CLAC 2009, Dickinson College, June 15-17, 2009

This year's CLAC conference was hosted by our colleagues at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.  The theme of this year's conference:  Blazing New Trails.

Keynote:  Five Ways of Looking at the Liberal Arts Campus in 2015

Bryan Alexander, Director of Research, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)

What does the future hold?  Brian took us through five scenarios of the future.  A few sound bites that caught my attention:

  • He did his presentation using Prezi.  For a person like me, prone to motion sickness, I wasn't a huge fan of the tool, although the content is definitely worth a look. 
  • 3d printing across the curriculum
  • gaming - you've got to listen to a You Tube video he had embedded in his presentation.  It's by Jesse Schell. He is on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.  Among other things, he teaches courses on game design.  The topic of his talk -  Beyond Facebook.
  • experience points instead of grades
  • Sensors everywhere detecting everything in your life (scary!)

Following Brian's presentation, there was a panel discussion.  A few sound bites from that:

  • Edward Webb, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Dickinson College & Member of the NITLE Advisory Board
  • Carol L. Smith, Chief Information Officer, DePauw University
  • Megan Fitch, Director of Information Services and Resources, Beloit College
    • Will 2020 still have a digital divide?
    • Learning goals vs. skills.
    • P.S.  If you are not familiar with the Beloit College Mindset list, check it out.  The list for the class of 2014 will be published soon.
  • Gayle Barton, Chief Information Technology Officer, Swarthmore College
    • Worst of the recession is over, what does this mean?  World is different
    • How do we know if we are doing well?  What literacies do we want students to graduate with?
    • Support for students elsewhere 


Exploring Mobile Learning with Franklin & Marshall and Reed College

iPad Pilot at Reed

Marianne Colgrove, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Reed College

As many of you may know, Reed College did a pilot using the Kindle in courses.  If you haven't see the details of the pilot study and the results, it's an interesting read. The Kindle didn't get a great grade.  Marianne talked about how Reed is approaching a pilot using the iPad.

  • Only using it with one course (three courses used the Kindle) 
  • Think the iPad will be better, but Apple is still all about the consumer market.  Forgetting or not understanding that the education market is different.
  • Touch screen was a wanted feature with the Kindle.
  • Feedback from Kindle study  – students would buy a dedicated eReader if it was under $100.  That makes the iPad more appealing since it is more than an eReader.
  • Use Kindle App on iPad.
  • At end of the semester, student can buy it at half price.
  • Go Docs Excel Google Doc tool works, but Word Google doc does not.  Waiting for Google.
  • WYSIWG Moodle editor does not work with iPad.

Maureen's conference iPad experiment. Not surprising, there were a number of people using iPads during the conference. I did my own informal poll - is it a personal device or will it have a place in the classroom?  The overwhelming response was - it's a personal device.  Of interest to me, watching people interact with the device.  One person couldn't get to a screen and repeatedly hit "the button" with her finger; frustration clear on her face.  Another opted for the external keyboard.  Note taking was noted as a somewhat frustrating experience.  There was even one woman who quilted her own iPad cover.  Macalester – iPads purchased by their President's Office for the campaign folks (Arts) to take on the road to show images to perspective donors.


Mobile learning initiative at Franklin & Marshall

Teb Locke, Instructional Technologist/Designer, Franklin & Marshall
Charles Wachira, Instructional Technologist/Designer, Franklin & Marshall


This was a very small study (16 faculty).  Communication was biggest benefit, innovation was hard to come by.


Netbooks were not seen as alternatives for either campus because both are Mac campuses.


IT Mergers with the Library, Institutional Research: Benefits and Challenges

Kris Jones, Director of Information Technology Services, Colorado College
Janet Scannell, Director of Computing Services, Bryn Mawr College
Elliott Shore, CIO/College Librarian, Bryn Mawr College

  • Colorado College has Institutional Research under the IT umbrella.
  • Bryn Mawr has a merged Library/IT organization.

