On Tuesday, October 12, Helle Rytkønen and I had the exciting experience of going own to Anaheim, California to participate in the 2010 Educause Conference. We ran a workshop (developed in conjunction with Alyssa O’Brien and Julia Bleakney) on “Building Collaborative Digital Classrooms,” using our work in CCR as a framework for initiating discussions about how technology can be leveraged to foster connections for deeper learning within a university and across universities.
Here’s the official description of our workshop:
Led by Stanford University faculty who have developed a program in global learning through video-conference, blog, chat, and wiki technologies with universities across five continents, this hands-on seminar will enable participants to learn innovative strategies for technologically-mediated collaboration among students working in globally-distributed teams.
Participants will engage three activity-based sessions, focused on pedagogical approaches, technology tools, and institutional infrastructures. Attendees will have a chance to apply curricular materials to their own curricular contexts, experiment with different technologies for global connections, and discuss best practices for advancing technologically-facilitated global learning as administrative initiatives. Included will be a demonstration of the technological innovations on a sliding scale of accessibility, from basic blogging to video-mediated learning labs. Case studies, resources, and research will be shared to aid participants in implementing this work at home institutions, and participants will have an opportunity to discuss challenges and solutions in their own educational contexts.
It wasn’t just Helle and I speaking however, though we were the only workshop leaders on site. We also supplemented our We’re also face-to-face discussion with some “guest” speakers:
- Julia Bleakney attended virtually from Stanford, to talk about blogging during an hour-long small group session;
- John Paval joined us virtually from Stockholm, to speak on his experiences as a virtual guest speaker for CCR;
- Bob Smith from Stanford joined us virtually to share his perspective on the institutional and infrastructural considerations for a project of this sort;
- and Alyssa O’Brien (who was flying back after delivering a presentation at the Nordic Rhetoric Conference in Sweden) contributed a prerecorded a video for us to share about theories of intercultural communication.
Here are some of the materials that we distributed during the session:
- A Bibliography and Goal-Setting Sheet to help participants consider how to develop a curriculum based on intercultural competencies at their home institution
- A Tech Overview Handout that provides a framework for thinking about how to match curricular goals with technological platforms
- Sample Blogging assignments and Tech Instructions, which can be found on our Blogging Materials page on the Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Blog
- Sample Video conference lessons that can be found on our New Partners page on the CCR website (ccr.stanford.edu).
The workshop itself went very well; we were excited to have so many adminstrators and IT professionals join in our discussion. In many cases, we hope to nurture the new connections we made at Educause and move forward toward even more collaborative partnerships.