Invited Speaker: 10/08/2009: Penn State Learning Centers

I've been invited to give a talk to the Penn State Learning Centers related to the explosion of social media and its potential impact in education.  This will be an opportunity to speak to not only University faculty and staff, but also to students.  I always find it interesting getting to share thoughts with such mixed groups — and I love getting to see how students react to my perspective on "their" space.

THON 2009

On Sunday I was reminded of yet another reason why I think we owe it to our students to make things right. THON 2009 wrapped up yesterday after raising a staggering 7.49 million dollars to help fight cancer. The last hour is always so emotional and while we didn’t make it this year I was able to follow Twitter streams, blog posts, and the Collegian’s coverage. These are students who dance for 46 hours … 46! They do it “For the Kids” and they do it because they are all amazing.

We have this football coach here at Penn State named Joe Paterno who has seen it all — undefeated seasons, Heisman Trophy winner, National Championships, and Saturdays with 110,000 people screaming for he and his players. When he says it is his proudest moment at PSU in 58 years you have to feel humbled by the enormity of it all. I have to say, I was moved to tears and am so thankful to be a part of this community.

There are very few times in my life I’m speechless, but I am now. I wish the whole world could see and feel what’s in this room right now. Love and commitment and the dedication that just reeks from this room. In my 58 years at Penn State, I’ve never been more proud than right now.

Presentation: 8/12/2008: Learning Design Summer Camp

Scott McDonald and I presented our thoughts from our C&I 597C: Disruptive Technologies for Teaching and Learning course at the Learning Design Summer Camp.  We shared our feelings about how integrating several layers of social opportunities into the design of the course produced some very interesting and surprising outcomes.

View the slides at SlideShare.  If you prefer, you can watch the video of the session at the PSU TLT YouTube page.

Some Interesting Stuff

Recently I was asked to share some “interesting statistics” about what is going on here at PSU and on a national level with the use of technology by young people. Here are some points I thought could resonate. I didn’t editorialize too much, but my basic thoughts are below. What strikes me is how this leads us to such obvious conclusions about where time, energy, and dollars should be applied within our environments.

I don’t cite all this stuff, but nearly all of it is from various PSU reports or the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Please fell free to comment on these.

  • 40% of online teens watch TV on devices other than a TV. This is a real trend hitting our campus. I gave two guests lectures in freshman classes last week and all but a handful of them said that is what they do. This has big implications for the kinds of networks we provide and the amount of bandwidth we allocate.
  • Nearly a third of all PSU students created a rich media piece last year. Half of them did it for a class which means faculty are beginning to accept digital media as evidence of learning. That means the other half did it just for fun. Looks like the move towards rethinking our lab spaces is a good move. The idea that we should put a Digital Commons at every campus may help grow and support this trend.
  • Nationally approximately 80% of college students are in Facebook. This is growing as Facebook continues to open to younger and more diverse audiences. At PSU, last November, the number was at 83%.
  • The most interesting statistics related to FB are that 60% log in daily, 80% update their profiles several times a month, and that 23% of our students spend more than 5 hours a week in social environments (FB and MySpace). This proves to me that they’ll spend lots of time online if given the right kids of spaces to participate in.
  • According to Pew Internet and American Life Project nearly 50% of online teens are sharing content online. This isn’t file sharing, it is sharing pictures, text, and other forms of their media. 64% engage in at least one form of content creation. Girls dominate most elements of online content creation and sharing with 35% of teen girls blogging, and 54% sharing photos. Compared with 20% of boys blog and 40% share pictures. Boys are nearly twice as likely to share their videos online.
  • Why is this the case? 89% of them report that people comment on them some of the time. Most of them use their social networks to control access — Facebook is the number one photo sharing site on the Internet.
  • We know they use all sorts of modes to communicate, but they use modes differently with different groups of people. Text messages are used to connect with peers, while email is “for old people.”
  • Digital video is explosive at the moment. It is empowering new types of conversations across the web. Visit youtube and notice not only the number of views on videos, but the number of comments and video responses. It is stunning.
  • Internet users watched 10 billion videos online in December 2007.
  • 73% of adults own cell phones, 63% of teens own them, and at PSU 93% of students own a cell phone.
  • Nearly 90% of PSU students own MP3 players. iPod is the majority.

Presentation: 07/24/2008: TLT Talk

Yesterday I spent an hour sharing stories of how ETS is using social tools to create and engage our communities.  The talk was titled, "Engaging Communities" was relatively well attended and seemed to capture the attention of the audience.  The best stuff happened during the question and answer period at the end when we got into a real conversation about how we could be thinking more broadly about engaging our audiences.  People really seemed to want to discuss Twitter in particular — the initial reaction is always centered around, "this is the dumbest thing I have heard of."  We talked through how Twitter is connected to our primary website and how it has become our number one source of traffic at the ETS site.  I think that kind of stunned people.  The other thing that stood out was when I showed the ETS is ranked number 2 in search results for "education technology services" … right behind our friends at Berkeley … and in front of about 64 million other results.  All in all it was an enjoyable hour and am more than happy to share more thoughts from it.

Presentation slides are available as a low resolution PDF … tlt_talk_2008_02.pdf

Presentation: 04/30/2008: Annual One to One Computing Conference

Last year I was a featured keynote at the Annual One to One conference here at Penn State.  This year I've been asked back to lead a conversation about web 2.0 and some of the fears surrounding it in our schools.  I hope I can make the case!  Description they gave me follows:
Critical Conversations: Web 2.0, Hype or Hidden Opportunity? What school leaders should know about social networking, Conversation Thought Leader: Cole Camplese, Information Technology Manager, The Pennsylvania State University, Moderated by Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation
In light of the constant stream of media reports around the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of web 2.0, and associated social networking technologies, it is critical that all school leaders fully understand the relevance or otherwise of them. So much is now impacting on the lives of students, and as leaders we must be well informed about their potential to support or intrude on learning. Too much is written by inexperienced or overtly biased journalists, and if we are to ensure relevance, we must keep an open mind to these new ideas until proven otherwise.