject matter expertise this must be paired with comparable skills in instructional design, delivery and assessment which not all institutions have. If public institutions do not evolve more rapidly they risk being overtaken by new and more flexible learning opportunities in the market. Consequently, he encouraged the attendees to ‘disrupt or be disrupted’.
Larsen and Twetten also presented on projects that ISU IT Services is part of and research conducted at our institution. Twetten was part of two panels: one on the topic of FlexSpace, the other on audience response technology (‘clickers’). Twetten and Larsen also co-presented on ISU’s new Techstarter initiative which is sourcing new and innovative educational technology ideas from students, faculty and staff and on the ongoing, longitudinal study of faculty engagement strategies which is eliciting feedback from national and international institutions of higher education on the use and efficacy of various strategies to engage faculty in the use of educational technology.
2014 Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) annual conference
The 2014 CALICO conference was held in May in Athens, Ohio and attended by Iowa State University staff member Jacob E. Larsen. He presented with several Iowa State University colleagues and faculty, including Dr. Shu-Ju Diana Tai, postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, Dr. Richmond Dzekoe, Dr. Karina Silva, lecturer and e-learning coordinator in the Intensive English and Orientation Program and Dr. Aliye Karabulut Ilgu, Postdoc Research Associate in the Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering. More than 10 other ISU faculty, staff and students also attended the conference, including Dr. Volker Hegelheimer, Professor of English, Dr. Jim Ranalli, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the English Department and Stephanie Korslund, Director of the Language Studies Resource Center in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
Larsen was there to participate in a panel discussion on computer assisted language learning and speak of his practical experience and theoretical knowledge of how to assist teachers with technology integration.
Notable themes from the conference included learning analytics, mobile-assisted language learning, augmented reality, and digital badging. Several of these themes are being actively explored by faculty and staff in different areas and departments at Iowa State University, including IT Services. In addition, Larsen was able to network with faculty, language instructors and tech support personnel from various national and international universities.
2014 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting
The ELI Annual Meeting was held face-to-face in New Orleans, and online on February 3-5, 2014. This year's meeting was organized around six themes, identified directly by the ELI Community. These themes or content anchors included emerging technology, future modeling, and academic transformation; mobile learning; methods for evaluating technology-based instructional innovations; online and blended teaching and learning; e-textbooks; and learning analytics (Adapted from ELI Program and Agenda).
Three ISU IT Services staff members attended the 2014 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Luisiana: Jim Twetten, Director; Mike Wilson, Creative Services Manager; and Jacob E. Larsen, Emerging Technology Specialist. They were joined by Dr. Jared Danielson, Assistant Professor of veterinary pathology and Laurie Kruzich, Practicum Placement Coordinator in Food Science & Human Nutrition who were giving a presentation on their use of the Pathfinder and ThinkSpace educational technology tools.
During the three-day conference Jim, Mike and Jacob collaborated to cover the greatest amount of sessions within their respective areas of interest from the more than 100 sessions offered. One of the highlights was the closing keynote by Steven Mintz of the University of Texas System. He spoke on the rapidly approaching changes that, he says, will transform higher education in as little as 18 months to two years. According to Mintz, as universities across the country struggle with increasing enrollment, budget issues, and legislative mandates, they will need to re-imagine core processes and develop flexible responses.
One tool that might be of great use is Learning Analytics, which allows for deep analysis of learners, their progress, and the difficulties they encounter. But while that tool rests on a solid technology base, and requires sophisticated systems and staff analysts to implement, it is equally an institutional cultural issue. Before the data can be used to make meaningful decisions, there must be the will and desire of faculty and programs to leverage the tool; an implementation maturity that some institutions are finding difficult to accomplish (Adapted from ITS Inside article by Mike Wilson).
2013 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference
The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is the premier gathering for higher education IT professionals. It provides content and exploration of today’s toughest technology issues facing campuses around the world, and convenes some of the brightest minds in the community.
The EDUCAUSE 2013 conference was held in October in Anaheim, CA, and attended by Iowa State University staff members Jim Twetten, Angela Bradley, Josh Mack, and Deb Hoyt. Among other things, Twetten was there to present on the FLEXspace repository system (https://sites.google.com/site/flexspacedev/) and Bradley was there to present on ISU’s new VoIP system installed at ISU in the summer of 2013.
Themes from the conference included reports and presentations from early adopter institutions on the use of learning analytics, and the massive institutional buy-in that is necessary to make such a system acquisition broadly impactful. Adaptive learning and advising was the prominent emerging theme on the academic technology side of IT at this conference, with early impressions from vendors and the few innovative institutions that have embarked on that path.
Some of the ISU attendees were able to share their experiences on areas of expertise, and demonstrate leadership to the higher education IT community. At the same time, all attendees benefitted from learning about the projects and paths of their peers. Twetten also serves on EDUCAUSE’s Advisory Committee on Teaching & Learning, which met during the conference and focused on tools that would help IT leadership communicate to academic leadership.
EDUCAUSE 2014 begins on September 30th in Orlando, FL. This full EDUCAUSE conference is their largest event of the year, and features IT reports, presentations, and vendors from every aspect of IT – academic, administrative, security, infrastructure, networking, and user services (to name a few).