Fred's statement continued to go through my head - "How do we work together, effectively, to achieve results."  Organizations are different, cultures are different, politics are different.  It's always interesting to hear how other organizations work.


General Session: Picking Policy Priorities: Porn, Privacy, Procurement, P2P, or IP?

Greg Jackson, Vice President for Policy and Analysis, EDUCAUSE
Param Bedi, Chief Information Officer, Bucknell University
Ellen J. Keohane, Director, Information Technology Services, College of the Holy Cross
Justin Sipher, Chief Technology Officer, Skidmore College
Facilitator: Joel Cooper, Director of Information Technology Services, Carleton College


A very interesting discussion about policy.  Some interesting sound bites:

  • Policy – what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – does it matter what happened in the past?
  • Don't blame the messenger – if something moves across the network, you can't blame the network.  Starbucks does not need to worry about people using its network inappropriately.
  • Is Yale's network public?  If it is they can't control it.
  • People confuse policy and legal matters.  OK to raise policy issues.
  • Apply same principles that we use for paper/filing cabinet
  • Skidmore – HR office developed social media guidelines
  • Guidance is short of a policy, policy is short of a rule
  • Faculty member assumes everything is private, staff assumes everyone is reading – student says who cares about policy.
  • Policy issues go away if there is a little bit of education.
  • Framing Google Apps privacy issues – can the institution do a better job? Educause will be making standard clauses available in the near future.  FYI - Educause created a Google Apps FAQ.
  • Microsoft – we will sell you the service, we make money from you, different from Google's approach.
  • COLEA - “coffee shop exemption” - public network.
  • Leaving the “free” zone.
  • Are we assuming anymore risk? What kind of risk are you assessing – e.g financial
  • Lawyers are not good about seeing risk; Risk managers are good about seeing risk, but they don't understand IT.
  • Some responsibilty for guest access.
  • We are ultimately like the utility.  You don't ask the power guy what do people plug into these outlets?


CDS Version 2: The CLAC Perspective

Dan Updegrove, Consultant for Core Data Service Redesign, EDUCAUSE

Educause offers the Core Data Service (CDS), comparison data about campus IT environments, services, and staffing.  Frequently used to benchmark, plan, and decision making.  This year Educause is looking at redesigning the CDS.  All CLAC schools complete the CDS survey, a requirement of the membership.


Getting Started with Digital Dashboards

Steve Brandt, Associate Director of Enterprise Systems, Dickinson College
Jill Forrester, Director of Enterprise Systems, Dickinson College
According to the presentation's description:  Digital dashboards make it possible to keep or create critical information within easy reach of decision makers.


We can get the data in, but how can we get it out?  Many reporting tools have a steep learning curve (e.g. Cognos).


Reporting Pyramid

  • Digital dashboards – strategic level
  • tactical (middle level)
  • transactional (most)

Little interest after education – it's a partnership, not a proposal that IT can do on its own.


Miscellaneous discussions 

  • Hope – Process Improvement – looking at similar processes across campus – e.g. All types of inventories, from books to chemicals.  Need to look at processes that are convenient, reliable, and useful.
  • Macalester – Dual monitors are being deployed in their business offices.  Other campuses are giving employees the option of a larger monitor or two smaller ones.  NEC commissioned a study with the University of Utah that talked about 40% increase in productivity with dual monitors.


EDUCAUSE - Denver, CO - November 3-6, 2009

Very rough notes attached, stay tuned for a condenced summary.

EDUCAUSE - Denver, CO - November 3-6, 2009

By Nikki Reynolds

This year's EDUCAUSE conference was as inspiring and energizing as any. For me, it began early, with an all day meeting with 3 colleagues as we prepared to give a pre-conference seminar on "Big Picture Instructional Technology". We had about 40 participants in this Tuesday morning seminar, and early feedback indicates that it was exactly what some of the participants wanted. Complete feedback won't be available until December.

