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Making Connections with CIT's Teaching & Learning with Technology Conference
by Andrea Adams

The way we communicate and learn is rapidly changing as the result of advancing technology. To address the changing needs of our learners and to provide innovative insight into emerging technologies, The Center for Instructional Technology hosted the 4th annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference on October 4 and 5, 2007. The theme this year was Social Learning Environments: Making Connections. 

If you missed the conference, you can visit the conference website and listen to the recorded presentations by clicking on the links to events.

The conference schedule was filled with exciting, cutting edge presentations about technology and learning. Gardner Campbell, a Professor of English at the University of Mary Washington, provided the keynote speech titled “The Digital Imagination.” Dr. Campbell stated “my goal is to take our ideas of information literacy and push them in the direction of what I’m calling the digital imagination”. He challenged us as educators “to guide our students toward the most stirring, boundless encounters with computers that we imagine, and to empower our students to teach us in turn as their own digital imaginations grow stronger, freer, and more creative.”  Gardner Writes blog logoYou can listen to Dr. Campbell’s invigorating speech on the conference website, or access more about Dr. Campbell on his blog, “Gardner Writes.”

The conference also provided other presentation topics including Podcasting, Literature in the Online Classroom, Social Bookmarking, Compressed Video, Peer-Review, an Online Health Literacy Game, Technology and Learning Disabilities, Social Software in an Online Learning Environment, Faculty Development Community in an Online Course, and Open Education Resources.

Pre- and post-workshops hosted by the Center for Faculty Innovation preceded and closed the conference. The “MAD Fellows,” a former Madison Teaching Fellows group that is continuing their research, presented “Second Life: It’s an Educational Tool, Not a Game.” Participants were introduced to Second Life and how it can and is being used in education.

In addition, the exhibit room was filled with exciting displays and demonstrations of various instructional technologies. The exhibitors included Adobe, Apple, Blackboard, eInstruction, Smarthinking, Taphere and Venture Interactive. The Center for Faculty Innovation and Libraries and Educational Technologies also provided informative displays. Along with other emerging technologies, The Center for Instructional Technology showcased the Nintendo Wii. Attendees played games by simulating tasks with the Wii’s motion sensing remote.  A special thanks to the College of Education, which is researching how gaming and interactive simulations can enhance learning, for providing the Wii.

Gourab Khan looks at Wii
Graduate Assistant Gourab Khan checks out the Wii at the conference exhibits.

The conference, which was comprised of participants from JMU and other educational institutions in Virginia, provided numerous opportunities for collaboration and innovation. You can visit the conference website at http://cit.jmu.edu/conference/
to view more information about the conference and listen to the recorded presentations. Simply, select a presentation from the schedule of events to access a recording.


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