‘Log On, Plug In, Fire Up’: Using technology in education

Conference LogoAn online University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee class on using technology in education has designed and planned a conference – an online conference, of course.

The program, “Log On, Plug In, Fire Up: Technological Trends in Adult, Continuing and Higher Education,” takes place Tuesday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It will be offered via the Blackboard Collaborate Web conferencing platform.

The class, Administrative Leadership 767, is designed as a practicum in adult education, exploring the use of online and virtual learning environments, according to Simone Conceição, associate professor of administrative leadership, who teaches the class.

Students met with Conceição during regular online sessions, sharing presentations they’d prepared on various aspects of successful conferences and offering online critiques via chat. Students who struggled with adding narration to their slides or other parts of the project were encouraged and directed to online resources by Conceição and classmates.

“Just follow the .pdf directions,” one student advised a classmate via chat. “There’s a tutorial on audio,” another noted. “It was frustrating that I couldn’t get my audio to work with my PowerPoint,” a classmate shared. Another suggested trying to relax with some yoga and then go back to work on the project.

The students who developed the conference come from a variety of backgrounds – teachers, administrators and adult educators – and had varying levels of proficiency with technology and online teaching and learning.

“I thought I was great at being internet savvy, but I was wrong,” said Masaya Xiong. “There is still so much to learn.”

“My teens make this look so easy,” lamented another on the group’s blog.

The nine graduate students in the class each wrote and recorded training materials that were then posted to YouTube.

They also did most of the work setting up and publicizing the conference, including developing a website, Twitter feed and conference blog. Conceição served as conference manager. Conference speakers will discuss the use of social media for educators, universal design and access, instructional strategies, “innovative disruption” and MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses).

Speakers include Bruce Maas, chief information officer and vice provost for information technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Aura Hirschman, an expert in universal design and assistive technology; Tanya Joosten, interim director of UWM’s Learning Technology Center; Curt Bonk, professor of instructional systems technology at Indiana University; and Amy Collier, director for technology and teaching at Stanford University.

To register for the conference, go to www4.uwm.edu/soe/departments/outreach/ad_ldsp_webinar.cfm. Deadline is noon Monday, April 22.

For more information, check out the website or https://twitter.com/logonpluginfire or the blog at http://logoonplluginfireup.blogspot.com