Other sessions I attended:

  • Brian Hawkins Leadership RoundTable (a pre-conference seminar)
    • An opportunity to discuss approaches to preparing for the future with CIOs and Directors from across higher education. Led by Dave Smallen and Robyn Render.
    • Take aways: some good ideas for getting up to speed on the technologies coming our way; the knowledge that we are all in this together and no one really has "the answer".
  •  General Session: Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great" and "Good to Great in the Social Sectors"
    • Provided an explanation of the path to a great enterprise vs the path to an almost great, but ultimately an "also ran" enterprise
    • Explained "level 5 leadership"
    • Take aways: it is possible for institutions to become over-confident; create your own personal "board of directors" and concentrate on "trying to be useful"
  • Point/Counterpoint: Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai
    • This session had one speaker for each system. The speakers represented institutions who are using the different systems now. It rather lacked the "counterpoint" aspect of the talk.
    • Take aways: Any one of these systems can be "made to work" to support faculty. The real questions are: 1) what do the faculty and students want to do in an LMS and 2) how much support can IT give to this area?
  • "Mix, Mash, and Share: Empowering 21st Century Research with Maps"
    • A great presentation by GIS librarians from the University of Connecticutt. They have put a lot of their map collection online, and geo-referenced the maps so that older maps can be related to newer, enabling a lot of interesting studies around place changes over time.
    • Take aways: GIS librarians have significant technical expertise; it helps to have a Geography department; really taking advantage of a map collection and GIS software requires a significant support commitment, but a lot can be done with student labor.
  • General Session: Lawrence Lessig "It's About Time: Getting Our Values Around Copyright Right"
    • Hopefully some of the folks here had a chance to be part of this session through the online streaming. Some really good thinking about copyright, and the use of other people's work to help motivate new work.
    • Take aways: Copyright law is out of control; there are a couple of things educational institutions can do the change this environment; the "creative commons" copyright statements are a very good way to go.

There was a good deal more, including poster sessions and the vendor floor. Various parties have been "gifted" with some of the stuff I picked up in those two locations, and I hope the stuff has at least one nugget of information that people didn't already know.


Of course, one of the best parts of these sorts or "face to face" meetings is the chance to reconnect with colleagues, compare notes, share ideas, and just generally "refresh" the mind and spirit. This year was no exception, even though it was obvious attendance was down.





LISA 2009 Presentation

By Nick Brockner

Hi All,

Please find attached a summary of the events and a pdf of my presentation.

The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein - October 6, 2009

by Ted Fondak

Here's the right place to go:

Hey everybody,

I went to Mark Bauerlein's Anti-Digital Age talk titled "The Dumbest Generation," (a commentary on the lack of civic and historical knowledge inherent in the "Millenial" generation) sponsored by the AHI, on Tuesday.  Here's his premise:

"The dawn of the digital age once aroused our hopes: the Internet, e-mail, blogs, and interactive and ultra-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children. The terms “information superhighway” and “knowledge economy” entered the lexicon, and we assumed that teens would use their know-how and understanding of technology to form the vanguard of this new, hyper-informed era.
That was the promise. But the enlightenment didn’t happen."

It was a standing-room only lecture; Science Aud was packed with people--mostly students but with a number of faculty, administrators, and local parents interspersed.  I recorded the lecture on my laptop and thought it might be of interest to us all.  I apologize for the poor quality of the recording--you'll probably have to hook it up to speakers or plug in headphones to hear it well.  Please ignore the tip-tapping of the computer keys and my frequent harrumphs and tongue-clicks of disapproval.

Here's the location: \\software\its\Department folder\Mark Bauerlein 10609.mp4

I have strong opinions on Bauerlein's thesis, his presentation, and the comments from the Question and Answer section at the end and would be happy to talk about it with anyone who'd like to.


P.S. An example of the tenor of the evening's events: when asked by me for permission to record, Bauerlein noticed my laptop, glasses, and geeky shirt and said "Sure.  And you can take it, cut it up, spin it anyway you want, put it up on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, laugh at it later."  It only gets better from there.


