New Media Consortium 2013

Recently, part of the Web Communications team was able to visit the New Media Consortium conference in South Carolina, just in time to enjoy a tropical storm! The NMC is a group of educators, technologists, and visionaries all centered around improving and innovating education through technology. Erin, Drew and I were also invited to give an overview of OU’s experience using iTunes U and the success we’ve found with that. For now though, we wanted to share some of what we learned and some cool things we were introduced to!

  1. 2D isn’t enough anymore, with 3d TVs, 3D printers, and 3D everything. Now, you can use a simple smartphone to create 3D objects without additional equipment using 123D Catch by AutoDesk, Inc.
  2. Analytics continue to grow deeper and deeper, and we’re slowly finding how to use the data we’ve collected. Some faculty at the University of Delaware have developed software called Macaw that tracks not only mouse clicks, but movement, hovering, and everything to better understand how we can improve experiential learning in an online/digital environment.
  3. My wife can already read my mind, but soon a computer will be able to 3D print out monsters… as IMAGINED BY A CHILD. Monster Dreamer is intended to unlock creativity for everyone, including the little ones.
  4. Distance is a very real barrier to learning for many students, so Network Labs is working on creating experiential learning opportunities for students needing access to laboratory setups in a digital environment, accessible from anywhere with the internet.
  5. A primary method of feedback for our students is ‘liking’ something; a simple one-click approval or acknowledgement. How can we encourage a higher level of engagement with students online through social media/online courses/MOOCs with a population so accustomed to this? (No answer available from me!)
  6. California’s Senate passed SB520, a bill to create popular, introductory courses (50 of them(!)) for an open online environment that, when students pass them, would earn them credit at any of the 4-year institutions in the three systems of schools in California. How long until Oklahoma does something similar? There’s no telling, but let’s make sure OU is already prepared for it!
  7. The Research and Practice in Assessment (RPA) Journal is one of the first academic journals to begin addressing the efficacy of MOOCs. The current assessments are preliminary, but will certainly lead to some really interesting critiques of open courses.
  8. eTextbooks are a hot issue today, and many institutions are looking into the implementation of these. As ‘connected’ and ‘digital’ as our students are, some are resistant to digital texts. However, some studies have found that after using eTexts for the second time, students preferred them. Does this mean that the experience of a digital text should be sustained in order to win favor? We all freaked out when Facebook got the news feed… now can we imagine life without it?
  9. Giving feedback to documents when on the go can be a challenge – a challenge the makers of Moxtra set out to solve. Leave voice, text and annotated notes on documents from your mobile devices with this. FINALLY.
  10. Appception: build apps for an iOS platform… with an app! Briefs is a desktop iOS development app that is visually driven. Make an app for your department, work team, or family, then share it easily.
  11. If you ever have several iPhones, iPads, or TVs laying around and you think to yourself, “I wish I could run a movie on all of these at the same time,” or, “If only I could show a clip on this one, corresponding text on this one, and a picture of myself on this one,” look no further! MultiVid lets you synchronize the displays of several screens from an iPhone!
  12. Educators all over are trying to find ways to use iPads more effectively in the classroom. Nearpod let’s you push information to other iPads to guide lessons and presentations.

All in all, a great trip. We’ll be finding ways to use some of these great tools on campus!


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