If a Tree Falls …

I carry a black leather journal with me most of the time … I use this little analog capture method to take meaningful notes, jot down ideas, and to record things that I think will provide me with some historical perspective (on a personal level). From time to time I actually go back through my journals and play a little game of, “this time last year we were thinking about …” Yesterday I was having lunch with the instructional design group here in ETS and I pulled out the book to see what we were thinking about and struggling with last year at this time.


One of the things that jumped out at me was something I wrote about in my journal literally on this day last year — I called it the ETS Innovation Hour. I’m not that keen on the title this year, but it is something I have continued to think about and push … a monthly computer mediated “show” that would expose people to some of the things we are working on, thinking about, and more. It has evolved into something we’ve now started calling, ETS Briefings. It hasn’t gotten off the ground.

Two weeks ago I was a presenter for an online seminar and I talked about Penn State on iTunes U, our community based support ideas, and some general information on the Blogs at Penn State project. Nothing earth shattering there other than I did it from my office, at my desk, wearing a USB headset over Centra. It was well attended and people asked a bunch of questions at the end. It was honestly the first time I had done something like that. I got me thinking about just moving the ETS Briefings forward, but on my own just to see what would happen.

Would anyone show up if I just started doing these once a month from my office over Adobe Connect Pro? It would be primarily for a Penn State audience as I would be sharing information and insight into the projects we are doing here. My hope is that the University Learning Design Community would tune in and help me think about new ways to engage faculty and students around our projects. About a year ago I was at this same crossroads over an ETS podcast — can we find time, would anyone listen, would it provide value, etc. If I use that as a model, maybe it is time to just lock an hour every month and see what happens.

3 thoughts on “If a Tree Falls …

  1. As a K12 educator I feel it would beneficial to see what is being used in higher ed. Your strategies/tools often become our tools in time. In addition to teaching I am a fan of all things new, so I would enjoy the “webinar.”

  2. I’d attend 🙂 In the libraries, we’ve had a handful of informational sessions via breeze for folks at all the campuses. The focus is on emerging technologies (e.g. second life, social networking, etc.) and they’ve been well attended…so I feel confident saying that if you did this, you’d get a few of us library-types there.

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