Flaherty Film Seminar - Colgate University - June 2009

By Janet Simons

Hi Everyone,

At the Flaherty Film Seminar Krista and I attended this summer at Colgate, there were many discussions about levels of literacy in understanding documentary and experimental documentary film <>.  The theme of the seminar was "Witnesses, Monuments, and Ruins" (film notes attached). Work like The Roof (p 3), Corte deFlorero (p 4), The Many Faces of Madness (p 9), White Sky (p 9), Life After the Fall (p 14), Lighning Testimonies (p 24), and The Aquarium (p 32), poetically combine politics, human experience, cultural legacies, economics and ecological concerns.  Issues of "voice", representation, political source, and also the experience and history of the viewer were components of every film. Flaherty is a seminar format with discussion following each block of film screenings thus allowing opportunity for discussion and questions for the filmmaker about when and how one decides to add a voice-over or text narrative to a visual narrative or montage.  How manipulated does the audience feel in these situations and how sophisticated is the audience in their understanding of both the content and the manipulation? What are the unique components of visual/aural relationships that lead to understanding or knowledge of situations one may never directly experience?  

Scott MacDonald's F.I.L.M. program (Hamilton College) and the Colgate film programs expose the community to experiences that raise these questions by the nature of the films.  While at the Flaherty,  Lynne Schwarzer (Chair, Colgate Art & Art History) and I were discussing trying to create more solid connections between our campuses and among students through these programs.  Both campuses already publish their programs so that faculty can add screenings to their syllabi.  Over the next year, we plan to brainstorm methods to connect these programs more directly and concretely to courses or independent projects and to explore foundational media literacy practices on our campuses.  Several questions will start the discussions, How do we integrate these types of learning experiences into our curriculum?  What combinations of learning content in conjunction with information and media literacy can be effectively intergrated into curricula over time to foster sophistication in student created content?  How do we faciliate learning that results in media scholarship?

Read on for a few summaries of the screenings that are still playing in my head!


Lightning Testimonies by Amar Kanwar 

Video of Installation on Youtube

Director: Amar Kanwar 


2007, 8 Channel Video Installation, 32 Min Loop 


Amar Kanwar's The Lightning Testimonies is a multi-channel video installation that reflects upon a history of


conflict in the Indian subcontinent through experiences of sexual violence. In this exploration, multiple


submerged narratives are revealed, sometimes in people, images and memories, and at other times in objects


from nature and everyday life that stand as silent but surviving witnesses. In all the narratives, the body is


central - as a site for honour, hatred and humiliation and also for dignity and protest. 




The Lightning Testimonies creates an experience that emerges from a constellation of eight synchronized


choreographed projections with sound tracks that lead to disparate narratives that then converge into a single


projection. As the stories unfold, women from different times and regions come forward. The multiple


projections speak to them directly, in an effort to understand how such violence is resisted, remembered and


recorded by individuals and communities. Submerged narratives appear, disappear and are then reborn in


another vocabulary at another time. Using a range of visual vocabularies, The Lightning Testimonies


transports us beyond the realm of suffering into a space of quiet contemplation, where resilience creates the


potential for transformation.


—Amar Kanwar




AMAR KANWAR's poetic documentary films and video works explore the political, social, economic and ecological


conditions of the Indian subcontinent, often through stories and experiences. Much of his work traces the legacy of


decolonization and partition, with the splitting of families, sectarian violence and border conflicts forming recurrent motifs.


Interwoven throughout are investigations of family relations, gender and sexuality, philosophical and religious questions,


and the processes of globalization. Through images, ritual objects, literature, poetry and song, Kanwar creates lyrical,


meditative film essays that do not aim to represent trauma or political situations so much as to find ways through them;


Kanwar's work looks deeply into the causes and effects, and of how they are translated into everyday life and cultural




Amar Kanwar's The Lightning Testimonies is a multi-channel video installation that reflects upon a history of


conflict in the Indian subcontinent through experiences of sexual violence. In this exploration, multiple


submerged narratives are revealed, sometimes in people, images and memories, and at other times in objects


from nature and everyday life that stand as silent but surviving witnesses. In all the narratives, the body is


central - as a site for honour, hatred and humiliation and also for dignity and protest. 



