If the MacArthur Genius Program gave awards to institutions I'd be that Abilene Christian University would be a shoo-in. The university's mobile initiative demonstrates that small places can lead in terms of innovation. Learning technology is one place where any college or university that is willing to take risks, and share their experiences, can make a huge splash in the world of learning, teaching and technology.
In reading about Abilene Christian University I most wonder about how the culture on the campus supports innovation. How many schools have a "director of educational innovation" such as ACU? And what occurred on campus that spurred the creation of this position?
Yes, the work on mobile platforms is interesting. But the real story is organizational, structural, and cultural. Can the spirit of innovation, sharing, openness, and risk taking demonstrated by ACU be transplanted to other institutions? What is special about the campus set-up, organization, and leadership?
Do we have some sort of clearinghouse that keeps track of high risk, high return learning technology projects? A place where project documents and materials can be shared, and a community built around the practice rather then the tools. Perhaps a system where the community could rate projects and predict their likelihood of success. And where people trying to get high risk / high return learning technology projects off the ground could solicit advice, feedback, and support.
With our tradition of openness and sharing in higher ed. combined with the Web as a platform for community building and sharing it seems like we have all the ingredients for a site such as this. The Learning Technology High Risk / High Return community. Any ideas about how to get something like this off the ground? Who could sponsor this site? Who would maintain the energy and momentum in guiding this community? How can we make this happen?
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