2017 UW | Bothell eLearning Symposium

We completed our Third Annual eLearning Symposium yesterday here at UW | Bothell. We had about twenty faculty and staff from not only the Bothell campus, but Seattle too. It was great to see our colleagues from UW take the time to share their experiences with us.

Our theme for the day was “Learning Everywhere” and our focus was on mobile learning. We shared some stories about the progress of technology, the positive capabilities it brings, and the challenges it creates. As the UW system has recently contracted with Zoom for faculty to get pro accounts, we used Zoom to bring in three guest speakers and we created a course in Canvas so the participants could see how the Canvas app works.

For a quick visual overview you can see all the #uwblearns Tweets here.
You can see most of the Canvas course we used here.

Our Quest to Find the Right Way to Deliver a Day Long Workshop

We did a couple things that we liked. One, was we used Adobe Spark to create some advertising. We used the “Post” feature to create a quick image to include in email, and we used the “Page” feature to create a quick ad sharing more information. Take a look below.

2017 UW | Bothell ELearning Symposium

We had some fancy 11 in. x 17 in. handouts that made the tables look nice and gave the faculty and staff a way to express their ideas using crayons and markers.

handouts used in workshop

We also really chopped up the day. We had five presenters and each had only 15 minutes. Not quite as short as a “spark” or “ignite” session. More TED talk length. After each presenter we had the participants do a 15 minute long activity where they created something. We have included some of that below.

We began the day with Alan Levine sharing some illustrations of the use and power of images in our daily lives. Alan lives in Strawberry, Arizona and has incredible experience with technology, crafting spaces on the web and a deep appreciation for the aesthetic of the web. He created an awesome resource about “Creativity and Connectivity” for our participants here. After his talk, the symposium participants shared images through a Canvas discussion and with others using the ds106 Daily Create.

We had a number of wonderful images taken and shared. We discussed how seeing learning, and the tools available to us, from many angels can help us better understand what capacity they may have.

Our next speaker, Ursula Valdez, brought a variety of wonderful items with her and shared some stories about her students creating images that combined elements to tell stories.

The next speaker came to us from Bristol, UK.

Vivien Rolfe shared her experiences as an open educator and the value of sharing work and experiences, like we are doing right here, with others.

For our activity, we used a video conversation tool called Flipgrid. Here is the conversation.

Our next speaker was Greg Tuke, a faculty here at UW | Bothell. Greg has taught many COIL courses and has a lot of experience with video conference in academic settings. He shared 7 ideas that will help facilitate using video conferencing tools like Zoom.

Our activity following his talk was a look at the “Chat” feature in Canvas. In our experiences, few faculty use the tool. Often, that is because they are simply unfamiliar with it. So we thought a short look at how it works might be useful. As it was almost lunch, there was a lot of conversation about food.

chat discussion in Canvas

For lunch we broke into round table discussions. And we ate.

For our last presenter, we had he participants go to other locations to view the Zoom session by Christina Hendricks from the University of British Columbia. She addressed the challenges and opportunities of mobile tools in both formal and informal settings. It was nice to see all the individual faces in the Zoom room. We are still new to Zoom and we learned a lot about how it works.

We then did a short demonstration of Poll Everywhere and we had some good conversations about how we learn and where we learn that fit well with Christina’s talk.

Then we asked the participants to self-organize into small groups and create something that illustrated their vision of mobile learning. The directions were simple, but asked that they create a video, two images and some text.

Two groups used Spark, one group used a Google Doc, and another a page in Canvas.
Here are the two Spark pages they created.

One group project

Another group project

We dig this video created by one of the groups!

For the last activity we played a quick Kahoot game and we had some nice prizes. Including some nice shirts from the good people at Zoom!

We got good feedback about the day and we look forward to next year!

Of Vinyl Signs and Other Signs

I am lucky to be able to walk to work. I do. Everyday.

I walk along a river and through a park. It is beautiful.