Director: Kasim Abid 

2005, 29 Min, Digibeta




The road between between Surda and Ramallah is used by over 60,000 residents of 35 villages as well as by


thousands who commute between Ramallah and Birzeit University in the West Bank.  It is here that one of the early


checkpoints was set up by the Israeli army in March 2001.  Abid’s film observes various stages in the life of this


checkpoint, its growth from a mound of earth placed across the road to a series of cement barriers that have to be


squeezed through, to its removal in July 2003.  Using only observational footage and very few titles, Surda


Checkpoint allows us to take in not only moments of military aggression or violence which have been the subject of


several other films, but the banal daily experience of what it means to have one’s life disrupted, one’s path


obstructed, one’s schedule delayed by hours of waiting.  It also shows some of the practical and inventive


responses to a miserable situation one has no choice but to accept except at the cost of imprisonment or death.




As Abid notes in his film, a year after the Surda checkpoint was set up, there were over 140 checkpoints in place in


the West Bank and Gaza.  Since the completion of his film, the number has continued to grow.  In November 2005


there were 376 checkpoints, in November 2007 561, and in May 2008 612, all in the West Bank alone.  These


checkpoints, it is important to note, are not between the West Bank and Israel, but in the West Bank itself, used to


block vehicles and check travelers moving within a territory smaller than Delaware and with a population of


approximately 2.6 million Palestinians. 


[Source for numbers: Daniel Levy, “Counting West Bank Checkpoints               -Making Gulliver Look


KASIM ABID is a cameraman, director and producer of Iraqi origin. He holds a Diploma in Arts (Theatre/Cinema Section) from


the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad and an MA from the Moscow Film Institute VGIK, and lives in London since 1982.  He


worked as a cameraman on many documentary films for Channel 4, the BBC and other British satellite TV stations. For five


years he worked as the head of Documentary Programming at the Arab channel MBC, and as the head of the camera


department at ANN. He produced and directed Amid the Alien Corn (1991) which was screened to great reviews on Britain’s


Channel 4, Naji al-Ali – an Artist with Vision (1999), and Surda Check Point (2005) which conveys the rhythm of life at the


Israeli Army check point at Surda in Palestine.  His latest film Life After the Fall is about a Baghdad family and the massive


changes in their lives, since the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003.




poetic activism


Website with video and stills



Director: Pawel Wojtasik 


2006, 22 min, Digital Video




Wojtasik’s Aquarium also examines what it means when, in the name of protection, collection, or display, we


put things and creatures behind glass for our own edification and pleasure. He writes: “The Aquarium contrasts


the openness of the primeval Arctic landscape with the entrapment of captured sea mammals in aquariums. It


speaks of the progressive destruction of these animals’ habitat, seeing beyond the alluring spectacle. The


method of filming employed is that of sustained attention, both formal and ethically driven, which transcends


that of the usual documentary. It allows the inherent dignity of the endangered animals and their landscape to






“The Aquarium, was filmed in several locations including the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska.  After


the tragic Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 in the Gulf of Alaska, the corporation, as part of its reparation effort,


built the aquarium, where much of the piece was shot. Today, some of the animals that vanished from the


Alaskan ecosystem can be seen at the SeaLife Center.”



Director: Juan Manuel Echavarría 

1997, Series of 36 Photographic Prints, Presented Digitally (Example photo attached to this email)




Corte de Florero consists of thirty-six black and white photographic prints that seem be images from a


botanical notebook.  However, looking more closely, one discovers them to be human bones that have been


configured by the artist into flower-like shapes and given names like Passiflora Foetida, Radix Insatiabilis, or


Orquis Mordax. For María Victoria Uribe, Echavarría “establishes a complex association between flowers and


dismemberment, making use of human bones to create a powerful metaphor describing the atrocious nature of Colombia’s war.”  She also notes that the photographs and their taxonomic descriptions replicate the format


used by the illustrators working for the Royal Botanical Expedition carried out at the end of the 19th century in


what was then the Kingdom of New Granada.   




