I’ll be posting this week from the 27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning in Madison, WI.
The high temperatures for the week in Madison are supposed to range from the lower 90s to, get this my fellow Okies, maybe even the low 80s. There’s rain in the forecast, too. I’m sorry to rub it in, but I’ll be glad to escape the Oklahoma heat for a few days, especially this week.
My presentation, “Electronic me: Digital identity in the online classroom,” deals overall with how university students and faculty members construct their “webselves” through blogs, web pages, video and, of course, social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and now Google+.
I think digital identities are an important aspect of how we define ourselves these days, and these identities are only going to become more important in the years to come in academia and in other workplaces. As I point out, it’s going to become increasingly difficult for faculty members and students to ignore the ramifications of their web identities, whether they create them or someone else does.
I argue, “We need to know that our web identities are constantly in play as new information about us and our students emerge on the Internet and as new technologies and social media emerge as well.”
Some other session titles look promising to me. They include “Creating a support community for new faculty teaching online,” “Education, multimedia, and social media: Are we ready for showtime?,” “Ensuring the instructor’s voice is present in online, asynchronous classrooms,” and “Using mobile technology to empower student learning.” But these are not the only presentations that have attracted my attention. I just wanted to give you an idea of some of what we’re talking about in online education these days.
Online teaching on the college level has come a long way in the last decade or so, and conferences like this allow faculty members, administrators, IT staff and technology companies to share ideas and best practices.
Stay cool when I’m gone!