Today, when I reached the campus I made a short detour and stopped by the beautiful roses blooming in the gardens of our Teaching and Learning Center. How wonderful is that! A teaching and Learning Center with a garden! It is beautiful.

I recorded the moment. I shared it.

What a glorious beginning to the first day of summer here on campus.

Even in all that beauty, I left the garden with an ache that I have had most every time I visit the garden. It is this: The sign for the Teaching and Learning Center is a piece of vinyl strung up mostly strait across the front of a lovely old farm house.

It does not seem like an integral or permanent part of the building. It is an after thought. It reminds me of the level of support I have seen at most teaching and learning centers. It reminds me of lip-service to trends in education. Of an award given reluctantly. That is not beautiful. It does not seem as if it is there permanently. It is a temporary sign.

There is a story in there. Enough said.

I wonder how long that vinyl banner will last.

When You Plan for Fun Activities but Just Keep Talking

Last week, I attended the Building Bridges conference in Spokane, Washington. The conference is regional, always located in the Pacific Northwest states, and it brought a variety of people in the education landscape to the beautiful downtown area of Spokane. I had never seen the Spokane Falls or the beautiful Centennial Trail that covers about 50 miles along the Spokane river.  One afternoon I took a nice run along the river and ran around the Gonzaga University campus for a bit.

The conference had good attendance and the venue was beautiful.

I tried out a new presentation about ways we may better engage faculty in development opportunities as educators.Conference Website banner

Here is the website I used as a presentation. No PowerPoints allowed for me these days. I figure I am the presentation, and I can make the website do all the work I need for visuals. As usual, I shook the hands of all who entered the session and joked about the Harry Nilsson playing in the background. There were about 30 attendees and I had some good activities for them to complete during the session. Sadly, I never got to them.

I had in mind an active session, but I got caught up in explaining the ideas I was presenting. As a presenter, it is an interesting thing to have grand plans that are instantly recognized as impossible. I knew after about ten minutes that I had too many damn things to say and I was going to choose telling them stuff rather than to have them do stuff.

I told them as much. At least I was honest about my plan and my choice to follow a new path. No one seemed too upset. Some of the things I shared were kinds catchy and fun, and I did ask if people had questions a number of times during the session. There was some interaction and some participants did do the activities I had prepared. Generally, the message I had was received.

Without going into much detail, I tried to share some of the professional development activities I have been involved in that were variations on the hour-long workshop, a PDF file, or website with some information on it. You can see those listed along the top navigation on the presentation website listed above. Essentially, trying to find formats, timeframes, and content that fit together in a way that make them things faculty want to do. That is tricky.

I got good feedback from some participants saying that they may use some of the ideas expressed in the future. I suppose that is a win!

I struggled with the room set up as usual. I almost got the nerve up to move the tables into a large horseshoe, but wimped out.

I met some really good people from all over the PNW and hope to be able to attend the event again next year.

Our New 20 Minute a Day Canvas Workout!

This should be fun! Along with sort of moderating it, I just finished two presentations for next month.

One is about changing our professional development model from a static resource and one hour workshop to some longer events. The other is about making workshops you do have more interesting.

event banner decorative

Beginning Monday, February 27th!
20 Minutes a Day – 5 Days

Join your colleagues for a fun and fast paced five-day Canvas Workout.

It is all online, so you won’t even have to get out of your chair! In just 20 minutes or less each day we are going to stretch your Canvas muscles and make you feel great about your capabilities using Canvas.

Each daily workout contains a short reading and an activity to complete. After the workout, you can hang out and chat with your colleagues or just dry off and head home. Either way, you’ll have stretched yourself a bit and that will make you feel good!

To register, please add your name and email address here. You will be added to the workout course as an instructor and it will be available at 8:00 am on Monday the 27th.

See you at the workout!

If you have questions about the workout, or Canvas in general, please contact Todd at tconaway@uw.edu or 425.352.5334

Your personal trainers for this workout are your friendly partners at UWB Learning Technologies.