JUAN MANUEL ECHAVARRIA was born in Medellín, Colombia in 1947. He resides in Bogotá. A writer before


becoming an artist, he published two novels, La gran catarata (Bogotá: Editorial Arco, 1981) and Moros en la costa (


Bogota: Ancora Editores, 1991). His first solo exhibition was in New York in1998. In 1999, his work was included in Arte


y violencia en Colombia desde 1948 at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota. In 2000, he showed in the Korean


Kwangju Biennial. His work also appeared in Cantos cuentos colombianos (two-part exhibition 2004 and 2005), Daros


Latin America, Zurich. In 2006 Echavarria’s work was included in ARS 06 – Sense of the Real at the Kiasma Museum of


Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland and in The Hours: Visual Arts of Contemporary Latin America at the Irish Museum


of Modern Art in Dublin. In 2007 his work appeared in The Disappeared/Los Desaparecidos at El Museo del Barrio, New


York, I Encuentro entre dos Mares at the Valencia Bienal, Valencia, Spain and Viva la Muerte: Art and Death in Latin


America at Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria. Recent solo exhibitions include Public Manifestations of Creative Dissent at


Malmö Konsthall, Sweden, 2007; Juan Manuel Echavarria: Death and the River, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York,


2008; and Monumentos, Galería Sextante, Bogotá, Colombia, 2008. His video Bocas de Ceniza / Mouths of Ash was


included in the 2005 Venice Biennale

NERDug - Holyoke, MA - July 29 - 31, 2009

by Mary Fiore
NERDug is a Regional Datatel Users’ Group that serves New England, the Northeast United States and nearby Canadian provinces. It’s a welcoming users’ group that serves all institutions using Datatel products. 

Hamilton College uses Datatel’s Colleague and Benefactor (soon-to-be Colleague Advancement) for all of our data regarding admissions, students, faculty, courses, alumni, financial aid, business office and much more. While Datatel offers support for their products, it is often the user groups that offer advice, suggestions, support and instructions on processes and conversions. And, most often, this is advice from personal experience. 

NERDug 2009 was held July 29 through July 31 in Holyoke MA. It is both a social conference – where we maintain our business relationships and we create new ones – and a technical one.   We get to meet and talk with the sponsors of the event – the vendors. This year, the vendors included Datatel, Official Payments, Touchnet Information Systems, Entrinsik, Inc., and Image Now. Plus there were 49 sessions featuring 45-minute discussions on a variety of topics. 

Since no one can attend all the sessions (5 sessions run concurrently), I selected the ones which were of interest to me. Here are descriptions of just a few of the sessions.


10951 Tools for Managing Application Development Tasks by Louis Guillaume, Berklee College of Music: Berklee College needed a way to track their many projects in IT. They already had a tracking system for problem tickets. And they didn’t need a regular Project Management tool. They needed a Project Portfolio to manage their process between the problem ticket and project management. So they used TRAC (open source) to design a project portfolio. With this tool they create project roadmaps, document changes, track development cycles and provide quality assurance. Using TRAC with a Subversion interface, they load all of the Colleague source code into Subversion. This is their documentation repository where they can track DIFF changes in code for patches and projects. It was a relatively easy implementation. I was interested in seeing how they managed their source code, the changes in the source code and how easy it was for them to manage over 50 live projects. And while we may not implement their process, it’s interesting to see the approach they took to solve one of their real problems. 


10961 Portal by Jay Leach, Datatel, Inc.: Datatel is building a web portal for its user institutions. It’s called the Active Campus Portal. It offers a calendar, email link, ToDo List and the beginnings of a student/teacher/team/organization collaboration site – which Jay called “LMS Lite”. (I think our BlackBoard system offers much, much more than Datatel’s attempt here). The big draw for the portal is a direct integration into Web UI for Colleague and also specialized pivot tables for unique users (Admissions can see the number of applicants, etc.).  While many of the people attending this session were amazed with the portal, I kept comparing it to the great quality of the Hamilton portal. So I wasn’t as impressed as the others. But it will be interesting to see where Datatel’s development is leading. And I wonder if Datatel will begin to tie processes to their portal so it would become essential for running them. I hope it remains a stand-alone portal.


