Report from the 1st TaLDA Workshop

May 29, 2012 by

During the 2nd week of May, a group of faculty and instructional designers gathered for the first ever TaLDA Workshop at Muskegon Community College. TaLDA = Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age. This was a workshop inspired from the success of the annual Math & Technology Workshop, but designed for faculty and staff from any discipline. This year, instructional designers and distance ed coordinators joined faculty who teach Theater, Humanities, Psychology, Education, Library Sciences, Information Literacy, and Computer Information Systems joined to create a truly unique and fun week of technology experiences.

This was a tech conference unlike most any other. There was laughing, dancing, and even some crying. [Note: The crying was tears of joy.]

The TaLDA workshop is designed to layer on technology skills as the week progresses.  Participants must attend for the whole week – there’s no picking and choosing.  From years of experience, I can tell you that we all have gaps in our knowledge base, and the more of these gaps that get filled, the better our technology experiences will be.

View our FlickR Photostream from TaLDA 2012

Some of the topics at TaLDA included:

  • HTML Basics (so you can do a little bit of hacking when a website or course page doesn’t behave)
  • Jing (for sharing images or video on both the student and instructor side)
  • Search tips, browser tips and online bookmarking (aka “The Secret Technology Club”)
  • Web Tools for Enhancing Online Courses (see mindmap by following link)
  • Data visualizations
  • Building your own web presence (primarily LinkedIn and Google Sites)
  • Using digital mindmaps to organize and retrieve information
  • Online learning design
  • Social media for learning and for educational use (primarily Twitter and Facebook)
  • Presentation design
  • Copyright and Copyleft
  • Using SnagIt to create any image you can imagine
  • Synchronous Communications (SAVI = synchronous audio visual interactions)
  • Using Camtasia Studio to edit and produce videos
  • Mobile and Tablet Apps for learning and professional use
  • Using games to teach/learn concepts
  • Finding and using Classroom Response Questions
  • Wolfram Alpha Workshop (trust me, it’s not just for math folks)
  • Google Docs, Forms, etc.
  • Organize Your Digital Self

The big surprise (for everyone, including me) was the great joy we found in using Instructure Canvas (an LMS that is about 15 months old now).  The operative word of TaLDA turned out to be “gobsmacked” as in “we were all gobsmacked when we discovered that there is an LMS that is intuitive and easy to use from both the student and teacher side.”

Click on the image of the infographic to enlarge.

One of the participants (Christopher) created a great “infographic” to demonstrate the great power to misuse infographics.  It cracked us all up, and so I share it here.

Also, it’s true. There was dancing.  At some point, we decided that every mouse action should have a dance move, and the rest is history.  Yeah, there’s a video of the silliness that ensued too.

I’m not sure if we’ll do this again at MCC as the timing seemed to be bad for many potential participants, but we have to run these things between semesters to get lab space.  However, TaLDA can definitely be taken on the road, so let me know if you want one in your neck of the woods.

Also, I have to say a HUGE Thank You to our sponsors for this year’s workshop: Muskegon Community College, TechSmith, and Mindomo – we’re truly grateful for your continued support!

Update: Oh my gosh! How could I possibly forget about thanking Anna?  Anna was a godsend!  Couldn’t have done it without her.  I wish I could just keep her around all the time!

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MCC TaLDA Workshop – May 2012

Dec 6, 2011 by

I’m pleased to announce that we’re going to start offering a “Tech Bootcamp” for non-math faculty.  Our first offering of the MCC TaLDA Workshop (Teaching & Learning in the Digital Age) will be in May 2012.  Registration opens today!

The MCC TaLDA Workshop is a week-long immersion in Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age for College faculty from all disciplines. This workshop is modeled after the MCC Math & Technology Workshop, which MCC has hosted for four years now. Over time, this workshop has been dubbed “Technology Bootcamp” by its participants. Participants come from all over the country to get an “upgrade” to their technology skills as they relate to teachinging and learning in the college setting.

Participants go home armed not only with new technology skills, but also software and hardware to help them on their journey, all provided by donations from our commercial sponsors. Participants in the 2012 Workshop will receive the latest versions of Camtasia Studio, SnagIt, and a 1-year subscription to Mindomo.  Thanks to TechSmith and Mindomo for being sponsors of the 2012 MCC TaLDA Workshop!

Organizers and presenters at the workshop donate their time for a “good cause” – that is, we hope that participants will go back to their own schools and wider educational communities and spread what they have learned. The 2012 Workshop will be facilitated by Maria Andersen and Barry Dahl (see Workshop Staff page for more info). Both have considerable experience in the realm of leveraging technology for learning, and are invited to speak and conduct workshops at many national events.

The TaLDA Workshop will be May 7-11, 2012 in Muskegon, Michigan. There are 40 spaces for participants, so register as soon as possible if you’d like to attend. For the first month, only one participant per college will be accepted.

Register here! 

Math and physical science faculty (those subjects that involve a lot of equations and graphs) should consider the MCC Math & Tech Workshop instead (August 2012).

Oh … and did I mention? Muskegon has a beautiful beach!

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2010 MCC Math & Technology Workshop

Nov 16, 2009 by

It’s the announcement you’ve all been waiting for.  Registration for the 3rd annual MCC Math & Technology Workshop will begin in 10 days.  The workshop will be held (as always) at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan.

