Thu, 20 Oct 2005

Am at educause today. Some of the presentations are much more interesting than I’d expected- there is hope for education in general; people are doing really cool stuff. They seem to be doing a lot of it in proprietary software (there was an open source talk, but unfortunately I missed it) and often with proprietary content, but at least there seem to be a whole lot of people asking good questions and having good ideas about how multimedia, online interaction, dynamic modeling, MMORPGs, etc. can be used in education. The audience is sort of shocking, though- I’m currently in a student panel, with probably 200-300 people in it, and probably 10 raised their hand when asked if they knew what wikipedia was. They cheered loudly for the one boomer student on the panel (he’s getting a masters on nights/weekends.) It may be that in many cases we have to wait until our generation is in charge to really integrate tech seamlessly into educations, though I definitely give everyone here credit for trying :)

Most random, interesting tech I saw today: clickers are apparently a new toy to get dynamic student interaction in a lecture environment- they can answer multiple-choice questions or rank things 1-10 and the prof can get immediate feedback. Seems like an interesting way of knowing what is going on in your lecture hall and grabbing student’s attention and involvement, though obviously is gameable and has some potentially negative implications for student privacy.