10938 Resolving Duplicate Person Records by Christopher Jones, Berklee College of Music: With the Colleague Advancement conversion in process at Hamilton College, I have been working with resolving record duplicates. So this was very much my “must see this” session. Berklee College has already made the conversion from Benefactor to Colleague Advancement. So Chris was able to provide a timetable of how long his duplicate resolution took. While the school operated slightly differently in its approach, I was glad to see that their overall process was pretty much like ours. And the end result was that their CA conversion did not hit any snags concerning duplicates.

10924 WebAdvisor 101 by Jeff Butera, Hampshire College: Jeff offered one of his basic courses. This one was how to install WebAdvisor, what are best practices, how to make it easy on yourself and what to avoid. He’s an energetic speaker who can put 1.5 hours of information into 45 minutes. Sometimes it’s really helpful to review the basics.

10907 CORE Relations 101 by Karen Griffin, Mount Holyoke College:  We, at Hamilton, are in the middle of the Benefactor to Colleague Advancement conversion. Because I work in Colleague, I didn’t need to know the daily operations of the Benefactor side of Datatel (C&D). But now that Benefactor is merging with Colleague, I thought it would be good to learn about their processes for relating person to person, person to institution, alumni with family, jobs, interests, and giving. So Karen offered a basic session in how they went from their legacy (non-Datatel) system and related all of their records. It was a basic information session showing us the screens they use and some of the problems they faced in their conversion.


Besides the sessions, we had discussion tables during lunches and breaks. Specific topics, like CA conversion, could find all interested parties talking about the successes, the problems and the resolutions each one faced. This is where the cards are exchanged, contacts are added to our contact lists and some friendships are formed. 


This is what NERDug is all about – creating a network of Datatel users who become contacts, friends and a source for solutions when anyone has a problem. For those of us who attended, it was a very good conference.



Apple Distinguished Educator Summer Institute 2009

I walked away from this experience with a deeper understanding of the need for dynamic, engaging, and authentic learning environments. There are many technologies or strategies available for content delivery, storage, and networking. There is not a technology that accurately harnesses all of these and brings them together.  I see this as a major driving force that will dramatically change what teaching and learning will look like. So here we go!!

The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) class of 2009 and selected alumni were invited to come to Full Sail University in Orlando Florida. This six day institute was a whirlwind of activities that were focused around: Personal Learning Networks (PLNs), Personal Branding, Challenge-Based Learning, Team projects and presentations of our proposed solutions. There was an emphasis on social networking, peer mentoring and creating authentic learning environments.

We had several guest speakers, Jason Whitmore of Royale (motion graphics/production studio), Rebecca Stockley of Improvlady(Pixar), Ray Zahab of Impossible2Possible, as well as Various faculty and student members of Full Sail University. Jason is a Full Sail graduate and show us various examples of his work (you can see them at the above link, just click on "Reel"). He talked about connecting to what makes you creative (not your computer). Rebecca helped us with the branding project and gave us a workbook to use. Ray spoke about his non-profit organization and his life. Full Sail faculty and staff talked about what they are doing at Full Sail.

The personalized branding exercises formulated a script that was used in our video interviews. This helped me reconnect with my passion and motivations of why I am an Instructional Technology Support Specialist. We had promotional photographs taken by Pulitzer prize winning photographer Bill Frakes. Both the images and video will be showcased on the enhanced Apple Learning Interchange site.

