EC&I 831: Upcoming Ed. Tech Grad Course

I am really excited about this coming semester. About a year ago, I received a Technology Enhanced Learning grant to begin creation of an online, Graduate-level, educational technology course. The result is EC&I 831, and here are just a few of the details.

    – I am developing the course with the help of Rob Wall who we’ve dubbed the “social capital philanthropist” for this educational experience.
    – We have an enrollment of 30 students, about twice what is usually expected in an online Graduate course, so Rob’s role will be especially important (no pressure, Rob).
    – We are trying our best to use as many free and/or open forms of technology as possible. Blackboard/WebCT were never options for the course. Exposure to and use of open, free, and social tools is a priority.
    – We have a tongue-in-cheek course trailer made up entirely of public domain video footage.
    – There are both synchronous and asynchronous components of the course. The synchronous components will take place Tuesdays (presentations/conversations) and Wednesdays (hands-on sessions).
    – And probably most exciting is our amazing lineup of presenters for the duration of this course. Presenters will include (couple yet to confirm, in order of appearance) Darren Kuropatwa, Richard Schwier, George Siemens, Sharon Peters, Dean Shareski, Clarence Fisher, Stephen Downes, D’Arcy Norman, Brian Lamb, and possibly others. There were many more I wanted to ask, but I know I am so lucky to have these individuals participate.
    – All sessions will be recorded and available. The course will be entirely transparent and open.

Throughout the course, we will be looking for ways to participate within the edublogsphere. If you have an edublog that would be of interest, please add it to the wiki.

To find out more details about the course, check out the course wiki (more info to come soon), subscribe to the course blog, or contact me.

I have very high hopes for this course. Please wish us luck!

Saskatchewan University Strike Continues

CUPE members at our two provinces’ Universities (University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina) have been on strike for five days now. The CUPE employees represent all support staff (e.g., caretakers, secretarial staff, food services, clerical, technicians, heating plant, etc.), positions that are essential to the mission of any University.

The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon’s Newspaper) put up an online article, “Sound off: How is the CUPE Strike … Affecting You?“. There are now dozens of emotional responses either supporting the workers, or not, and it is easy to see how much debate and emotion this issue has raised.

My reaction to all of this is simple, and I want to echo one particular comment. “To my friends and coworkers on the picket line: I have nothing but praise for your skill, knowledge, and dedication; You are very much appreciated and very much missed.”

I hope to see a quick and fair resolution to this sad situation.