As always, I have to thank our AWESOME sponsors for the 2010 workshop (without these companies and organizations there would be no workshop):

workshop_sponsorsYou can participate in this week-long workshop at three levels:

Technology Explorers: This week-long workshop is designed to assist college mathematics instructors to get up-to-date on technology for teaching mathematics and to begin to participate in Web-based instruction. The workshop will cover a wide variety of topics and skills all related to teaching mathematics with technology and the Internet. Participants will go back to their campus with a plan for how they will incorporate technology into their teaching. Participants will also receive free copies of some of the software they have learned how to use. 2010 graduates will receive Camtasia Studio, SnagIt, Mathematica, MathType, USB headsets, and Wacom peripheral tablets! Registration fee is $150. There are 26 spaces available.

Technology Adventurers: The advanced workshop is designed for instructors who already have quite a bit of technology experience, or for returning participants. We take a look at designing digital presentations in a variety of forms, social networking, blogs, virtual worlds, and much more. Advanced participants have about half of their time free to work on projects of their own choosing. Advanced workshop graduates will receive Camtasia Studio, SnagIt, and Mathematica. Registration fee is $100. There are 26 spaces available.

Technology Navigators: Many participants from past workshops have expressed an interest in returning for the week just to hang out and work on their own projects. We can provide quiet spaces for you to work (and soundproof ones if you’d like to record videos). We’d love to have you back, but we also need your help to pass on what you’ve learned and to keep this workshop going. Registration fee is $50 with 4 hours of volunteering, or free with 8 hours of volunteering. (Limit? How many of you want to come?)

Workshop Director: Maria H. Andersen, Muskegon Community College
Assistant Director: Elizabeth Hamman, Cypress College
Mathematica Training: Debra Woods, University of Illinois – Champaign

This workshop is both awesome training and a fantastically good time.  To read about last year’s workshop, go here. Many participants pay out of their own pocket to attend because there’s nothing else quite like it.  I look forward to meeting this year’s crop of participants!

For directions on how to get pre-registered on November 13, or for information on travel & lodging  go to the workshop website.  We will do our best to chase away the freak thunderstorms this year!

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2009 MCC Math and Technology Workshop

Aug 18, 2009 by

Last week, 37 math instructors from Michigan, Texas, Illinois, California, New Jersey, South Carolina, Missouri, Washington, Massachusetts, Indiana, Arizona, and Qatar gathered at Muskegon Community College to be participants in the 2nd MCC Math & Technology Workshop.  The conference this year was generously supported with donations by TechSmith, Wolfram Research, Wacom, Plantronics, and MichMATYC.   If it wasn’t for these organizations and their generosity, it is very likely that this workshop would not exist.


Despite some pretty unexpected mishaps (read Thursday’s post), I think I can safely say that everyone went home with a head full of ideas and a technology support network of new friends.

In this week, “Technology Bootcamp” participants learned how to use:

In addition to learning how to use specific software, there were sessions on:

  • using web-based math resources and digital libraries
  • applying learning styles in online courses
  • designing an online math course
  • best practices in using online homework
  • basics of good presentation design
  • playing with SmartBoard technology
  • organizing yourself in the digital world
  • the future of math instruction and higher education

This was the first year we had an “advanced” group (clever name anyone?).  The returning participants wanted lots of time to work on their own projects, so they got that and more:

How much fun did we have this week?  When was the last time you had to tell a room of math instructors not to laugh so loudly?

Yes, we are already thinking about next year’s workshop.  And, yes, I will try to think of some scheme that will allow 3rd-year participants to come and just hang out, help out, and get their digital stuff done.

If all the stars align and we continue to have corporate sponsors (and possibly a few grants), the 2010 MCC Math & Technology Workshop will be Aug. 9-13, 2010.  Official news about registration usually comes out around the time of AMATYC (November) and the workshop filled up fast last year, so clear your schedule and start bargaining for travel funds if you want to go.

Now for my list of  Thank You‘s:

  • Thank you to my college, Muskegon Community College, for playing host to the workshop again.
  • Thank you to the volunteers who provided rides to and from airports and ferries, and between the hotel(s) and the college.
  • Thank you to the faculty who helped out at sessions (especially those that got “drafted”).
  • Thank you to all the staff and faculty at MCC who stepped up to help out with a variety of crazy tasks (often at the last-minute).
  • Thank you to the outside presenters, Sarah Swart, Evert VanderBerg, Przemyslaw Bogacki, Dave McCollom, Harry Calkins, and Derek Bruff.
  • Thank you to Christine Gardner (my assistant) and Pauline Keith (our department secretary) who both spent time on logistics during the last few months to help make this event a reality.
  • Thank you to the participants, for spending your travel funds to hang out in Muskegon, Michigan and for subjecting yourself to technology overload for a whole week!
  • A big thank you to the Office of Information Technology for all their hard work to get the computers set up with an enormous list of software that we don’t usually install on lab computers and for their tech support in general.
  • Another big thank you to Jill Mueller, who gave up at least two weeks of her life to act as the Assistant Director for the 2009 MCC Math & Technology Workshop.
  • A gigantic thank you to the sponsors of this year’s workshop: TechSmith, Wolfram Research, Wacom, Plantronics, and MichMATYC who donated approximately $35,000 in software, hardware, and time.

Finally, thank you to my husband, “Mr. Busynessgirl” who simply says “make a list of everything you need me to do during this week” and then does them.

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