UNE creates new track and presents at ACTEM 2015 Conference
I think we can all agree that the use of technology plays a vital role in education – not just online education, but education as an entire discipline. There’s a need for educators to be kept up to date on current best practices, and learn how to get the most out of their classroom technology. For many educators, attending conferences is one important way to keep current.
Significant change for the better
Two years ago, UNE Instructional Designer Corey Butler felt that higher education was underrepresented in the Maine’s only technology in education conference, ACTEM. So he initiated a conversation among his colleagues at UNE to see what they could do about that.
Last fall, the entire Instructional Design Services (IDS) department traveled up the the ACTEM conference as a team, and from that experience, they envisioned an opportunity for growth. And not only just at ACTEM, but potentially across Maine’s educational landscape. The UNE IDS team advocated for change by submitting three proposals for new seminars, all of which were readily accepted, thereby expanding the scope of the conference.
This year, the UNE IDS team has effectively designed and built an entirely new track for the traditionally K-12 centric conference – a series of seminars centered around higher education.
It’s a testament to the depth of our IDS team, and the vision of those in leadership, that they thought big, dreamed up this idea, proposed it, followed through until the proposals were accepted, developed the content for the conference, and now are sharing that vision and experience with conference attendees.
The UNE IDS team hopes that by presenting this year, their presence at ACTEM will encourage their colleagues at other colleges and universities to be active participants in ACTEM. Technology in higher education is gaining in prevalence and importance to the curriculum – and what teacher doesn’t love to learn about learning?
Among good company – about other ACTEM speakers
ACTEM, the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine, puts on their annual conference as a full two-day event, with each day offering a mix of one-hour, three-hour, and full-day workshops, keynote speakers and exhibitors. According to the ACTEM website, “…breakout sessions include sessions on diverse topics of interest to anyone who teaches with technology or supports those who do.”
Google’s Chief Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap, is Friday’s keynote speaker, and several members of the UNE IDS team will also be presenting on Friday. Other keynote speakers and presenters are a veritable Who’s Who of Maine’s educational technology landscape.
A 10,000 foot view of the new higher ed tracks being presented
UNE Instructional Designer Corey Butler and Instructional Designer Aaron Brady presented “Evaluating Competency Based Learning Systems.” This presentation reviewed the process of identifying the essential components for deploying a competency-based program and the development of a rubric for evaluating applicable technologies. They also shared which model and system won this extensive review for UNE.
UNE Instructional Designers Susan Barrett Hyde and Chris Malmberg presented on “Assignment Scaffolding.” The presentation centered around the concept of “scaffolding”, which is the process of staging assignments over a series of activities. They outlined the untapped potential of uniting well-scaffolded course design with online tools, and they discussed how web scaffolds benefit administrators, teachers and students. The presentation also demonstrated a process of scaffolding for the technological present so attendees walked away from the session with the tools to incorporate scaffolding into their course or class design.
UNE Instructional Designer Olga LaPlante and UNE Coordinator of Disability Services, Cynthia Curry, presented “Accessibility in Online Education,” which discussed the fact that although online education has become commonplace, students with disabilities continue to face barriers to successful access and completion. The presentation addressed common accessibility issues; relevant federal legislation; technical and pedagogical solutions; and guidelines for selecting and purchasing accessible products.