Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Friday, June 13, 2008

They Stole Our Name!

Alas, we are not the only ELI in distance learning these days. EDUCAUSE has started something they call the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) to help spread knowledge about technology issues in education.

If we can forgive them for a moment for stealing our name, you might find some really useful information in their "7 Things You Should Know..." series at http://www.educause.edu/ELI7Things/7495. There are a whole bunch of quick two-page overviews of technology tools you may have heard of but not know much about (e.g., they have "7 Things" reports on Skype, on Flickr, on Second Life, on Twitter, on Facebook, ... you get the idea). These briefs would be a good way to get a sense of what each tool is all about, the pros and cons of using it in education, and whether you might want to learn more. If you do get interested in any of the tools you read about, contact ELIIDHelp@nvcc.edu (this semester, that means Fran and Maureen will be responding to your questions) and they would be happy to help you learn more and think about how you might use that tool in your teaching.


Don Gregory said...

There's also an ELI at George Mason: The English Language Institute. While it has nothing to do with Distance Education, GMU has just announced the appointment of a new Associate Provost for Distance Education. "The appointment supports recent recommendations that the University co-ordinate and
expand high-quality distance education programs that support the Mission of the University," according to the announcement. Those of us who've taught at or attended Mason will find this quite a surprise, I think.

Jennifer Lerner said...

Nan Peck just mentioned this new appointment to me and I'm planning to try to connect with the new Associate Provost. The more ways we can connect with Mason, the better for our students!

Don, fill me in--what is surprising about this?

Don Gregory said...

Jennifer, I was referring to the impression I've always had that GMU has little interest in distance education. In regard to my own teaching there, it's more than an impression-- it's a reality. I've taught various courses at GMU since 1980, all in the classroom. At various times I've tried to interest the philosophy department in offering some online courses, and the response has almost been one of incredulity. The mindset was along the lines of "you couldn't tell whether the students were really doing the work," etc. I gave up trying several years ago as I became progressively more involved in online education here at NOVA, but I do still teach a classroom course at GMU and I don't see any change in this attitude. I've heard, anecdotally, that the philosophy department is not alone in this view. I do know that some graduate courses in Health and Human Services are offered via Distance Education, and perhaps we'll see more courses in other departments now.

By the way, despite what I've said above, my GMU colleagues know what I do at NOVA and have always welcomed our transfer students in philosophy, whether online or classroom.

Jennifer Lerner said...

Thanks for the extra background, Don. Very interesting...