Join your colleagues for presentations, discussions, and conversation about the role and use of IT in higher education. Select sessions from the annual Educause Conference in Philadelphia will be streamed live October 19-21 at the Technology Resource Center inside the Purdy/Kresge Library.

There is a list of topics at the bottom of this posting, along with the abstract for each presentation.

All sessions are free of charge but seating is limited, so reserve your place by registering through Pipeline. Go to the Faculty tab then click on Click on Educause Online Conference. Peruse the various sessions and choose which ones you want to see and sign up. Come to as many or as few as you’d like.

One lucky conference-goer will win a BlackBerry® PlayBook® tablet from Sprint®—the more sessions you attend, the better your chances!

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Come, and learn about the state of the art and the possible state of the future for IT in teaching, learning and research.

Topics and Times

Invisible or Remarkable? Wed. 8 AM-9:45

The most precious commodity available today is attention. Best-selling author Seth Godin will describe the realities of our postindustrial world. It turns out that ideas that spread win, that stories rule, not facts, and that remarkable products and services are the most profitable and most likely to succeed. He will discuss how to avoid serving the meatball sundae, mismatching the new marketing with the old, and maintaining the status quo. He will also address how to ship products that make a difference, leadership as the most effective form of marketing for a new generation and a new economy, the privilege of becoming a linchpin, and the obligation to “poke the box.”

ECAR Student and IT Study Wed. 10:30-11:20

The ECAR Study of Student Technology, 2011  surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,000 undergraduates. The findings offer insights into which technologies students use most often, which they find of most value to their academic success, and how well students believe their institutions are supporting technologies. Come hear insights about what students want from technology, how they are using it, and how they feel about it.

The Remixed University, Wed. 11:30-12:20

Open educational resources can be central to how universities pursue their mission of education and research through infrastructure. Initiatives like open courseware and open institutional repositories harness the power of the Internet to support scholarly values through open dissemination of scholarly products. The flip side is to transcend campus boundaries in supporting university functions with developments like hosted services and mobile platforms, crowdsourcing of instructional functions, and educational offerings where remote students can participate in on-campus courses. These possibilities are reshaping the idea of the university from an isolated city on a hill to an open gathering place where ideas and experiences mix and remix.

DIY U: Edupunks and the Future of Higher Education Wed. 2:30-3:20

Open content, blended learning, prior learning assessment, and personal learning networks and paths are all shaping the future of higher education. The common threads are technology, social media, unbundling of services, and increased personalization. In this time of disruptive innovation, hear success stories of institutions that are collaborating to respond positively to the challenges of securing funding, providing access, and ensuring quality teaching and learning.

Are Labs Still Necessary? Three Perspectives on Changing Trends in Student Computing Services, Wed. 3:30-4:20

With increasing computer ownership by students, accompanied by tightening budgets and the availability of new virtual delivery tools, many administrators are asking whether campus computer labs are still necessary. George Mason University, Temple University, and the University of Virginia will discuss approaches and challenges in the provision of student computing services.

E-Portfolios in Online Learning: Student and Faculty Perspectives, Wed. 4:50-5:40

Built on 15 core competencies of the profession (our MLIS program learning outcomes), the SJSU SLIS e-Portfolio is a culminating project that has been a transformative experience for both our students and our program. We will share our curricular, technical, and administrative successes and challenges in this interactive panel discussion.

Online Learning: What College Presidents and the Public Think About Its Future Thu. 8:00 AM-8:50

Students are plugging in, online courses are filling up, and walls are coming down. Online learning is going mainstream, but the debate over quality shows no signs of dying down, according to two major surveys of college presidents and Americans by the Pew Research Center and  The Chronicle of Higher Education . The public, in particular, questions whether students engage as effectively online as in a brick-and-mortar classroom. Among presidents, leaders of two-year colleges are the most bullish on the future of online education; presidents of four-year private colleges are the most skeptical.

Next Generation Learning Challenges: New Models for Learning, Thu. 9:00-9:50

Next Generation Learning Challenges launched in October 2010 to help identify barriers to college readiness and completion to which technology may be effectively applied and for which promising information technology solutions have emerged. This fall, NGLC will focus on educational models that reorganize the learning process and redefine students’ experience of “college” to serve as testing grounds, proof points, and as a source of competitive pressure to generate improved outcomes through the entire system. In this panel session, learn more about the ways that organizations are redefining next generation learning and learning outcomes.

Privacy in an Era of Social Media, Thu., 10:30-11:20

There is a widespread myth that young people don’t care about privacy. Embedded in this myth is an assumption that participation in public social media services indicates a rejection of privacy. Yet, just because people want to participate in public life doesn’t mean that they want everything they do to go down on their permanent record or to be publicized for the whole world to see. This talk will examine the strategies that young people take to secure their privacy in highly public environments like Facebook and Twitter and why those in higher ed should care.

Mobile Learning: Applications That Change Distraction to Discussion, Thu., 1:30-2:20

Purdue University offers students and faculty a series of mobile applications designed for use both in and out of the classroom. Learn how a collection of focused mobile tools can be broadly implemented by a variety of courses to enable student collaboration and assessment.

Data Security: It’s All About the Desktop, Thu 2:30-3:20

Data is only as secure as the weakest link. After experiencing our share of computer thefts, viruses, and simple carelessness at Vassar, we are implementing a broad spectrum of desktop technologies and policies to tighten security and increase awareness. This session will describe the best-practice and new-practice solutions that we are implementing.

