I’ve just arrived back to Ontario after attending “Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLt ) 2005: Transitions & Transformation“, May 1 – 3, 2005, sponsored by Campus Saskatchewan partners.
This was a great conference for me because I was able to mix with some of the top Education/Technology researchers and thinkers in Saskatchewan and beyond. I came to appreciate how the government of Saskatchewan is extremely supportive of Elearning initiatives…it seems mostly out of necessity since the distances are huge in the province yet the population is sparsely spread throughout. In fact, I liken the Saskatchewan situation to Northern Ontario however, we do not seem to have the same will and energy here to pick ourselves up and get on with things as Saskatchewan is doing.
I got a sense from talking with conference participants that online courses for high school credits is beyond the neophyte stage with Blackboard (LMS) available to all teachers – they just need to show an interest and support systems are in place to help produce course material. After attending an excellent presentation by the Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre, I came to understand how Saskatchewan has a long history of addressing students’ learning needs at a distance. I was amazed to hear how the teachers at this centre each have 300 students all working on self-paced courses. And contrary to what I have heard about correspondence and self-paced courses in Ontario, the SDLC has most students complete their chosen studies. The prevalence and successful delivery of self-paced courses is definitely something that I will be thinking about due to this conference.
Lastly, I presented a session on Learning Opportunities in Discussion Boards which was a bit risque since I may not have been showing anything new… Luckily, the participants said they did pick up a few new ideas and I’ve invited anyone with an interest in Discussion Board Learning Opportunities to visit the presentation’s support site (Click on “CONFERENCES”).
There is a conference Blog available if you want to get an idea of the specifics from some of the events.
I’ve also tried “Track back” for my first time… I don’t think it worked quite right…TLT2005 ? Blog Archive ? TLT2005 Conference Blog