Next week, April 19-21, is the 10th annual Teaching, Colleges, Community (TCC) Worldwide Online Conference, or affectionately known as “the online conference from Hawaii where you do not get to go to Hawaii”. I’m ramping up to deliver a live keynote session on April 21 (see below).
The theme this 10th anniversary year is “Looking Back Toward the Future”:
Since the 1970s, the impact of educational technology has been relentless and ever changing. What can we learn from our past? What’s hot and what’s not? Where are we going? What would we like to see? Through your experiences, we ask that you remind us, guide us, and help us navigate towards the future.
Join us on our 10th anniversary of the TCC Worldwide Online Conference to share your expertise, experiences and knowledge relevant to the use of information technology in learning, teaching and academic services. This event will also be useful for novices and those interested in Internet resources for teaching and learning. It will provide a strong foundation about what’s currently happening in higher education.
This might be my 4th or 5th TCC conference, and it truly is a great experience as you get to interact as much as you can with a wide range of near and distant colleagues– and since there are people presenting, chatting, posting around the world, there is something going on around the clock.
This is the third year our office has sponsored an institutional registration so that all faculty, staff, yes students, and even administrators can participate at no cost to them. We’ve been able to send more than 100 each year, which is not bad (unless you consider we have nearly 10,000 full-time and part-time eligible employees, not to mention another order of magnitude of students). The individual registration is reasonable (US$77, though it is late registration now so it is US$99), and this gives you access to all presentations and archives for the year. It’s not too late to sign up!
Last year, I did a live audio session while attending an NMC meeting in San Francisco (via Elluminate), so picture me holding a laptop in a hotel hallway, aiming towards the wireless hub in our meeting room, looking from at a distance like a looney having an intense conversation with his screen… and then some other meeting emptied out in the hallway with lots of chattering noise.
So when asked by colleague Bert Kimura to do a keynote session this year, I rummaged around my big pile of remixed presentation ideas and graphics, and came up with this silly title/description:
“Harry Mudd, Small Pieces, and that Not Widely Distributed Future”
Predictions of the future are easily analyzed in hindsight and ought to be skeptically questioned– you will have to tune into this session to see the connection with an old Star Trek episode. However, author William Gibson’s insightful quote, “The future is here. It is just not widely distributed yet” is the framework I use to peek at the future. So for the use of technology in teaching and learning, where is this “not widely distributed future?” I am not sure, but in this session we will take some guesses at places you may find the future. The present use of the web was visible, but not widely distributed in 1992– is something of that scale already here? Will text messaging displace email as a communication mode? We will look at the drivers of consumer used technologies that become disruptive (digital cameras take the lead of the consumer photo market, MP3 players re-shaping the music industry). How about those multitude of technology gadget web sites? The future is there and it is not. Are small pieces of technology “loosely” joined technologies (often open source) displacing large comprehensive commercial tools? Explore hands on some of the interesting “social” and connection technologies such as “tags”, RSS, wikis, podcasts, and perhaps whatever else pops up between now and the conference.
With a week to go, that is all there is right now, as I am synthesizing things up to the wire. Since it is a live session presented in the Elluminate virtual classroom, I’ll be uploading a series of slides into their whiteboard, and tossing out some audio over showing web sites and such. It is recorded and saved, though made available for registered participants (see, it is worth paying!), but I’ll have some fragments of content posted eventually (once the ink dries).