Educause 2010: Building Collaborative Digital Classrooms

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.

Helle talking about different models of video conferences.

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:

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.


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2 Responses to Educause 2010: Building Collaborative Digital Classrooms

  1. Pingback: Library Game | The Rhetoric of Gaming

  2. Helle Rytkonen says:

    I agree that the workshop went really well, and it was particularly interesting to find out what other universities are doing or planning on doing, and the kinds of issues and concerns they have (e.g. some IT specialists expressed concern over how to motivate professors and lecturers to engage in this and were interested in how much work goes into planning and executing cross-cultural rhetoric classes; others wondered how we as educators negotiate the work and the pedagogical approach with our international partners)

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