This was the first session of the conference, and we were introduced to the main people and the structure. One thing that I really enjoyed was that they had a few people stand up by disciplines (teacher education, physics, philosophy) to show how there are some people here in each group.
Then Linda L. Baer, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, talked about Building Tomorrow’s Learning Environments Today. She welcomed us to Minnesota, and talked about how we’re educating students for jobs that aren’t around today, for technology that doesn’t exist yet, and for problems we haven’t identified yet. It was a good talk for framing the conference. She was followed by the keynote.
A Trailblazer’s Perspective on Online Learning, Leadership, and Success (or How an “F” Sees the World)
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Texas TeleCampus
- The “F” is from “feeling” in the Meyers-Briggs.
- To be a great leader you have to know who you are and work with that.
- Told a cute story about how when she got started and created a job ad and asked for someone with experience in distance learning, and HR called and asked for clarification: hight or long jump?
- Told another story about a colleague that told her early on to get a new job because this distance learning thing is just a fad and her job wouldn’t exist in the future. Clearly different now.
- Asked how many Millennials (as defined starting in 1981). Only one person raised their hand. (A lady at my table chuckled at the question.) Speaker said it’d be good to get more since Millenials have a different understanding of technology.
- Spent a while talking about online education, which was very interesting, but less useful for my own institution.
- Talked a bit about generations. Pointed out that most of us will have all of these generations in our classes, at work, etc.
- Said that maybe one reason we depend on objective based testing is that is how we were taught.
- Why some online initiatives are successful: built for the right reasons, tech for right reason, quality and service at forefront, less heavy-handed, collaborative, acknowledge faculty/instructor contributions, collegial
- Future Trends: importance of all players, understanding and acceptance of roles, mainstreaming effect and centralization, change is coming (always), education of stakeholders will never end, quality-accountability-authentication, mobility, patience with technology will continue to decrease
- Suggested that all courses will need to be designed by instructional designers in the near future.
- Will always need to spend time explaining what we do to people above us in the hierarchy. What we have to do changes so quickly that there’s no way for supervisors to know what all we do unless we tell them.
- Millennials (82-91): grown up with technology, ubiquitous access expected, manuals?, email->cell phones->IM->texting, helicopter children, colorblind, what will they expect in the “classroom” of the future?
- Very us vs. them: they expect tech everywhere, even in your face-to-face classroom
- Have helicopter expectation in the classroom: that they’ll be able to have a relationship with their professor. In large classes, is there a way to do this using tech?
- Why talk about leadership: not enough emphasis today on quality and running a functional unit, good leadership fosters productivity, one year out of college women earn 80% as much as men, future leaders in this field are sitting in this audience, you might be in a room with a leader in the field but might not even know them
- Gave a list of her personal thoughts on leadership. Included: not based on title, shouldn’t be assumed, if misused can ruin an entire organization (people will leave, etc)
- Tips for leaders: know yourself and find a mentor, recognize that it’s not always about you, accept the credit only when it is due, create a positive culture in your organization, be inclusive, work to educate all stakeholders, take the lead when it’s in front of you, recognize and accept change.
- Talked about measures of success. Things like: enrollments, degree #, page hits, faculty size, etc. But it’s not just about the numbers and the money. Other things make the organization successful.
- Talked about Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture and said that’s essentially her message. There is no financial measurement that is more important than how you live your life.<code>
- Education Technology is constantly changing. We are in the infancy of this field. To meet these challenges we must have strong leadership.
Afterward, they announced the cancellation of a number of programs, two of which I had planned on attending. I’m now scraping together my schedule for the day and sitting in the room for “emerging technologies for learning.”