The Teaching in the Community Colleges Online Conference is 2/3 over, with one more day of events tomorrow. I’ve had less then available time to participate for reasons to be blogged below, but leave it to say, I am representing Arizona at a virtual conference hosted in Hawaii while I am at a meeting in San Francisco.
The platform for TCC2004 is the Learning Times site and I have to see it is a well designed and organized site for a conference. The major hurdle for international online conferences is getting the right time for synchronous events, and LT handles this nicely (although their time zone menu preference lacks an option for Arizona, which as an oddball entity, dies not follow daylight savings time, so we bounce between 2 time zones). LT also does some automatic relating of content from different parts of the site, and allows participants to attach resources. There is also an IM type tool for contacting other participants.
The synchronous tool for the conference uses Elluminate Virtual Classroom, which has worked extremely well for Java ;-) and has behaved well on my Mac. It has allowed audio chats between presenters and participants.
There was a great live presentation today on games by guru Mark Prensky. There was also a “major” event with a live webcast speech by Senator Hillary Clinton on new proposed legislation targetted at the “non-traditional student” and the stats to show that this non-traditional student (working adult) is becoming more the norm than the exception.
I arranged a series of information chats with a variety of Maricopa colleagues who led a free form chat session about their various endeavors. These “Maricopa Stories Around the Digital Campfire” have had some great exchanges– you can see the general topics and my hokie flash animation at the link above- though you cannot see the chat session transcripts w/o a conference account. Sorry.
Today, my colleague Robert Burget and I ran a chat discussion of Students Communicating Visually: Publishing Digital Photos with the jClicker Slide Show which ran a bit wild, but we were fortunate to have some good responses by one of Robert’s students who showed up at the chat session.
Tomorrow is the live discussion for the PhotoBlogging presentation— people at the conference are being very complimentary, but very few are actually participating in the Buzznet photoblog I set up for them (and this one is wide open to you, my faithful 3 blog readers, hint hint hint)– see the photoblog posting instructions.