All ADE attendees were given tours of Full Sail University studios, sets and production facilities (audio, video and design). We each our choice of two 90 minute training sessions, and given the opportunity to try out these tools and techniques. I chose the Visual Design 101 and the session covering their new Educational Technology Master's program.  The Visual Design 101 covered how to setup, shoot and composite footage using green screens in both high end and low end studio setting. During all the events, we were asked to take notes, enter links and collaborate using an iPod Touch that we were issued. All schedules and attendee information were made available through these iPods. This gave us all on-demand access to event information as well as a centralized place for collaboration. 

We were all invited to give a presentation on a tool, technique or story that we would like to share.
There were sixty-nine of these presentations, all were voluntary and ADE created. I gave a three minute presentation on "Reaching them where there are" (faculty support). I went over a specific scenario that I recently experienced assisting a faculty member in New Mexico using iChat, Mail and Screenflow. With use of iChat, I could use text, voice and video to communicate with the professor. Screen sharing was essential in coaching him in real-time. With Screenflow I created video tutorials instructing him on workflow solutions that could be reviewed. Without these tools I could not have effectively supported the faculty member to not only answer his questions, but help him grow.

Our team project theme was developed by using yellow sticky notes and pairing by common interests. My team came up with "Developing 21st Century Teachers" as our theme and created a  social networking site that facilitates just-in-time resources and one-to-one connections for personalized learning. What was interesting is that every team came up with a similar solution, creating a dynamic, collaborative social environment to enhance learning. What made our project unique was that we focused primarily on the Teacher, not the students or technique. Our team wanted to create something we could take back directly to our institutions.

Jim LaVere

CLAC - Occidental College - June 2009

By Debby Quayle

Before I get caught up (again) in other work, here are my notes from CLAC.  I thought I was going to be able to keep my write-up shorter than Maureen's, but with so many workshops it really was impossible.  The links at the beginning of the document will take you to each workshop summary so that you can skip those of no interest to you.

If you have any questions about the workshops I attended, I'm more than happy to discuss them with you.


NMC - June 2009

here are a few take aways from the NMC summer conference:

Pre-Conference workshop:
Much talk is going on about using "Multi-media as a from of scholarly communication".
Academic Intersections
is an online peer-reviewed journal publishing accounts of research/creative works across academic disciplines. The journal's purpose is to provide a media rich venue for exploring the new knowledge emerging from the integration of technology, scholarly and creative works, and the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education. Academic Intersections is currently being hosted on the Apple Learning Interchange. (Use this link for a direct access). I think is similar to our own Best Practices Showcase.

A few questions to consider:
1.) What is the dominant form of media (on our campus)?
2.) What other medias are equally or better suited by their means other than the written word? An example would be whether a video, image or audio file better convey an idea.

All submissions are reviewed by jurists that are content specialists.
(Peer Review Process)

Peer Review Criteria
1.    Addresses Academic Intersections related to journal purpose
2.    Presents media rich Academic and Creative work
3.    Grounded in relevant literature
4.    Provides adequate documentation or description for others who would might implement

Other technologies were covered in the conference:
Adobe CS 4, Screen capture (Screenflow), WordPress, iLife 09, Final Cut Studio as well as many others.

Keynote speakers:
 Kathy Sierrra and Marco Torres took very different approaches to a similar theme. They both were passionate and enthusiastic about what we are doing with applications/tools as ways to inspire learning. They really focused on the learning conditions, theories and how a learner associates information. They both encouraged us to create a culture of support, that practices learning and utilizes tools that enable not disable (new medias versus pencil and paper). What has changed in the classroom during the past 30 years? How has it (technology) changed learning? How do educators view technology? Are the computers there just to run Office and provide internet access? Even our entertainment has become more dependent on the interaction with the viewers. Shows like Lost, Alton Brown, Myth Busters are distinct, as the audience becomes active participants. They learn and experience the content along with the characters.

In conclusion, I ask myself how do we measure the effectiveness of communication in terms of education and scholarly publications? Are there ways in which we can improve communication? What tools can use to better enhance the learning process? How does the Hamilton community collectively view technology and it's impact on learning? As a member of the Instructional Technology Support Team, I look forward to help answer these questions!


Jim LaVere

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