TLT Symposium is Back!

Last year one of the big things I spent a ton of time on after arriving at ETS was the TLT Symposium. The Symposium is a full day event on our campus that serves to gather faculty and staff to look at how technology is being used to impact teaching, learning, and research. Last year I put a lot of effort into integrating an open feel to the event — I pushed to have the site come alive as a blog, we podcasted sessions and in the hallways, and more. It turned out to be a very good event and it sparked a lot of interest in the social computing space.

This year things are being taken to whole other level. We’ve moved the event to the conference center on campus, opened it up to more attendees, and have invited two featured speakers. Our own Studio 204 and podcasting groups will again be podcasitng sessions and in the hall, but we’ve added an onsite podcasting studio to the mix. We’ll also have all sorts of demo stations where we’ll be showing off social tools in a teaching and learning context. We’ll also have bloggers keeping track of sessions as they are running. Should prove to be interesting. It is isn’t for another month, but thought I’d share a brief program overview I got yesterday.

The Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology is an opportunity for faculty to gather and share the ways they are using technology to enhance teaching, learning, and research. This year’s theme, “Social Computing and the Culture of Teaching and Learning” addresses many of the concerns and opportunities presented by tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, and social networking sites. How does Wikipedia change concepts like intellectual property and publication? How are faculty using tools like podcasts and Second Life to teach foreign languages? How are faculty using Adobe Connect (aka Breeze) and videoconferencing tools to teach courses that are offered at multiple locations?

This year’s Symposium will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on April 14 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. It will begin with a keynote presentation from Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, who conducts research on topics like social computing and the digital divide. The featured speaker over lunch is Bryan Alexander, Research Director for the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education, who investigates emerging technologies for a consortium of colleges and universities. The Symposium will close with a Horizon Panel of our speakers and Penn State administrators and students, who will discuss their thoughts on the future of educational technologies. In addition, the Symposium has 27 concurrent sessions throughout the day for Penn State faculty to share their latest work.

I’d love to know what you do on your campus to get faculty together to share their work.

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