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Ideas for EDUCAUSE 2010
November 8, 2009 - 7:04pm

Dear EDUCAUSE 2010 Program Committee:

Before I jump into brainstorming about future conferences, I think the 2009 Program Committee members and the EDUCAUSE team members deserve a huge round of applause for putting on such an amazing conference in Denver! I'm amazed at how smoothly the conference ran, how engaging the keynotes were, and how much support was offered to presenters. The amount of hard work and dedication necessary to put on a huge event like the EDUCAUSE annual conference boggles the mind....thank you to everyone who worked so hard.

Some ideas as you prepare for the Anaheim CA. 10/12 to 10/15 annual conference:

1. Suggested Theme: Towards Open Learning and Transparent Institutions

Inspired by Lessig's 2009 talk "It Is About Time: Getting Our Values Around Copyright Right," EDUCAUSE begins a year long effort to promote open learning and transparency in higher education. EDUCAUSE start-up funding and expertise are offered to institutions working toward moving course content to the public Web under Creative Commons license. Major research and support efforts are launched around open learning goals, with support and partnerships from key EDUCAUSE sponsors. Conference tracks, presentations, and conference awards highlight and celebrate institutional and vendor efforts towards supporting openness and transparency.

The EDUCAUSE 2010 Program Committee insures that the conference reflects and amplifies the goals of openness and transparency by placing all of the conference materials, sessions, and videos and the public Web.

2. Suggested Keynote Speakers:

Day 1: Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief Wired). Talk: Free and the Future of Higher Education.

Day 2: Jeff Bezos (CEO Talk: Lessons for Higher Education from Amazon: Thriving In An Age of Disruption.

3. Suggested Social Media Innovations:

A. EDUCAUSE creates a social media editor assigned to track, collate, aggregate, synthesize, communicate, discuss and editorialize on all social media conversations. Dedicated page aggregates news reports, blog posts, tweets, and status updates related to EDUCAUSE 10. Page allows for community ranking of stories, posts, tweets (EDUCAUSE DIGG), with social media editor providing value added commentary.

B. Each session is automatically assigned a #hashtag that also publishes to #educause10.

C. Opt-in location tracking applications for smart phones is distributed to support real-time tracking and reporting of session attendance.

4. Suggested Innovations Towards Openness and Transparency:

A. Conference presentations slide deck voice-overs are pre-recorded and posted on EDUCAUSE and consumer video / social media sites. This innovation allows for live presentations to be limited <=20 minutes, with structured time for questions and debate built into each session.

B. Every session is recorded using presentation/lecture capture software. Each session is posted for public viewing/comment on YouTube EDU.

C. The default session room chair arrangement is changed from rows to circles. Session room design, pre-recorded talks, pre-session discussions, projected session tweets, and time limits on one-way presentations (18 minutes) mirror an active learning pedagogy.

5. Your Ideas:

What do you think should be the theme for future EDUCAUSE conferences? Who would you like to see as keynote speakers? What social media innovations would you suggest? How could the sessions reflect the active learning techniques for courses that we are trying to promote on our campuses? How could EDUCAUSE contribute to the open learning movement? How can we get past the divide of educators and vendors at the conference and recognize that all attendees are working equally and collaboratively to leverage technology to challenge the status quo in higher education?

Each year I try to make sense of the conference in my own brain, picking out the major themes and actionable pieces of intelligence that I can bring back to campus. Can anyone point us to blogs that we should be reading that summarize, synthesize and evaluate EDUCAUSE 09?


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