Summer Faculty Institute on Learning Technologies at NJCU

Fresh from the Faculty Institute at NJIT, I will be participating in another similar event at New Jersey City University. Their Academic Computing group and the Center for Teaching and Learning, in collaboration with the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, is hosting their first Summer Faculty Institute on Learning Technologies. The three-day institute is a time to connect with colleagues, guest speakers, and to get hands-on practice with new technologies.

I will be one of the keynote speakers (on June 3). My talk - "I Have A Theory About Learning" - will hopefully give the faculty a number of ways to think about learning theory that is emerging from current technologies. I know that some of those will be developed further in sessions offered during the three days. My take on some of these topics may be a bit unexpected. For example, rather than talk about flipping the classroom, I am more interested in flipping the teacher and flipping professional development.

Craig Kapp is another keynote. He is  an interactive developer that I have seen before demonstrating some really interesting tech he has developed. I first met him when he was in Instructional Technology at TCNJ.  Now, he's at New York University as a Researcher in Residence at the Interactive Telecommunications Program. His company is ZooBurst, a web-based startup that focuses on bringing augmented reality digital storytelling tools into classrooms around the world.

Eric Sheninger is the third keynote. I have not met him before but know of him and follow him on social media. Eric is a  Principal at New Milford High School in NJ, but he is known for his work on leading and learning in the digital age. "Pillars of Digital Leadership" is a framework for educators to initiate sustainable change to transform school cultures. His book is Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times.

I will also be doing a workshop session on bringing Open Educational Resources (OER) into courses. The good thing about having two hours in a workshop setting is that rather than just try to sell faculty on using something like open textbooks or open courseware, we can actually look at sites that offer them and try to find some resources that work for their classes.

Too often professional development sessions give faculty good ideas to use, but then they have to leave and do the work of designing to implement those ideas. And that's where the model breaks down.

One idea in my opening talk is that with all the talk about "flipping the classroom" I would like to hear more about flipping the teacher and flipping professional development/learning.   I think that professional development would be more effective if some of it was done online and on-your-own prior to going to any face-to-face session. Get the theory out of the way and use the synchronous time to do the work and application.

The other NJCU sessions will be looking at how to use Personal Learning Networks, flipping the classroom, lecture capture, augmented reality, data visualization and mobile devices, assistive technology for faculty and students, clickers for class and online polling, social media technologies as tools to engage college student, and robots in education for STEM and NAO.

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