I know this is the same feeling I get every year, but didn’t I just get here? It’s Friday when I write this summary of Thursday (day 2). I’ll write this as best I can without expressing the small sense of sadness of saying goodbye to friends and colleagues, while also the feeling of anticipation of returning home.
Day 2 is the busiest day of this conference, where a full slate of presentations from 9:00 until 5:00 are scheduled. I mentioned last year the tendency to feel as if I’m missing out if I choose a section or presentation, only to find that another presentation across the hall was a life-changing event or something. So it goes. This year was no different, however, the conference organizers stepped up the social media application. We used Guidebook this year, an application new to me. This allowed for conference participants to check in within the application, find other participants and send messages, schedule attendance, and share photos. In some ways, Guidebook creates something of a walled-in space to share information and thoughts about the conference, something also handled by using the conference hashtag on existing platforms like Twiter. I found the scheduling feature to be more simple and intuitive than other conference applications, though the scale of the conference may have something to do with that. (CSWE’s Annual Program is a whole different thing, and I’m sure I’ve missed really good opportunities every year just due to the massive scale of that Con.)
What I saw today
For #SWDE2018 I sought out sessions that addressed the transfer or courses from IRL to either a hybrid or online course. This is always easier said than done, and a lot of assumptions about how this process is handled remain. As I noted in my last conference summary post, Prof. Matthea Marquart of Columbia University presented on the subject of connecting online and IRL students in the same space and time. Today, Professor Christopher Ward of Winthrop University discussed this transition from face-to-face to online and provided a matrix containing a lot of concise detail on applications and platforms to aid in this transition.
In the next session, Professors Jae McQueen and Ann Obermann of the University of Denver discussed the critical pedagogy, and how this applies to your course design and evaluation. As an opening exercise, the members of the audience were asked to consider five terms that we think describe ourselves. Then we were asked to consider if these descriptors come to our students’ minds. The ensuing discussion probed these ideas. This was part of a larger discussion about how we present ourselves as instructors to our students.
At the last session, I attended, Dr. Todd Sage, assistant professor at the University of Buffalo and Dr. Nathalie Jones, assistant professor at Tarleton State, presented on using tech platforms outside the standard learning management system. Flipgrid was featured as an example of an easily applicable tool. I confess I’ve wanted to implement for a while now but haven’t done it yet.
What I Did Today
I was very fortunate to present with my colleague, Associate Professor Julia Kleinshmit. We discussed a policy-focused signature assignment for our school’s Organization and Community Practice class. This assignment is designed to have students engage as a professional advocate for community policy change using social media. In my view, this helps elevate the use of social media beyond “slactivism“. Use of social media is sometimes equated with ineffective signaling rather than the pursuit of change; this assignment is meant to elevate the use of major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube).
Today I also created and presented my first poster presentation. I covered the basics of the #MacrosW Collaboration, with which I am a partner. I was very excited to talk about this collaboration. I look forward to more presentations like this. Speaking directly to people who have interest in the topic presented on the poster felt rewarding. I used Google Slides to present on this topic.
Dr. Laurel Iverson Hitchcock created a blog post on how to incorporate #MacroSW chat in the classroom.
It was a fantastic day, which ended with a few colleagues gathering at a restaurant just south of the Riverwalk. I threw my family off balance when I said I was having oysters for dinner in Texas. Always challenge the bias.