As Learning Goes Mobile, Thu., 4:00-4:50

In this session, we’ll discuss the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project’s latest findings about how people (especially young adults) use mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers (iPads). We’ll explore how the mobile revolution has combined with the social networking revolution to produce new kinds of learning and knowledge-sharing environments and the challenges and opportunities this presents to colleges and teachers. Technology has enabled students to become different kinds of learners. We’ll explore what this means.

Chronicle Tech Trends: Challenges for the Future “Unbundled” University, Thu., 5:00-5:50

Technology is “unbundling” the university. In five years, students will mix online and in-person courses, professors will rely on new course formats and modules from multiple colleges, and the library will be dispersed. These trends present serious challenges.  The Chronicle of Higher Education  technology reporters will describe emerging best practices at several institutions.

Essential Attributes of Faculty Professional Development: The Excellence in Online Education Initiative, Fri. 8:30 AM-9:20

Professional development in best practices for online teaching is essential to ensuring the success of new online instructors. In this session, learn the 12 essential attributes of faculty professional development programs informed by adult learning theory. Hear how they were implemented through an action research process and see them illustrated through Bay Path College’s unique three-tiered approach to online faculty development that includes a comprehensive orientation, mentoring, and ongoing support. Session attendees will be able to share their programs’ components that fit these attributes and discover new ways to implement them.

What Does It Take to Make Innovation Work?–Measure and Understand the Impact, Fri., 9:30-10:20

In the Netherlands, higher education institutions are jointly seeking to optimize the preconditions to facilitate promising IT initiatives by determining successful approaches through measurable improvements. We have invested in building an infrastructure for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professionalization. Shared evaluation adds a new aspect to this innovation community. Like reverse engineering, innovators can define-at the start of a project or program-the relevant qualitative and quantitative factors to measure during and after. Together they will articulate what the impact of innovation involves and identify and evaluate the various forms that it takes. As a result, innovators and funding bodies can plan, identify, and measure the potential impact much more effectively.

IT from Both Sides of the Executive Table, Fri., 10:45-11:45

Information technology plays a fundamental and growing role in enabling education and research, yet the CIO’s role in leading that evolution for colleges and universities is far from clear. As a former CIO, vice president for research, and provost and current university president, Michael McRobbie will share his insights on the leadership opportunities and responsibilities for CIOs and their critical role in reshaping institutions.

Follow-up on FOIA’s

You may recall a blog post from last winter about FOIA requests for email. There’s considerable disagreement about whether faculty email is ‘FOIA-ble’. There’s a nice post on the AAUP website summarizing all the issues and court cases on the topic. It’s long but worth reading. And thinking about. I found it through Inside Higher Ed, a daily university-oriented news site.

Online in China and Japan–Some Observations about Computing, Mobile and Otherwise

During the month of July my wife and I spent several weeks traveling in China and Japan, attending a couple of academic conferences in Xi’an and Osaka, and sightseeing. I took a netbook (a tiny, less-than-full-featured laptop) and my Palm Pre. Here are some random thoughts on my experiences, what I saw around me, how the world is connected, and my experiences ‘phoning home’.

First, a few comments on what ‘equipment’ I took with me. Because of the strict, and somewhat complex Export Control policies that all American universities are subject to (see for more information) I decided not to take my ‘home’ laptop with me, but instead borrowed a stripped-down netbook that had only web-browsers and Microsoft Office installed on it. That way, there was no risk of ‘exporting’ something that ought not to be ‘left’ outside the country. In addition, I password-protected the netbook (using a long, complex password) so that, if the computer were to be stolen, it couldn’t be accessed without reformatting the hard drive.

I took my Pre primarily as a music player. It also has WiFi, which permitted me to do web-surfing and email, although only within range of a WiFi access point. As a phone, however, it was useless, because the CDMA (Sprint) system is not used in most of China or any of Japan. Since we were not visiting friends or making business appointments, we didn’t feel the need for a ‘real’ phone, although several of our colleagues at the conferences had simply rented them at the airport when they arrived–they are surprisingly cheap to rent.

Wireless connectivity in both China and Japan was more limited than I had expected. All hotels had ethernet jacks (although not all had cables—fortunately I had brought one with me). As is the case in North America, the cheaper the hotel, the more likely the internet connection was free—a weird fact I have repeatedly confirmed around the world.  I’m sure this was idiosyncratic to the hotel we stayed in in Xi’an, but we had a choice of a no-smoking room without internet access or a smoking room with. They assured us they had thoroughly cleaned the room, and, in fact, we found it to be just fine, and chose the occasional faint hint of smoke to be worth the online access.

You may have read that some websites are inaccessible in China, and we certainly found this to be true. CNN, Facebook, and Google were all unavailable. There is a Chinese competitor to Google search, called Baidu, and there are also a couple of Chinese equivalents to Facebook, and lots of folks we talked to used them.

There is a way around these restrictions, however, via the Wayne State VPN facility. I’ll write a separate blog about it in a couple of weeks, but it has a number of advantages. Primarily, it encrypts whatever you send out from your computer when you are connected to it, so anything you may write cannot be eavesdropped upon. It has other uses I’ll talk about later, but it’s just a safer way to surf and read email.

One of the things that struck me about both China and Japan was the vast use of smartphones and tablets. There are iPhones and Android devices everywhere (you can tell by the fact that folks are swiping the screens of their devices). Lots of people also have iPads and similar toys as well—clearly mobile devices are the wave of the future, not just in the US but around the world.

I had much less sense of the widespread use of ‘The Cloud’ (another topic I’ll be covering in the next few weeks), but it’s quite clear that the parts of  Japan and China that we visited (Shanghai, Xi’an, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo) are about as wired as any comparable city in the US.