This summer, the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) sponsored a Distance Learning Symposium held at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, IN. While presenters will be turning their papers and presentations into chapters for an upcoming book, for now (how long?) they have posted the symposium papers for open review.
I attended and presented on (what else?) backchannel communication during the live web conferenced lecture session. I have attached my symposium paper and presentation to this post. While my paper considers the backchannel in terms of cognitive load (influence on germane, extraneous, intrinsic load), my presentation highlighted general observations from Dr. Alec Couros' Fall 2009 ECI 831 class at the University of Regina, specifically a session facilitated by Dr. Rick Schwier who also attended and presented at the symposium. As usual, it was interesting how few seemed to have experienced an active text-chat occurring simultaneously with a live lecture session. This could be due to the disconnect between those who "study" distance learning and those who regularly "practice" it .. or because distance learning is so often facilitated asynchronously.
Summer classes are over and my summer "to-do" list includes completing revisions to two conference papers which were accepted for the fall 2009 AECT conference. Both are currently in the gobbled (not saying what I want them to say) stage, but I am hopeful that will change as I devote the needed attention to both ... attached are both drafts ...
I am really glad I made the trip to Dallas. I got a lot out of the experience. However, it was not necessarily the same kind of experience that I thought it would be when I was planning my trip to Dallas. I was prepared to gather and share resources and new ideas. In reality, that didn't really happen. What I found is that my blog roll provides a far better way for me to get up to speed and stay current on the latest and greatest in the world of education and technology.
Instead, I got to speak with some really inspiring people, validate several of my preconceptions and challenge what I thought I knew about the field. I leave feeling neither let down nor invigorated by the experience, but rather something in the middle. I am definitely inspired to further explore some of the ideas I heard about (mainly in side bar conversations) and I'm ready to jump back into it. For what it is worth, here are some of my take aways:
Greetings from Dallas! I am sitting in my hotel waiting for two f2f local conferences to begin (AECT 2006 and Educause 2006) while listening to the live stream of Global Learn Day 10 broadcasting session from around the world ... proving once again that all things local can become global in just a few clicks! Here are the "instructions" on how to listen or participate in Global Learn Day. Check it out!
My mom (to this day) sends me out into the world with the same old family pep talk that she heard herself when she was a wee lass, "Be a good girl, have a good time, and learn a lot." Even if I am just running out to the grocery store, those are usually her trailing words as I go. Therefore, I was kind of inspired when I stumbled on a few places on the Internet spouting a similar mantra for conference attendees. So, go forth and, "Be a good conference attendee, have a good time and learn a lot." But, before you go, check out these resources: