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.
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.”
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.
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!